Irish start-ups in PLA global top 10

Moocall’s wearable technology for cows (fitted to the cow’s tail) alerts the farmer when they are starting to calve.

Ireland’s MagGrow and Moocall are among 10 start-up companies chosen to take part in an international mentorship programme for agri-business innovators with a proven technology ready for market.

MagGrow and Moocall have already won several awards for their technology.

MagGrow’s magnetic spraying technology reduces drift as much as 80% while delivering superior coverage by using fine droplets.

Moocall’s wearable technology for cows accurately predicts when they are starting to calve, and communicates to the farmer via text message.

Another of the Accelerator 10, eFishery from Indonesia, is a fish feeding system that automatically senses the appetite of fish and adjusts the amount of feed accordingly.

SkySquirrel from Canada developed drone-based technology for monitoring crop health, primarily focused on commercial vineyards.

Agriwebb from Australia is a mobile herd and farm management application for cattle, sheep and wool producers, with an online trading platform.

Greengage from the UK provides LED lamps for the farming industry.

Hargol FoodTech from Israel enables producers to grow large quantities of grasshoppers quickly in captivity.

Tevatronic, also from Israel, autonomously times and controls crop irrigation.

Agrilyst from the USA helps growers by gathering data from sensors in their greenhouses.

Alesca Life from China is a turnkey solution for commercial-scale farming anywhere (even urban farming in shipping containers), offering advanced monitoring, automation, climate control, and even cold storage, for scalable, localised food production.

They were among 183 applicants in the Pearse Lyons Accelerator (PLA) programme run by Alltech and Dogpatch Labs, who will work with the companies to accelerate their business development. 

The 10 startups are from Australia, Canada, China, Israel, Ireland, and the US, and they have already collectively raised more than $30 million in funding.

They will benefit from 15 weeks of collaborative learning and seeking new business and/or partnership opportunities, and help from Alltech, the global animal health and nutrition company of which Dr Pearse Lyons is president and founder.

They will have three months of access to Ireland’s leading startup hub, Dogpatch Labs, where a €15,000 cash fund and mentoring will cover areas from product development to strategy and international expansion.

Additional benefits include software perks worth more than €300,000 from companies such as Google, Facebook, Softlayer and Amazon. 

The 10 startups will also present on the main stage at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, May 21–24, to more than 3,000 attendees from nearly 80 countries, including potential future customers, investors, and collaborators.

According to the organisers of the Pearse Lyons Accelerator, agri-tech investment is growing exponentially, with $9.65 billion invested in startups since 2013, including $2bn in the first half of 2016 alone.


Another great aspect of being able to roam around Phoenix Park is the abundance of wild garlic, which flourishes throughout the great expanse.The Currabinny Cooks: going wild with garlic

Dyed purple hair, fake tattoos ... Ophelia Lovibond certainly went against type for her latest role.Succes from Failure: Ophelia Lovibond certainly goes against type for latest role

Keeping plants like lupins and delphiniums happy now will pay off this summer, says Peter DowdallPeter Dowdall: Embark on a perennial quest

Three figures with roles in the Cork band’s trajectory tell Ellie O’Byrne about the legend-in-the-making that was sadly never to be.B-Side the Leeside: Nun Attax and the Knocknaheeny Shuffle

More From The Irish Examiner