Moonsyst and PitSeal win AgTechUCD 2024 accelerator

1 Feb 2024

From left: Moonsyst co-founder Desmond Savage, sales lead PJ Maguire and PitSeal founder Marion Cantillon. Image: Nick Bradshaw/Fotonic

Moonsyst has developed an ingestible device to monitor cattle health, while PitSeal has created an eco-friendly biofilm spray for silage pits.

Irish agritech start-ups Moonsyst and PitSeal have been announced as winners of the third AgTechUCD accelerator after a pitching event at University College Dublin (UCD).

The AgTechUCD Accelerator Programme is an intensive 12-week accelerator that aims to help Irish agritech and food-tech start-ups grow to the national and global stage, by helping founders learn leadership skills, build their confidence and support their businesses.

A final pitching event was held at the AgTechUCD Innovation Centre at UCD Lyons Farm in Kildare. At this event, Moonsyst was named the AIB and Yield Lab AgTech Start-up 2024 and received a €10,000 prize. Meanwhile, PitSeal was named the FBD AgTech One to Watch 2024, which also came with a €10,000 prize.

The AgTechUCD Innovation Centre officially opened last year and contains 250 hectares of farmland that is used for research, teaching and supporting start-ups in the agritech sector.

Moonsyst is a Cork-based start-up that has developed a Smart Rumen Monitoring device, which it describes as an ingestible Fitbit for cows. The software uses AI to predict health and reproduction events for these animals.

The start-up says its device is easily swallowed and designed to stay inside cattle for their entire lifecycle, letting farmers detect heats, monitor health conditions and improve productivity.

PitSeal is a start-up founded from the University College Cork Ignite programme and has developed an eco-friendly biofilm spray to cover silage pits. The start-up says this spray is comprised of unique strains of seaweed and nutrients that forms an airtight, water-repellent seal, eliminating the need for plastic sheeting and weights for silage pits.

PitSeal also claims this biofilm reduces plastic waste and reduces greenhouse gas emissions when consumed by livestock.

“I would like to congratulate Moonsyst and PitSeal, both with international ambition and the passion to drive their concepts forward, as winners of our third AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme,” said AgTechUCD director Gary Ryan.

“Our programme aims to support the commercial development of the participating start-ups by helping them to further develop their innovative solutions, to enhance their marketplace visibility, to attract new customers and investors, and to build new partnerships at home and on the international stage.”

Last year saw Irish agritech start-ups MyGug and OptaHaul declared winners of the second AgTechUCD accelerator.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic