Feed Innovation

Irish start-up wants to digitize the feed industry

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

Feed operations from haulage firms to mills have to deal with 'tons of paperwork' says Contomply managing director, Thomasina Maguire  Image © iStock/baloon111
Feed operations from haulage firms to mills have to deal with 'tons of paperwork' says Contomply managing director, Thomasina Maguire Image © iStock/baloon111
Contomply is an Irish firm with a new web-based application directly targeting the feed industry. 

The company said its technology is designed to eliminate existing paper based systems, save time and increase business efficiency in the haulage, storage and milling sectors of the livestock feed sector.

The application is aimed at tracking trade assurance scheme requirements with the goal of providing full audit compliance, said Contomply managing director, Thomasina Maguire.

“We started in 2015 but began really ramping up things this year; however we are still at the very early stage of development,”​ she told us.

Maguire said the two person team behind the young company has “strong domain knowledge”,​ a competency she reckons makes the difference in terms of developing technology tailored to feed operations.

She has a background in management and start-ups, while the other shareholder, Colm Shearman, is a feed consultant with over 30 years of experience in the sector. 

Funding

Contomply has won investment backing to the tune of €55,000 after being chosen from a group of 150 start-ups to participate in a leading Irish accelerator program, NDRC Female Founders, a partnership between Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund (CSF) and incubator, NDRC.

“We applied for the CSF program in March [2016], pitched in April and officially began residency in NDRC in June,”​ said Maguire.

The CFS program, she added, enables access to an extensive network of investors, mentors and fellow entrepreneurs.

“Following the six month placement, the start-up is placed in front of follow-on investors. The NDRC will take [in our case] a 1% share in the company so it has a vested interest in seeing the start-ups succeed,”​ explained Maguire.

© iStock/ iqoncept
Start-up looks to make compliance with feed safety assurance schemes less burdensome Image © iStock/igoncept

Transparency

She sees the online application, which has been developed in collaboration with an IT specialist focused on building agile platforms, as improving communication and transparency throughout the feed industry.

“Feed trade associations and many parties in the feed arena are committed to raising the bar in relation to safety and quality, and the consumer and retail outlets are demanding much more from suppliers in relation to quality and traceability.

“We have launched a haulage application and we are now finalizing [arrangements with] partners from mills and storage facilities, who have an interest in working with us in developing the application for their [particular] needs,”​ continued the MD.

Animal feed related businesses, from transport to manufacturing, have to deal with “tons of paperwork”​ so operators, she said, have been eager to hear more about how the online program could make reporting less burdensome.

The application is aimed initially at SME scale feed companies, she added. 

And the co-founder has ambitions to eventually move into the UK and possibly Europe down the line: “The Irish feed industry is relatively small so we would eventually look to expand into other markets. Certainly, it would be an easy crossover into the UK based on assurance scheme equivalence."

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