Start-Ups Moonsyst and PitSeal Announced as Winners of AgTechUCD’s Third Accelerator Programme
AgTechUCD today announced Moonsyst and PitSeal as the winners of University College Dublin’s (UCD) third annual accelerator programme dedicated to early-stage start-ups with global potential in the AgTech, Agrifood, Equine and Veterinary sectors.
The focus of the 12-week intensive AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme is on fast tracking the commercial and leadership skills of participants and to provide them with the support and guidance needed to accelerate their start-ups in Ireland and on the global stage.
Following a final pitching event, held at the AgTechUCD Innovation Centre at UCD Lyons Farm in Co. Kildare, Moonsyst was named the AIB and Yield Lab AgTech Start-up 2024 and received a €10k prize, and PitSeal was named the FBD AgTech One to Watch 2024 and received a €10k prize.
Gary Ryan, Director, AgTechUCD, said, "I would like to congratulate Moonsyst and PitSeal, both with international ambition and the passion to drive their concepts forward, as winners of our third AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme. Our programme aims to support the commercial development of the participating start-ups by helping them to further develop their innovative solutions, to enhance their marketplace visibility, to attract new customers and investors and to build new partnerships at home and on the international stage.”
Moonsyst has developed a Smart Rumen Monitoring solution that collects real-time information from inside cattle, an ingestible ‘Fitbit’ for cows. This information enables farmers to accurately detect heats, monitor health conditions and ultimately improve productivity. The solution is supported by cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) software that can be accessed on a phone and/or PC, anywhere, anytime.
The software uses artificial intelligence (AI) to predict health and reproduction events related to the animal. The more information collected the more accurate alerts become, helping the farmer with livestock management 24/7.
The co-founders of Moonsyst, based in Co. Cork and Hungary, are Desmond Savage and Peter Gesler. PJ Maguire, Sales Lead, Moonsyst completed the programme.
Pictured (l-r) are, David Bowles, The Yield Lab; Liam Phelan, AIB; Desmond Savage, Co-founder, Moonsyst, PJ Maguire, Sales Lead, Moonsyst and Gary Ryan, Director, AgTechUCD
Desmond Savage, co-founder and COO, Moonsyst said, “It is a privilege for Moonsyst to accept the AIB and Yield Lab AgTech Start-up 2024 Award, following the completion of the third AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme.
Based on the standard of all the companies who presented, the Agtech sector in Ireland will continue to grow from strength to strength. I would like to compliment AgTechUCD on the quality of the Agccelerator programme and thank the sponsors for their generous support.”
Moonsyst has been supported to date with funding from the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Cork North and West and was recently successful in securing match funding investment through Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) programme.
PitSeal is an eco-friendly biofilm spray comprised of unique strains of seaweed and nutrients that forms an airtight, water-repellent seal over silage pits, eliminating the need for plastic sheeting and weights. PitSeal also reduces plastic waste and reduces greenhouse gas emissions upon consumption by livestock.
PitSeal, based in Co. Limerick, was founded by Marion Cantillon who is currently a PhD Walsh Scholar at Teagasc and University College Cork.
Pictured (l-r) are, Mary B. Dunphy, FBD Insurance; Gary Ryan, Director, AgTechUCD and Marion Cantillon, PitSeal
Marion Cantillon, founder, PitSeal, said, “I am thrilled that PitSeal has been named the FBD AgTech One to Watch 2024 following the completion of this year’s AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme.”
She added, “The invaluable guidance and mentorship that PitSeal received throughout the programme has positioned us well to further develop and expand our team as we roll out on our test farms. The recognition from AgTechUCD, FBD Insurance, and the panel of judges has significantly strengthened our ambition to grow PitSeal and reach as many farmers as possible. Special thanks also to all the mentors and farmers who have supported me from the beginning.”
She concluded, “PitSeal is thrilled to have received support and funding from AgTechUCD, FBD Insurance, Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Limerick and IGNITE University College Cork thus far, and we are excited to expand our team and bring in new talent to drive our mission forward.”
The AgTechUCD Innovation Centre, which officially opened late last year, is part of NovaUCD, and is the first and only on-farm workspace hub in Ireland. Its focus is to promote and accelerate early-stage start-ups and SMEs with innovative solutions in the agri, agtech, agrifood, equine and veterinary sectors, as they build their businesses into leading job creating companies on the national and global stage.
The AgTechUCD Innovation Centre, funded through the Regional Enterprise Development Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland, supports founding entrepreneurs as they grow their companies into leading enterprises, through the AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme, and by providing access to incubation space and opportunities for on-farm trials of new products and services at UCD Lyons Farm.
A total of twenty-seven (27) start-ups have now completed the three AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme held to date.
Tom Flanagan, Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation, NovaUCD, “Through the AgTechUCD Innovation Centre we look forward to continuing to support this latest cohort of start-ups who are based all across Ireland. As they launch their products and services into markets in Ireland and abroad, they are disrupting the agtech industry, creating opportunities for a more sustainable agri-future with highly applicable and relevant solutions.”
The members of AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme final judging panel were; David Bowles, The Yield Lab; Mary B. Dunphy, FBD Insurance; James Maloney, Enterprise Ireland; Danny O'Brien, SVG Ventures | THRIVE; Liam Phelan, AIB; Niamh Sterling, Dogpatch Labs; Faye Walsh Drouillard, WakeUp Capital and Tom Flanagan, NovaUCD (Chair).
Pictured (l-r) are Danny O'Brien, SVG Ventures | THRIVE; Niamh Sterling, Dogpatch Labs; Mary B. Dunphy, FBD Insurance; Marion Cantillon, PitSeal; David Bowles, The Yield Lab; Faye Walsh Drouillard, WakeUp Capital; Tom Flanagan, NovaUCD; James Maloney, Enterprise Ireland; and Liam Phelan, AIB.
Partners on the AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme included; AIB, The Yield Lab Europe and FBD Insurance, who provided financial and mentoring support.
Additional mentoring support was provided by Alltech, Herdwatch, IFAC, Furthr, Amazon Web Services, SOS Ventures, Tirlán, Terra Nutritech, Forcefield Active Technology, Health Bridge Technology, Flynn O’Driscoll, Manzor Marketing, Alpha Omega Consultants, Fifty Shades Greener, Enterprise Ireland and several independent mentors.
The other start-ups (profiled below) who completed the third AgTechUCD Agccelerator programme in addition to Moonsyst and PitSeal were; Agri Data Analytics Ireland; Burpeez; PolyBo; Prepsheets Spread It and Trojan Track.
1 February 2024
For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications and Media Relations Manager, UCD Research and Innovation, e: email@example.com.
Profiles of the other participating start-ups in the third AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme;
Agri Data Analytics Ireland is developing ‘The Bovine Breathalyser’, a non-invasive machine that measures enteric methane emissions from ruminants. Allowing for genetic optimisation of the herd to produce less CO2, while maintaining high beef/dairy production. The Co. Offaly based company was founded by Jack Pilkington and Alan O’Donovan.
Burpeez is developing an edible netwrap for silage bales. Once the outer bale plastic has been removed, the netwrapped silage bale can be safely fed to ruminant animals. The netwrap will be fortified with postponed-release additives to decrease the rate of burping in cattle; reducing methane released during digestion. The founder of Burpeez, based in Co. Clare, is Paul Connellan.
PolyBo offers a unique bolus platform technology. Being composed of FDA approved bioresorbable polymers, the system allows for a tailorable release rated of contained ingredients such as trace elements or vitamins, vital for ruminant livestock. The co-founders of PolyBo, based in Co. Westmeath, are Declan Colbert and Luke Geever.
Prepsheets streamlines hospitality operations, consolidating ingredients and recipes into one platform. This tool centralises supplier data, providing chefs precise portion costs, weights, calories, and nutrients. Eliminating waste, increasing profits and reducing environmental impact. The founders of Prepsheets, based in Dublin, are Brian Beattie and Tara Beattie. https://prepsheets.com/
Spread It is a plastic moulded shoe attachment that fits onto the end of each dribble bar pipe on a low emission slurry spreader to improve the spreading coverage of the slurry and minimise potential slurry caking. The co-founders of Spread It, based in Co. Galway, are Tom Turley and Stephen McKeown.
Trojan Track is addressing a key problem in equine care, unnoticed injuries. By combining biomechanical analysis with cutting-edge deep neural network technology, Trojan Track provides quick and accurate analysis of a horse’s movement and performance, using just a smartphone camera and a tripod. The founder of Trojan Track, based in Co. Kildare, is Stephen O’Dwyer. www.trojantrack.ie
The goal of AgTechUCD is to bring together the AgTech and FoodTech ecosystem in Ireland to accelerate the launch and scaling of AgTech and FoodTech companies. AgTechUCD, led by NovaUCD, and funded through the Regional Enterprise Development Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland. https://www.ucd.ie/innovation/about-agtechucd/ and @AgTechUCD