3 Irish agritech start-ups win big at UCD acceleratorVish Gainon January 19, 2022 at 12:25 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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Three Irish agritech start-ups have been awarded today (19 January) at the inaugural AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme hosted by University College Dublin (UCD) for their innovations in the sector.

The programme was an intensive 12-week virtual accelerator for nine early-stage start-ups in the agritech and foodtech space. It included workshops, training and mentoring from experts in the space as well as the opportunity to connect with venture capital and angel investment networks.

Cotter Agritech emerged as winner of the AIB and Yield Lab AgTech Start-up, while ProvEye was named the Ornua Most Innovative AgTech Start-up – winning €10,000 each. Izario was declared AgTechUCD One to Watch and received €8,000 sponsored by Devenish, Herdwatch and Carbery.

Tom Flanagan, director of enterprise and commercialisation at NovaUCD, congratulated the three start-ups on winning the inaugural awards and said that the recognition will “increase their visibility in the marketplace” and help attract new customers and investors.

“It was great to see the level of international interest in this programme highlighting Ireland’s and UCD’s global reputation for innovation in the agritech and foodtech sectors and we look forward to running another AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme,” he added.

Cotter Agritech

Founded by brothers Jack and Nick Cotter, this start-up built Cotter Crate, a sheep monitoring system that uses both hardware and software to help farmers keep keep track of their animals and identify which ones need treatment. The brothers are young entrepreneurs who won the Engineers Ireland Student Innovator of The Year Award in 2019 and best agri-engineering start-up at the 2019 Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena Awards.

Cotter Agritech has recently concluded research trials with UCD, Queen’s University Belfast and 18 commercial farmers across Ireland and the UK which have validated the system – with a product launch scheduled for next month.

ProvEye

ProvEye is a UCD spin-out that was co-founded by Dr Jerome O’Connell and Prof Nick Holden. The duo developed technology aimed at drone manufacturers, farm machinery manufacturers, agri-input providers, agricultural enterprises and data aggregators.

ProvEye’s tech removes noise from image data, making it easier to understand and derive insights. It also works with multinationals and SMEs to develop cutting-edge remote sensing and geographic information system tools applied to various use cases through its consultancy service.

Izario

This poultry-focused start-up from Galway develops autonomous robots that use AI and computer vision software to detect and retrieve eggs laid by hens in broiler-breeder and commercial henhouses. This aims to help poultry businesses save labour costs and time.

Izario’s technology is also able to monitor hen welfare and the environmental status of the sheds, giving farmers data to help with decision-making. It was founded by Raymond Heneghan and Stepan Dzhanov.

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