York-based start-up AgriSound is a leading brand in ecosystem management and beekeeping technology. Launched in January 2020 with an aim to bring modern monitoring technology to beekeeping, AgriSound has created special smart sensors to monitor and understand what’s going on inside the beehive. Hardware placed inside the hives measures the temperature and humidity as well as ‘listens’ to the vibrations produced by the bees’ wings that are indicative of their condition.
By introducing this technology to beekeeping, AgriSound strives to better understand the factors causing the bee population to decline. They aim to help beekeepers, experienced and beginners, to successfully manage pollination that is vital to food production and sustainability by tracking the bee population in the area and their movements.
Although the business began its operation just a couple of months before the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK, AgriSound have had a good year in business. In 2020, the company raised £150,000 in capital and now has a team of five working on future projects and product developments.
Recently, Casey Woodward, founder of AgriSound has received the Young Innovators Award from Innovate UK and The Prince’s Trust. The Young Innovators Awards recognise young people from across the UK with great business ideas who have the potential to become successful entrepreneurs and future leaders in innovation. Casey is one of three Yorkshire and Humber young entrepreneurs, who has received the award for which he applied to meet like-minded entrepreneurs and benefit from the diversity of businesses around the area.
Casey Woodward, Founder of AgriSound said:
2020 has brought different challenges to many businesses around the world. We’ve been quite fortunate that our product has seen a rise due to the expansion of the consumer market – during the pandemic 25% more people were taking up beekeeping as a hobby.
"We have also benefitted from the government funded grants to support the tech-innovations sector, and I was very happy to receive the Young Innovator Award grant from Innovate UK and The Prince’s Trust recently alongside two other Yorkshire and Humber entrepreneurs.
"Whilst we've encountered some challenges - especially when communicating with potential customers, as well as experiencing delays to our research and development, and the supply chain - overall we've still had a positive first year and are looking forward to the year ahead for our business.”
The City of York Council Business Growth Managers have supported Casey from the early days of AgriSound. Our Business Growth Manager, Louise Saw has worked with Casey, introducing him to networking groups in the bio-tech sector and signposting available funding and business support opportunities such as the AD:VENTURE programme, which helps start and scale businesses and offers webinars, mentoring, grants and finance and the Investment Readiness Programme which helps businesses to understand the funding options available. City of York Council has also helped to identify and fill any skills gaps by signposting useful webinars, training programmes and by offering useful business advice.
Working with Louise is fantastic! The Business Growth Managers have been a great help especially in the early days of us launching AgriSound. The connections they have in the city’s business sectors and the vast knowledge Louise possesses for all types of funding, grants and training helped us to be able to grow and achieve our business ambitions.
"With Louise’s recommendations, I have attended a Social Media Skills training which has helped me to more effectively reach and expand our customer base. I recommend every organisation to work with the City of York Council Business Growth Managers to move their business forward.”
Currently, AgriSound is getting ready for the Spring pollinating season, as well as developing two new products – Smart Hive aimed at educational organisations and large corporate clients, and the Wild Pollination Counting Device to support individual beekeepers and small businesses.
With Yorkshire being at the heart of the UK’s rural economy, York-based AgriSound is aiming to expand and grow by offering fairly priced products to customers of any size – from individuals to large organisations. They are confident in their product being high quality and accordingly priced – offering a great value proposition with a good cause at the centre of it all.
To find out more about Casey and AgriSound on the AgriSound website.