William Wells

Hummingbird Technologies, London

Hummingbird Technologies is an artificial intelligence business using drone and satellite technology, along with proprietary algorithms to provide farmers and agronomists with a suite of maps to help them make informed farm management decisions.

Their technology uses the most advanced machine learning and computer vision techniques, delivering actionable insights on crop health directly to the field.

It is the brainchild of Will Wells, who operates as the company’s CEO, having grown up on a farm in the South West. Before launching the company he spoke to 500 farmers, agronomists and landowners across the UK about their businesses, associated pain points and what would be of practical use to farmers.

A vast amount of research and development has been undertaken with businesses such as Velcourt, NIAB, Beeswax Dyson Farming, Spearhead, and BASF to name a few.


Hummingbird began operating in 2016 and since then has covered in excess of 500,000 hectares of arable crops for farmers and agri-businesses. The company currently has over 150 paying customers in 6 countries with over 95 per cent retention rate of customers.

The team have since expanded from 10 to 35 to offer fast reliable information, with data being processed as provided back to the customer within 24hours.

The company offers a range of different services across a range of crops in cereals and vegetables, such as crop stress detection, detection of diseases, weed grass mapping, nutrient management mapping as well as yield prediction and plant counting in row crops. They have also done bespoke work with more unique crops such as Christmas trees and tailored mapping such as pest-damage.

Providing this in time for key decision points throughout the season helps to increase agricultural yields, optimise resource-consumption and sustainably manage land for a better future.

So far the business is commercially operational in the UK, Australia, Russia, Brazil, Ukraine and Canada with plans to grow even further.

The judges said about William: Hummingbird has very rapidly gained traction in the industry, both in the UK and internationally, but understands and is managing effectively the risks and opportunities presented by such rapid growth. They are making significant and impressive impact in the application of machine learning in agriculture and their customer retention rate was highly impressive.”

On winning, Jack William Ellis who represented the company said: “This feels like a fantastic achievement and a validation of all the hard work that has been done to elevate Hummingbird Technologies to the level it has now become. It has been a three and a half year journey and we are now a team of 65 looking to expand internationally. It is a very exciting time to be working in agriculture. “