Alltech wants to give AgTech startups a clear route to market

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© istock/123ArtistImages
© istock/123ArtistImages

Related tags: 2016

US headquartered animal health and nutrition group, Alltech, is running its AgTech startup accelerator for the second year in a row.

The company said last year’s participants in the three-month long scheme generated more than USD$50m in new qualified sales leads across 28 international markets.

The Pearse Lyons Accelerator program is hosted by Dublin based startup hub, Dogpatch Labs, and concludes at Alltech’s conference in Kentucky in May 2018, where the startups make a pitch to attendees.

Aidan Connolly, chief innovation officer, Alltech, told us the 2017 program focused on technologies in the digital agricultural field but the second edition will include a broader scope of innovation: 

“In 2018, we are looking forward to a wider range of applicants – from all technology areas – and animal nutrition will be a bigger focus.

“We are looking for startups that Alltech can truly accelerate through our global network.”

Early stage investment in agrifood tech startups reached $4.4bn in the first half of 2017, posting a 6% year-over-year increase and reversing the downward trend of 2016 when ag tech investing dropped 17% to $6.9bn from $8.3bn in 2015, noted an AgFunder report​.

Clear route to market

The 2017 edition of the Alltech accelerator program received 183 applications from 38 countries across six continents, and the startups selected hailed from eight different countries with an average funding of $3.5m each and $35m collectively, said the company.

Connolly said the startups that participated last year really benefited from being able to access the global company’s vast network to drive their sales and business development.

“A clear route to market remains a challenge in AgTech and the program is really focused on giving the startups access to a global market.”

The Irish startups MagGrow and Moocall saw a sales boost through participation in the accelerator: “They added USD$35M in qualified sales leads throughout the accelerator, expanding in 14 new markets,”​ said Connolly.

The participants from 2017 continued to raise further funding and many are in the process of having closed Series A investment rounds, he continued.

Seven out of the 10 startups from last year went on to be featured in the top 100 AgTech companies per CB Insight.

“Hargol FoodTech, for example, won the WeWork’s The Creator Award as well as six international innovation competitions.”

Alltech has also launched an Alltech incubator internally. “This is helping to accelerate the commercial development of projects that Alltech views as transformational to the future of agriculture, feed and food production. Although the list of projects Alltech is looking at is confidential, it is likely that some of those projects will join the Alltech Accelerator," ​said Connolly.

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