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Starting a business from scratch is an adventure.

In the episodes below we dig deep into the systems, secrets, and stories of remarkable people who dropped everything to start a healthy profitable business.

Feb 11, 2018

Our guest today has perhaps one of the smartest solutions to a specific problem that's plagued beekeepers for centuries. Her and the Beecorp team are taking on some of the key issues around a dying community of animals that we actually really need. Ellie Symes shares her story, how BeeCorp is solving key issues for beekeepers, and what she's learned from being a CEO.

We're glad you joined us.


Early Memories of Entrepreneurship

While Ellie never really saw herself as growing up to be an entrepreneur, she did start a couple of businesses as a kid.  Her favorite was a dog walking  business when she was just six years old.  Not very many people wanted to let a six year old take their dogs but it was Ellie’s solution to not being allowed to have a dog herself.

What is BeeCorp?

BeeCorp builds analytic software for beekeepers.  Their first product can tell when a queen bee dies.  The queen is the most important member of a hive because she has all of the babies and builds the community.  When the queen dies the other bees go into major housekeeping mode instead of creating honey.  Eventually the bees will just leave.  BeeCorp helps beekeepers realize this sooner and solve the issue before the hive dies.

How have beekeepers responded?

They love the technology piece, the alerts are super helpful and the beekeeper are actually providing BeeCorp a ton of information so they know what new products to build.

How did Ellie come up with the idea?

Ellie has been a beekeeper for 6 years and she’s always loved it.  She even started a Beekeeping club in college.  Colony collapse was just starting to get

What is the current state of the honey bee world?

The world has one-third of the population of bees we had in the 1960s.  Climate change, pesticides, globalization, and beekeepers themselves are all continbuting to the problem.  Ellie knows that she can’t necessarily solve the problem but her goal is to help beekeepers catch some of the results on their hives so they can diagnose the problem and fix it.

What about hive theft and vandalism?

Both are actually a major problem in the beekeeping world.

Beekeepers actually steal hive from each other a lot. Beecorp clients have GPS senbsors in the hive so it can be found and the theaf could be prosecuted.

As for vandalism, the Beecorp sensors can tell the beekeeper quickly so that they can go out, fix the hive and save it for total demise.­­­

What was a major gut check in the evolution of BeeCorp?

They were raising money and they’d received a fair amount but they weren’t quite there yet.  Ultimately one of the founders asked their landlord who pulled through along with another few final investors.

How does the feeling of business ownership change once you get funded?

The pressure of having other peoples money is a huge difference.  Ellie

An important moment of business ownership?

What do you love about owning a business?

Having control over what you do and how you do it and create the culture of a community

What’s one thing you can’t stand?

Ellie can’t stand receiving all of the sales calls.  Her number is on the website

Where will BeeCorp be 5 years down the road?

Ellie and the BeeCorp team They want to be an employer that employees love to be at, keep hive and do research in an innovative way.  Have more technical solutions for the problems beekeepers face.  Build a database of information


Special thanks to Ellie Symes for taking the time to share the BeeCorp story with us.

Mentioned in the show:



Hoshin Matrix

Hanapin Marketing

Shine Insurance

Music by Mark Vinten

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