Pearse Lyons’ global agritech accelerator returns to Dublin

16 Nov 2017672 Views

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Dr Pearse Lyons addressing start-ups at the accelerator at Dogpatch Labs in Dublin. Image: Chris Walla

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Last year’s participants in The Pearse Lyons Accelerator generated more than $40m in new qualified sales leads in 28 international markets.

Alltech founder Dr Pearse Lyons’ agritech accelerator is to return to Dublin for a second run.

The deadline for applications to The Pearse Lyons Accelerator programme will close on 22 December.

‘It is essential to empower the next generation of agtech entrepreneurs who are pioneering for a sustainable future’
– DR PEARSE LYONS

Last year’s participants in The Pearse Lyons Accelerator generated more than $40m between them in new qualified sales leads across 28 international markets. Participants included two local Irish tech firms: Moocall and MagGrow.

The three-month accelerator will return to Dogpatch Labs in Dublin and will conclude at One, the Alltech Ideas Conference where start-ups will present to 4,000 of the world’s agritech leaders.

The effectiveness of the selection process was evident when seven out of the 10 participants in the first year of The Pearse Lyons Accelerator were listed in the top 100 agritech companies by CB Insights.

In its first year, The Pearse Lyons Accelerator received 183 applications from 38 countries across six continents, and the start-ups selected for the 2017 cohort hailed from eight different countries, with an average funding of $3.5m.

Entrepreneurial innovation

Pearse Lyons, Alltech

Alltech founder and president Dr Pearse Lyons speaks at the opening of the Alltech One Ideas Conference in Lexington, Kentucky. Image: Alltech

Louth native Thomas Pearse Lyons worked at Harp Lager and Irish Distillers before emigrating in the 1970s to Kentucky. With just $10,000, he established Alltech in his garage, working on the principle that yeasts and enzymes could be used in animal feed.

Alltech became the fastest-growing company in the global animal health industry through innovative technology, creative marketing and strong branding.

Today, Alltech employs 5,000 people across 100 manufacturing sites, and records annual revenues exceeding $2bn.

“Alltech’s roots are in entrepreneurial innovation and, as a global industry leader, we are well positioned to open doors for the next generation of industry disruptors,” said Lyons.

“It is essential to empower the next generation of agtech entrepreneurs who are pioneering for a sustainable future. I enjoyed working with the start-ups last year and look forward to another successful year.”

Agritech is a burgeoning technology space, with start-ups raising more than $4.4bn in the first half of 2014 alone, according to the AgFunder AgriFood Tech Investing Report.

In Ireland, the area is being bolstered by the creation of a new €20m dedicated agtech fund set up by ISIF and Finistere Ventures.

Dogpatch Labs managing director Patrick Walsh said the biggest challenge to the industry is identifying clear routes to market.

“The programme is really focused on giving the start-ups access to a global market,” he explained.

“Last year saw some amazing outcomes for the participating start-ups. We’re excited to welcome a new cohort from across the world. This programme focuses on a unique environment for the accelerator applicants to drive sales and secure investment as well as mentoring and resources for founders through our connection to the start-up ecosystem.”

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com