Case Studies

Agricultural software firm ‘dig’s up’ funding to improve safety in farming

Support from Business Gateway helped an agriculture software firm access over £16,000 of funding which enabled the successful launch of an app that will improve farming health and safety.

About the business

Launched in 2020, Smart Farmer logs pre-start safety checks on farm machinery, allowing operators to see when machines were last serviced and if there are any issues, instead of the previous impractical method of maintaining paper records.  

Business Gateway helped ensure my business plan was robust enough to successfully secure funding and put me in touch with a software developer so that Smart Farmer could become a reality.

How Business Gateway has helped  

Business Gateway helped bring owner Marc Skivington to pastures new, harvesting his agri-sector knowledge and signposting him to a software developer in Aberdeen who could support with the creation of the Smart Farmer app.

The app, which is designed to improve farming health and safety, was launched in 2020 and targets existing impracticalities within the industry while revolutionising the way records are shared.  

The app’s embedded software system means recording and reporting machinery is easy thanks to the use of a QR code and results are recorded on the app and online and can be shared immediately. 

Following one-to-one support on his business plan, Marc approached Aberdeenshire Council and secured over £16,000 of funding. Marc was also able to access a suite of resources including marketing advice, innovation support and access to market research reports.

Marc, founder, Smart Farmer, said: “Business Gateway and my adviser John provided constant encouragement and helped me step out of my comfort zone as I started on this journey, pointing me in the right direction at every juncture. They helped ensure my business plan was robust enough to successfully secure funding and put me in touch with a software developer so that Smart Farmer could become a reality.   

“Looking ahead, I’m pleased to be recognised to be leading the way in agri-tech innovation and I’m confident we will continue to go from strength to strength over the coming months.”    

Smart Farmer  was awarded Gold for Agri-Tech Innovator of the Year at the 2020 British Farming Awards, as well as the silver award for innovation at the Royal Highland Show in 2021, increasing brand awareness across Scotland and the rest of the UK.  

John MacGillivray, Business Gateway adviser, said: “For many businesses starting out, funding is often a vital component to launching a product. While Marc had the vision, passion, and ambition, by working with our team of advisers we built resilience into his business plan, which put him in a strong position to secure funding to enable the launch of his product.”

Support Provided

Marketing Advice

Routes to Funding

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