UCD Lyons Farm

UCD agtech and foodtech accelerator welcomes first intake of nine start-ups

Inaugural Agccelerator programme to run for 12 weeks online
image: UCD Lyons Farm

21 September 2021

The AgTechUCD Innovation Centre today announced the nine start-ups selected to participate in University College Dublin’s new accelerator programme dedicated to early-stage agtech and foodtech start-up companies.

The inaugural AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme is an intensive 12-week virtual programme which includes dedicated business development workshops and investor readiness training, mentoring from agtech and foodtech experts and business advisors, guest speakers and facilitated introductions to AgTechUCD’s venture capital and business angel networks.

Participating start-ups are based in Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Roscommon, Westmeath in addition to Northern Ireland and Tunisia. Programme applications were also received from start-ups based in Chile, Croatia, England, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kenya, The Netherlands and Ukraine.

The entrants include Cotter Agritech, maker of the Cotter Crate, a sheep handling and monitoring system; Izario, which has developed an autonomous poultry robot; and SmartBeeKeeper developer of SmartBee, a cutting-edge hardware and software platform to enable beekeepers monitor and track their beehives.

Tom Flanagan, Director of Enterprise & Commercialisation, NovaUCD, said: “[This] programme received applications from all across Ireland, and indeed from all around the world. This highlights the demand for this accelerator programme in Ireland and the interest from international start-ups underscores Ireland’s leading reputation in the AgTech and FoodTech sectors.”

AgTechUCD, based at UCD Lyons Farm and part of NovaUCD, is focused on accelerating the launch and scaling of agtech and foodtech start-ups in Ireland and has been funded through the Regional Enterprise Development Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland.

“During the next 12-weeks the AgTechUCD Agccelerator programme will focus on supporting the commercial development of the nine participating start-ups. Through the programme we will also be working with the start-ups to help increase their visibility in the marketplace, attract new customers and investors and forge new partnerships, said Niamh Collins, manager, AgTechUCD Innovation Centre.

“AgTech has already established key relationships with strategic players in the agtech and foodtech sectors in Ireland, across Europe and in the US, which will now leverage to support the participating start-ups to launch their products or services into new territories. We now look forward to working with our first cohort on our inaugural AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme.”

The AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme will conclude in early-December when participating start-ups will pitch their businesses to a panel of investors with the opportunity to be awarded prize funding in a number of award categories.

Partners on the AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme include; AIB, The Yield Lab Europe, Bimeda, Devenish, Carberry, Origin Enterprises, Ornua and HerdWatch who are providing financial and mentoring support. Additional mentoring support will be provided by Greencore, Kubota, Dairymaster, Dawn Farms, the Virtual Vet, IFAC, Finistere, Macra Na Feirme, HBAN and Atlantic Bridge.

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