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Vladimir Akopyan moved to the UK to study Computer System Engineering at the University of Birmingham and graduated in 2014. Vladimir had a strong interest in drones and met a friend who was interested in starting his own business. After being inspired by an article they read about inefficiencies in agriculture, they combined their interests to set up a business to address this issue.

Quickbird aims to create an end-to-end management system that collects data from sensors, satellites and drones in the agricultural sector. The company has operated since 2014 and is based in Birmingham city centre. Quickbird is currently in the final stages of the technical development of their initial product.

BSEEN matched Vladimir with a mentor who had specialist computer skills in the field that he wanted to operate his business in. The technical support provided by the mentor was invaluable to Vladimir. As a result of BSEEN Vladimir was able to draw on the expertise of people in “every conceivable field”.

BSEEN also helped Vladimir with the people skills required to operate a business such as negotiation, business presentations and approaching investors. Vladimir is grateful to BSEEN for the legacy of contacts that he would have been unable to access without participating in the programme.

Vladimir is planning to offer his product to potential customers on a trial basis and gain their feedback in order to identify further development opportunities; after this they hope to seek investment and “aggressively” grow the business.