The AgTechUCD Innovation Centre today announced that applications are now open for early-stage AgTech and Agri-food start-ups with global potential, from Ireland and internationally, to join its dedicated accelerator programme.
The 2022 AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme, commencing this October, is an intensive 12-week programme, which 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.
AgTechUCD is focused on promoting and accelerating the launch and scaling of start-ups and SMEs, with disruptive innovations in Ireland and Europe, in the AgTech, Agri-food and VetTech sectors, as they build their innovative businesses into leading companies on the global stage.
AgTechUCD, based at UCD Lyons Farm and part of NovaUCD, has been funded through the Regional Enterprise Development Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland.
AgTechUCD supports founding entrepreneurs as they build their innovative businesses into leading enterprises, though the AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme, and by providing access to incubation space and to on-farm testing for new products and services at UCD Lyons Farm.
Niamh Collins, Director, AgTechUCD, said, “Following the success of our inaugural programme last year we are delighted to announce that we are now seeking applications from agri, agtech and agri-food start-ups, who want to accelerate and scale on the international stage, for our 2022 AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme.”
She added, “This dedicated programme is tailored to address the particular needs and challenges facing start-ups in these sectors and aims to fast track the business development and leadership skills of participants and to provide them with the support and guidance needed to accelerate their start-ups.”
Partners on the AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme, include, Enterprise Ireland, AIB, The Yield Lab Europe, Devenish, Carberry, Ornua, HerdWatch, IFAC, Thrive/SVG Ventures and The Virtual Vet who are supporting the programme.
James Maloney, Senior Development Adviser, Agritech, Climate and Sustainability, Enterprise Ireland, said, “Ireland plays a key part in shaping the future of food and science globally and participating in the AgTechUCD Agccelerator programme is a fantastic kickstart opportunity for start-ups in the agri, agtech and agri-food sectors. Enterprise Ireland is delighted to continue to support this key accelerator programme through the AgTechUCD Innovation Centre.”
David Bowles, Managing Partner, The Yield Lab Europe, said, “Innovative agri-food technologies are among the leading ways in which Ireland will deliver on its climate change commitments. As Europe’s leading early-stage Sustainable AgTech investor, we are delighted to once again be supporting the AgTechUCD Agccelerator programme as they find and support exciting early-stage companies in Ireland and internationally.”
Among the eight start-ups which successfully completed the 2021 AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme are CropHound and ProvEye.
CropHound, based in Belfast and founded by Mark Elliott, uses remote sensors and artificial intelligence to monitor crop health, growing conditions and crop potential from planting to harvest giving early insights and recommendations to users. CropHound enables farmers and growers to increase yields and decrease their costs and carbon footprint through reductions in chemical usage and unnecessary trips to check.
Mark Elliott, founder, CropHound said, “Participating in AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme was an excellent experience for CropHound. As well as great mentors and workshops we got the chance to meet some amazing Agtech entrepreneurs from across Ireland and internationally. I would highly recommend this accelerator programme to any start-up in the Agtech sector.”
ProvEye, a UCD spin-out, provides advanced processing software to derive quantitative data from images, collected by drones and other platforms, at unprecedent levels of accuracy, which can be used to create actionable management decisions in agriculture, conservation and environmental monitoring. The founders of ProvEye are Dr Jerome O’Connell and Professor Nick Holden, UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering.
Dr Jerome O’Connell, co-founder, ProvEye said, “We found the programme to be hugely beneficial in helping us focus on the customer and their needs as we readied our solution for the market. We also made some great connections in the agtech industry through the programme, many of which we are engaging with on a regular basis today. This has been a real bonus for us.”
The 2022 AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme will conclude next January when all participating start-ups will pitch their businesses to a panel of investors with the opportunity to be awarded prize funding.
For further information on the 2022 AgTechUCD Agccelerator programme and to apply visit https://www.ucd.ie/innovation/agtechucd-agccelerator-programme/.