Blog by Sarra Mander, CMO Small Robot Company

A year on, we’re still so proud to be winners of the AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards! It’s been a tremendous year for us since. The awards really helped fuel our trajectory. If you’re still trying to carve out enough time and need an extra incentive, I’d strongly encourage you to enter – so here’s more on our story, and what it has done for us.

Harry being unveiled at REAP 2018 (3) Sam Watson Jones Belinda Clarke (c StillVision Photography)

Our company, Small Robot Company is a British agritech start-up for sustainable farming. We’re using robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve the way that food is produced and minimise chemical usage. Our vision is to feed the world without costing the earth. We won the prestigious BT Connected Society category on account of the positive social impact and environmental benefits of our technology.

Without realising it, we piloted the winning prize for this year’s awards: our award landed just as we went into a crowdfunding campaign. The ‘feel-good’ buzz it helped us create and the credibility it added was just what we needed at this critical time. It helped us to raise the money we needed to develop our Agricultural Robots that are being tested at the Leckford Estate (aka waitrose farm) Pictured with Harry the robot are Sam Watson-Jones, co-founder Small Robot (green jacket) Joe Allnutt, head of Technology SmallRobot (red jacket) and Andrew Hoad, Head of Leckford EstateHarry prototype robot (pictured, image credits: StillVision Photography/Agritech REAP) and Geoff Pugh).

As winner, a major benefit for us was a development partnership with the BT Innovation Team, including support from BT’s Infinity Lab programme to drive our technology innovation. What this really meant is that  BT’s technology experts acted as our mentors, taking the time out to really listen to the challenges we were facing, offering technical insight, guidance and tips, and access to a wealth of team experience. BT has also made some really crucial introductions to prestigious partners, to whom we would not otherwise have been able to gain access. This has meant we could take our technology to a new level and build new opportunities for us to bring positive change.

This award is being sponsored by Samsung this year, and is primarily about technology innovation. How will your technology impact the future? How will you drive positive change? How will you touch people’s lives? Keep this in mind as you write your entry, making sure you really tell the story of what benefits your technology could bring. Note that we were still very early stage in our development when we entered, so don’t be discouraged if that’s the same for you: keep your focus on your vision, and the transformation you could bring. How will you make the world a better place? Good luck!