Cotter Agritech, ProvEye and Izario have been announced as winners of the three main categories at the inaugural AgTechUCD accelerator programme.
The accelerator programme is an intensive 12-week virtual programme run by University College Dublin (UCD).
It is dedicated to early-stage ag-tech and food-tech start-up companies.
Following final pitches to the judging panel, Cotter Agritech was named the AIB and Yield Lab AgTech Start-up 2022 and received €10,000. Cotter Agritech, a Limerick-based start-up, was founded by brothers Jack and Nick Cotter with a vision of reducing chemical use in agriculture while improving productivity and profitability.
The company has developed a system that uses advanced algorithms to enable livestock farmers transition from blanket-treating animals with anti-parasitic drugs to a very precise application by identifying and targeting only the animals that need treatment.
This approach reduces anti-parasitic drug use by up to 50%, which reduces costs, prevents against parasite resistance and reduces impacts on biodiversity.
ProvEye was named the Ornua Most Innovative AgTech Start-up 2022 and received €10,000.
ProvEye, a UCD spin-out, uses first-to-market intellectual property to process and analyse UAV and satellite imagery to obtain insights into the efficiency and sustainability of the agricultural industry.
The software gives high accuracy in the measurement of crop yield, disease detection, productivity and environmental impact from leaf to field to farm to the national scale.
Izario was named the AgTechUCD One to Watch 2022 and received €8,000 sponsored by Devenish, Herdwatch and Carbery.
The company has developed an autonomous robot that operates in broiler-breeder and commercial egg-laying hen barns.
The robot carries out tasks similar to the farmer, such as picking floor eggs, monitoring bird health and welfare, along with monitoring the shed's environmental outputs.
The robot reduces labour inputs, while also allowing farmers or processors to make informed decisions based on data. The founders of Izario, based in Galway, are Raymond Heneghan and Stepan Dzhanov.
The other start-ups participating in the programme were Beekeeper Tech; CropHound; FodderBox Ltd; Freshgraze and Niskus Biotec.
The programme included dedicated business development workshops and investor readiness training, mentoring from ag-tech and food-tech experts and business advisers, guest speakers and facilitated introductions to AgTechUCD’s venture capital and business angel networks.