Eight new start-up companies have been selected for AgTech UCD’s accelerator programme for 2023.
The announcement of the list was made at the AgTechUCD Innovation Centre on Friday.
The eight picks by AgTech cover a range of industries within agriculture, agri-food and the equine sector.
Agri Data Analytics Ireland is developing the Bovine Breathalyser, a non-invasive machine that measures enteric methane emissions from ruminants.
The Co Offaly company, founded by Jack Pilkington and Alan O’Donovan, was recently named winner of the AgTechUCD start-up award as part of the 2023 Innovation Arena competition, hosted by Enterprise Ireland at Ploughing 2023.
The second company, Pitseal, was founded by Marian Cantillon and is based in Co Limerick.
It has developed a biofilm spray, comprising of unique strains of seaweed and nutrients that form an airtight, water-repellent seal over silage pits, eliminating the need for plastic sheeting and weights.
The third pick by AgTech, Burpeez is developing an edible net wrap for silage bales. Once the outer bale plastic has been removed, the net wrapped silage bale can be safely fed to ruminant animals.
The net wrap 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.
Moonsyst was the next pick. It has developed a smart rumen bolus system. The smart bolus is orally administered by a farmer or veterinary and remains in the cow’s rumen.
It is designed to alert dairy and beef farmers to any health, calving and breeding events on farm, all easily readable on a mobile phone and web application.
The co-founder of Moonsyst, based in Co Cork, is Desmond Savage.
Another of the eight companies selected, PolyBo offers a unique bolus platform technology. Being composed of FDA-approved bioresorbable polymers, the system allows for a tailorable release-rated of included 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.
Another pick, Prepsheets streamlines hospitality operations, consolidating ingredients and recipes into one platform.
This tool centralises supplier data, providing chefs with precise portion costs, weights, calories and nutrients, eliminating waste, increasing profits and reducing environmental impact.
The co-founders of Prepsheets, based in Dublin, are Brian Beattie and Tara Beattie.
Spread It, another of the eight, has developed a plastic moulded shoe attachment that fits on to the end of each dribble bar pipe on a low emissions slurry spreader to improve the spreading coverage of the slurry and minimise and potential slurry caking.
The co-founders of Spread It, based in Co Galway, are Tom Turley and Stephen McKeown.
Finally, 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.
The 2023 AgTechUCD 'agccelerator' programme, which has just commenced, is a 12-week hybrid programme, tailored to address the particular needs and challenges facing start-ups in the agtech, agrifood and equine sectors.
The programme is focused on fast-tracking the business development and leadership skills of participants and providing them with the support and guidance needed to accelerate their start-ups in Ireland and on the global stage.
The programme includes dedicated business development workshops and investor readiness training, mentoring from industry experts and business advisers, guest speakers and facilitated introductions to AgTechUCD’s venture capital and business networks.
AgTechUCD Innovation Centre manager Leo McGrane said: "We are looking forward to the next 12 weeks as we focus on supporting the commercial development of the participating start-ups as they further develop their disruptive agtech, agrifood and equine-tech innovations with global potential.”