University College Dublin has launched a new accelerator programme specifically geared towards agtech and foodtech start-ups. The programme is being funded by the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, administered by Enterprise Ireland, and is being rolled out through NovaUCD, the university’s Innovation Centre.
Fittingly named the AgTechUCD’s ‘agcelerator programme’, the initiative will support founding entrepreneurs to build their innovative businesses into leading enterprises. Along with business development workshops, investor readiness training, expert mentorship, guest speakers and facilitated introductions to AgTechUCD’s venture capital network, the programme will offer access to incubation space and on-farm testing for new products at UCD’s own Lyons Farm.
The 12-week intensive programme will begin in September and include two weekly online sessions. It will culminate with the opportunity for all participating start-ups to pitch their business to a panel of investors in various award categories in a bid to receive support and funding.
Partners available on the programme include The Yield Lab, Carberry, AIB, Kubota, Deloitte, FR Kelly, Ornua, Catalyze and Atlantic Bridge.
Niamh Collins, who joined as Manager of AgTech Innovation Centre earlier this year, said: “The programme team has built strong relationships with strategic plays in the Ag and FoodTech sector in Europe and in the US, which will help the start-up founders to launch their products or services into new territories.
“In addition to helping participating start-ups with their commercial development, the programme will also shine a spotlight on the start-ups, enabling them to increase their visibility and attract new customers and investors and to develop new partnerships.”, she added.
James Maloney, Senior Regional Development Executive at Enterprise Ireland calls the programme “the best kickstart for all start-ups in the Ag and FoodTech sectors.”
“Ireland has and will always play a key part in shaping the future of food and science globally.” Maloney said. “Enterprise Ireland is delighted to support this key initiative through the AgTechUCD Innovation Centre”.