As ag-tech activity surges, Alltech’s global accelerator program continues to attract top startups

A unique global accelerator backed by the late Dr. Pearse Lyons, Irish entrepreneur and founder of Alltech

Six of last year’s accelerators featured in the Global Top 100 ag-tech startups

The Pearse Lyons Accelerator evolves to include internal startups; Alltech takes leadership role in the growing trend of “intrapreneurship”

Following a highly successful first year of The Pearse Lyons Accelerator, a second cohort of startups are preparing to present on the mainstage at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference. The Pearse Lyons Accelerator is a unique late-stage, agri-tech accelerator run by Alltech and Dogpatch Labs that aims to address a diverse set of challenges facing agriculture today.

 

Backed by the late Irish entrepreneur Dr. Pearse Lyons, last year’s startups collectively added $50 million in new qualified sales leads across 28 international markets by the end of the accelerator. Six of the 10 startups were featured by CB Insights Global Top 100 Agtech Startups*, illustrating the quality of the startups involved.

A recent study by McKinsey & Company showed that agriculture is the least-digitized industry sector in the world. However, as activity in ag-tech continues to grow, this landscape is rapidly set to change. In 2017, investment in ag-tech startups has surged, and it was the second-fastest growing subsector in tech according to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report.

 

“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 Aidan Connolly, chief innovation officer at Alltech. “The accelerator enables us to have visibility into the most interesting ag-tech startups across the world and enables us to empower entrepreneurs who are creating compelling new value propositions and are pioneering a sustainable future.”

A clear route to market remains a challenge within the industry, and the Alltech program provides startups with accelerated access to the global market, with a comprehensive package of support to help them navigate the challenge of scaling their operations to service large corporate customers. The program is run in

conjunction with Dogpatch Labs, a leading startup organization based in Dublin, Ireland, and culminates at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, where the startups pitched to leading agribusiness leaders, high-profile investors and the press.

Following the success of last year’s accelerator, Dr. Lyons saw an opportunity to rapidly advance in-house ideas by offering Alltech staff the opportunity to join the program and build internal startups. These teams started in an early stage “incubator” program, and four internal startups subsequently joined the accelerator program to work alongside the external startups.

“To succeed in today’s world, an era in which technology is disrupting every industry, companies need new tools and approaches to drive transformational growth,” added Connolly. “We believe there are great ideas in every company. Last year, we launched one of the top global ag-tech accelerators, and this year, we are enabling our staff to cultivate their ideas and to think like entrepreneurs.”

“Last year saw some terrific outcomes for the participating startups,” said Patrick Walsh, founder of Dogpatch Labs. “This year, we’ve seen how Alltech has really embraced startup culture, making it central to its own culture by allowing internal entrepreneurs the freedom to accelerate their own ideas. It’s another example of how Alltech continues to be at the cutting edge of business innovation.”