University College Dublin, through the AgTechUCD Innovation Centre, has announced the unveiling of an accelerator programme dedicated to early-stage agtech and foodtech startup companies. 

L-R: Shane Whelan, agri-strategist, AIB, Nicky Deasy, managing partner, the Yield Lab Europe, Niamh Collins, manager, AgTechUCD Innovation Centre and James Maloney, senior regional development executive, Enterprise Ireland. Photo: Conor McCabe Photography

The AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme, commencing this September, is an intensive 12-week programme (two mornings per week online), which includes dedicated business development workshops and investor readiness training, mentoring from agtech and foodtech experts and business advisors, guest speakers and facilitated introductions to AgTechUCD’s venture capital and business angel networks.

Accelerating launch and scaling of agtech and foodtech startups

AgTechUCD, based at UCD Lyons Farm and part of NovaUCD, is focused on accelerating the launch and scaling of agtech and foodtech startups in Ireland and 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, through 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.

The programme concludes in early December when all participating startups will pitch their businesses to a panel of investors with the opportunity to be awarded prize funding in a number of award categories.

Partners include; AIB, The Yield Lab Europe, Bimeda, Devenish, Carberry, Origin Enterprises, Ornua and HerdWatch who are providing financial and mentoring support. Additional mentoring support will be provided by Greencore, Kubota, Diarymaster, the Virtual Vet, Finistere, Macra Na Feirme and Atlantic Bridge.  Participating startups will have access to specific supports from AWS Activation, Catalyze, Deloitte and FR Kelly.

"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, said Niamh Collins, manager, AgTechUCD Innovation Centre.

New territories

“The programme team has built strong relationships with strategic players in the ag and food tech sector in Europe and in the US, which will help the startup founders to launch their products or services into new territories. We now look forward to working with our first cohort on our inaugural AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme.”

James Maloney, senior regional development executive, Enterprise Ireland, said: “This programme really is the best kickstart for all start-ups in the agri and foodtech sectors. Ireland has and will always play a key part in shaping the future of food and science globally. Enterprise Ireland are delighted to support this key initiative through the AgTechUCD Innovation Centre.”

Nicky Deasy, managing partner, the Yield Lab Europe, said: "As one of Europe's largest seed stage specialist agrifood tech venture capital funds, we look forward to finding the best and brightest Irish startups, and supporting them to achieve international success, from this important early-stage programme."

“The Irish agrifood sector, at all levels, is an integral part of the Irish economy and indeed our own business here in AIB”, said Denis Dudley, AIB head of business banking, Branch Network.

For further information on the programme and to apply visit