In case you haven’t heard the news, we’ve been awarded a Phase II SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation to accelerate development of Verifli. This award is a result of months and months of early days and long nights and unwavering support from folks who believed in us and pushed us to achieve. It’s perhaps our most important milestone to date.
What this award tells us
We took a leap of faith early last year by shifting away from in-hive sensor monitoring and focusing on building Verifli. Pivoting towards an entirely new business model was a huge risk that was make-or-break for our company. This pivot was largely made possible thanks to the Phase I grant awarded to us by NSF, which provided the resources to understand a new market and develop a new solution.
The award also speaks to the priorities of the NSF, an organization widely held in high regard. NSF’s investments have sprouted innovations that shape today’s world—like weather radar, MRI scanners and Google—as well as projects of the future—like DNA phenotyping to solve cold cases, affordable cancer treatments and AI to rescue human trafficking victims. Earning NSF funding is not just a reward for our months of hard work, it tells us that we’re working to solve a problem that’s vital to the future.
The future of pollination
It’s no secret that honeybees have had a tough go of things over the past few years. Media outlets have found that readers gobble up coverage of the bees’ decline, leading to widespread awareness of the issue. But if you ask a commercial beekeeper, they won’t express much concern. They’re confident they can overcome any adversity, though it may cost quite a bit more to keep their hives going these days.
We aim to build a pathway to the future of pollination by helping growers and beekeepers to optimize their inputs. As many promising startups swarm to the beekeeping technology space, we hope to be a leader and a connector, partnering with other providers to deliver more value for beekeepers and growers who depend on pollination.
Though this grant is a huge milestone for The Bee Corp, it doesn’t mean we’ve hit a homerun just yet. The award tells us we’re on a promising path, but we still need to perform. We’ll start to put the right pieces in place over the next few months by growing our team and expanding R&D.