Herdsy, an agri-tech firm of just four people in Cambridge, has signed a major deal with global information technology giant Samsung to develop its novel animal tracking technology.
It’s the first time that Samsung has partnered with a small agri-tech business.
The deal was arranged through the Global Business Innovation Programme (GBIP), organised by Enterprise Europe Network in its role within Innovate UK business growth services.
The Herdsy Collar uses physical and biomedical sensors, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor the heart rate, temperature, muscle mass, location and movement of domestic animals and feeds it back to a farmer’s laptop.
Being able to follow one or more animals’ movements and behaviour and keep a constant check on their welfare has a direct impact on profitability. Data can also be shared remotely with vets or livestock buyers.
Internet of Things and ‘smart farming’
Herdsy had competed successfully for a place on a GBIP visit to South Korea, organised for ambitious UK firms involved in Internet of Things applications and services such as smart farming, blockchain and AI.
GBIP helps innovative companies enter complex global markets and create opportunities for technology collaboration.
Herdsy and a dozen other companies who joined the visit to South Korea in September 2018 benefited from a funded programme of GBIP support. It covered coaching on how to pitch to would-be partners and investors in South Korea and advice on cultural aspects of doing business in the country followed by a pre-visit workshop.
GBIP organiser Louise Hooker, from EEN in the South West, said: “At the workshop they fine-tune their pitch slides, nail down their value proposition and learn how to articulate their offer. We also try to bring along an expert from the country or someone who was on a previous visit there.
Underlines importance of EEN’s global network
“The visit underlined how important our global EEN network is. Our primary EEN partner in Seoul, ED Research, opened the door to Samsung for Herdsy.
“We’ll continue to support the company in managing that ongoing relationship.”
CEO Richard Hobson, who founded Herdsy only three years ago, said: “Following our pitch presentation to Samsung teams in Seoul, our Herdsy Collar 2.0 will be the most advanced animal tracking device on the market.”
Kirsten Masson, from EEN in the East of England said: “We are delighted that Herdsy has secured this partnership with a global player. As a result Herdsy is now well placed to achieve their vison to scale and make low-cost animal tracking technology mainstream.”
Kirsten and fellow EEN innovation adviser Penny Lord have worked with Herdsy from start-up stage through the innovate2succeed programme.
Their support focused initially on raising finance, including investment pitch training, but soon turned to expansion into international markets, product development and planning.
This is a huge achievement for a tiny firm from Cambridge to catch the eye of a global company like Samsung. You are never too small to scale!"