Q & A with Toby Mottram, Founder of eCow

Delegates at Venturefest South West joining the Agri-Tech sessions will hear about new opportunities from technology, data, resource management and novel crops to animal and plant health.

Giving the benefit of his experience in designing, building and commercially selling wireless sensing systems for the dairy industry is prominent figure in the UK agricultural engineering sector, Toby Mottram, founder of eCow and Douglas Bomford Trust Professor of Farm Mechanisation at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester.

We asked him a few questions:

• What does your work involve?
Designing and building wireless sensing systems to improve dairy cow health and longevity

• What problem does your innovation solve?

It enables farmers to manage cow fertility and nutrition better

• How did you obtain investors for your own venture?

Through my own family and friend network and SWIG loans, I4G and InnovateUK grant aid

• What would say are the three key elements for starting and running a successful technology business?

Vision, persistence, recruiting good people

• What three pieces of advice would you give to anyone who wants to attract investors?

Show them why someone would buy the product and how they will make money

• What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Seeing repeat orders come in

• Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?


• Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?

I will have moved on to other tech projects, the business will be run by one of the existing staff and be 5 times as big.

• What do you think would surprise people most about your industry?

How scientific and high tech a farmer has to be to make profits

Venturefest South West is on 18th October 2016 at Sandy Park, Exeter. The event is free to attend and is sponsored by Innovate UK. Those wishing to attend need to register at www.venturefest-sw.co.uk.