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Indiana Nonprofit “AgriNovus” Builds Career Exploration Platform for Agbioscience

Agriculture is going through a renaissance, and Indiana is leading it. AgriNovus Indiana, a nonprofit formed in 2015, is fueling the growth of Indiana’s agbioscience economy through public education, business growth, and startup acceleration. The agriculture industry is incredibly technologically advanced, but few know about the innovation within the industry. Careers ranging from food scientist to biochemist and agricultural engineer all fit under the umbrella of agriculture.

Determined to change the public’s perception of the agbioscience industry, AgriNovus came to Innovatemap to develop a new product that initiates the discovery of a wide range of innovation-driven careers in the agbiosciences, connects students to opportunities, and fulfills the organization’s mission.

Problem

The misconceptions about agbioscience presented an opportunity to educate students and universities, connect students with jobs, and connect employers with a better (more informed, capable, and excited) talent pipeline. The market had potential for AgriNovus’ product because nothing like it currently existed. Our team had to define what the product would look like, how it would speak, and what its primary features would be. 

Ultimately we had to answer the questions — what does “forward thinking” look like? How does one convey “innovation?” How do you make a product that can change the perception of an entire industry and encourage talent to shift their career path? 

Kristin Hess (Principal, Product Marketing & Brand), Meghan Pfeifer (Senior Product Marketer & Brand Strategist), and the Innovatemap team worked with AgriNovus stakeholders to answer these questions and create a valuable product. 

Solution

To build the product from scratch, we focused on market and user research to better understand the audience, defined the MVP for the development team, and built a brand identity that excites and interests today’s college students.

AgriNovus is a mission-driven organization focused on fueling Indiana’s agbioscience economy. Since AgriNovus is nonprofit, the stakeholders were less concerned with increasing revenue and more focused on educating, attracting, and helping others in the industry attract and retain talent. The best way to fill the rapidly increasing talent demand is to educate students about the industry and career opportunities.

So, we built a product that helps students find relevant agbioscience careers, and lays out the best path for them to get there.

On the product side, we started with user conversations and external insights to drive product decisions. The AgriNovus team had a big vision, but they needed help translating it to a product that could grow and scale over time. With the user at the core of all efforts, we defined and designed the MVP. The product included a compelling and clear homepage, personalized profiles (major, career, and employer), an interactive quiz, account management, and a content hub. 

Education-centered, the product emphasizes the technological growth of the industry and conveys the career potential to job seekers. It garners useful information from users via a “chart your course” quiz, which asks questions about user interests and proposes relevant job matches. The product provides next steps for career seeking on the job board. Additionally, the site shares resources to help prepare prospects for success in the agbioscience industry. From the employer side, companies are able to create employer pages to promote themselves to students. 

The product teaches the user about the industry, tailors unique career matches, and encourages the user to take action. 

We named the product Field Atlas. The name Field Atlas establishes authority in discovering new career opportunities. “Field” makes a subtle connection between “job fields” and crop fields, while “Atlas” implies a comprehensive, way-finding resource. Just as multiple industries combine to form the agbiosciences, the Field Atlas logo is a meeting of two distinct typefaces. 

Every element of the Field Atlas brand identity was “chosen very intentionally to appeal to our Gen Z audience,” Kristin explained. We applied the brand to the product to create “a collage of agriculture, biology, science, technology, and engineering,” Meghan said. 

The muted half of the color palette gives Field Atlas its “modern vintage” feel, helping to refresh the look of traditional agriculture, while the more saturated half of the palette grabs attention quickly in a crowded social landscape and provides contrast. “Renaissance” and “innovation” are prominent threads that build the landscape of the site. Typography plays an essential part in the brand identity. The primary typeface is approachable but still grabs attention in a crowded social landscape. Meghan explained, “the student feels like they’re uncovering a secret, futuristic code — finding extraordinary in the ordinary.” 

Takeaways

AgriNovus’ mission-driven attitude and expertise paired brilliantly with our team’s deep understanding of delightful user experience for the product and brand. Together, we created a valuable product that has the potential to shift the perception of an essential, yet commonly misunderstood, industry. Agriculture has found a new life in the form of agbioscience, and we are excited to see where AgriNovus and Field Atlas can take it. 

Field Atlas taught us about the rapidly-growing agbioscience industry. Meghan commented, “it was a nice change of pace to help a group of people who are so passionate about transforming an industry from the ground up.” Rarely do we get a shot at shifting the perception of an entire industry rather than just one company.