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Twelve start-ups selected for AgTechUCD’s second Agccelerator Programme

Posted 20 October, 2022

Twelve early stage AgTech and Agri-food start-ups have been selected for the AgTechUCD Innovation Centre's second Agccelerator Programme.

The participants are based in Cork, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford and Westmeath, and were chosen due to their global potential.

The 2022 AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme is an intensive 12-week programme, tailored to address the particular needs and challenges facing start-ups in the AgTech and Agri-food sectors.

It is focused on fast tracking the business development and leadership skills of participants and to provide them with the support and guidance needed to accelerate their start-ups in Ireland and internationally.

The selected start-ups are:

  • (opens in a new window)Acregreen, based in Co. Tipperary, is developing an innovative automated vertical farming technology to provide on-site reliable, sustainable and nutritious animal feed in challenging environments where natural resources are in scarce supply. Founder Iain Munro is taking part in the programme.
  • (opens in a new window)Agricom, based in Co. Cork, is focused on leveraging technology to agri-food supply chain digitization to reduce waste and improve resilience towards climate change, economic and environmental events. Founder Nadim Al-Khoury is taking part in the programme.
  • (opens in a new window)Biotec, based in Dublin, provides independent thermal process validation services to the Irish food sector. Biotec has developed a machine learning algorithm that can be used as an early warning food safety management system for food companies to minimise food safety issues. Founders Professor Francis Butler, UCD Centre for Food Safety, UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering and Dr Fergal Tansey are taking part in the programme.
  • (opens in a new window)Dairy Robotics, based in Co. Kildare, is developing products to help alleviate issues facing the dairy industry, including environmental pressures, animal welfare and farm labour shortages. The company’s first product is a device to perform Mobility Scoring and Body Condition Scoring monitoring the health and welfare of a dairy herd. Founder Cormac McHugh is taking part in the programme.
  • (opens in a new window)Farm Fayre, based in Co. Kilkenny, has developed a complete field-to-field online cattle sales solution that connects buyers and sellers of livestock in a convenient, safe, secure and transparent ecosystem. Founder Kevin O’Connor is taking part in the programme.
  • (opens in a new window)MILJO, based in Co. Cork, is developing a modular solution which provides optimal nutrition for a herd based on individual herds’ performance targets to provide the optimal diet for the herds needs while minimising environmental impacts resulting in improved herd performance. Founder Aoife Drennan is taking part in the programme.
  • (opens in a new window)MyGug, based in Co. Cork, has developed a micro-scale anaerobic digester that turns food waste into a green renewable energy source, suitable for homes and small food businesses. Founder Fiona Kelleher is taking part in the programme.
  • (opens in a new window)OptaHaul, based in Co. Westmeath, provides next-generation route optimisation software for sustainable dairy transport. The SaaS optimisation platform helps dairy processors, co-operatives and haulers to reduce transport costs, increase resource efficiency and remove greenhouse gas emissions from farm to plant milk transport. Co-founder Gary Gallagher is taking part in the programme.
  • (opens in a new window)RialtoLabs, based in Dublin, has developed an artificial intelligence solution to take traditional lab analysis into the field and offer the results in near real-time at the point of measurement. Founder Joseph McMahon is taking part in the programme.
  • Sean Phobal Engineering, based in Co. Waterford, has developed a patented trestle rotator machine and a patented caged oyster trestle system. The rotator uses 4 separate hydraulic functions to lift, shake and turn oyster bags to completely remove the need for oyster farmers to perform these tasks manually. Founder Michael French is taking part in the programme.
  • (opens in a new window)Silicate, based in Co. Sligo, is leveraging the power of geochemistry to permanently remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. By processing returned concrete, concrete that is surplus to requirements, and working with farmers to apply it to their fields, as a soil pH amendment, Silicate removes excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores it over geological timescale. Founder Maurice Bryson is taking part in the programme.
  • Well Spent Grain, based in Dublin, is focused on creating high-quality and value-added food products, such as snack bites, from brewers’ spent grain providing a win-win solution for breweries and consumers to positively impact climate change. Founder Sunkyung Choi is taking part in the programme.

Based at the UCD Lyons Farm, AgTechUCD provides access to on-farm experimental facilities, allowing testing and trialling of products and services in a real-world environment.

The Agccelerator Programme includes dedicated business development workshops and investor readiness training, mentoring from industry experts and business advisors, guest speakers and facilitated introductions to AgTechUCD’s venture capital and business angel networks.

“The cohort of start-ups selected to take part in our second Agccelerator Programme are developing disruptive innovations with global potential in the wider AgTech sector,” Niamh Collins, Director, AgTechUCD Innovation Centre.

“Through the AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme we will also be working with the participants to help enhance their visibility in the marketplace, attract new customers and investors and forge new partnerships at home and internationally.”

Adding: “AgTechUCD has established key relationships with strategic players in the agtech and foodtech sectors in Ireland, Europe and in the US, which will leverage to support the participating start-ups to launch or scale their products or services into existing and new territories.”

AgTechUCD, part of NovaUCD, is focused on promoting and accelerating the launch and scaling of start-ups and SMEs in Ireland and internationally, with disruptive innovations in the AgTech, Agri-food and VetTech sectors.

Funded through the Regional Enterprise Development Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland, it supports founding entrepreneurs as they build their innovative businesses into leading enterprises and provides access to incubation space and to on-farm testing for new products and services at UCD Lyons Farm.

Partners on the 2022 AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme include Enterprise Ireland, AIB, The Yield Lab Europe, Devenish, Carbery, Ornua, HerdWatch, IFAC, Thrive/SVG Ventures and The Virtual Vet.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations (with materials from Micéal Whelan, UCD Research and Innovation)