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Durham University

Careers & Enterprise Centre


Founders: Luke Young (MBiol Biosciences, 2018); Rory Hornby (MBiol Biosciences, 2018).

Business start date:September 2019

Number of employees: 2

What does your business do?

Agrisea is an Ocean Agriculture company. Our genetic design enhances crops, such as rice, to survive and thrive in our oceans, similar to hydroponics. With our Ocean crops we will create floating ocean farms that can supply regions with a truly sustainable food source. We have a few other projects running too, so stay tuned for some exciting updates.

What made you decide to start your own business?

We share a vision for the future where the world could be better than it is today, we couldn't turn away from that possibility and deemed to at least try. Together, over time, we found a better way and built it into a company.

What impact have you achieved to date?

We are part of the IndieBio incubator in San Francisco and are working on a number of partnerships that will see us reach a global audience. We were also humbled to receive the "Highly Commended" award for the Durham University Blueprint Startup Challenge 2019.

What challenges have you overcome along the way?

Many, many challenges but that is part of the journey. If you aren't experiencing challenges in your startup then you aren't dreaming high enough. For a young biotech company the primary barrier is funding. Seeking partnerships, incubator programs or angel investors can help alleviate this. Just ask your mentors, Durham University Enterprise or local incubators for advice and you will find your own way.

What is your key tip for Durham University students and graduates currently in the process of setting up a business?

Luke - Learn. Learn everything you can, but never compromise on your own values. Don't limit yourself to what you've learnt on your course either, talk to course mates, friends on different courses, read books and always seek to develop your own ideas with whomever and wherever you can. Life is an adventure, don't be afraid to wander.

Rory - Look beyond Durham. It's a great place to start an idea and there will always be a wealth of knowledge and support. But sometimes the best thing is to get out there, see the world and the wealth of opportunities on offer.

Favourite quotes:

Luke - "Integrity is the essence of everything successful" - R. Buckminster Fuller

Rory - "If you don't know what port you are sailing to, no wind is favourable" - Seneca