DUNBOYNE, Ie. (Nov. 16, 2017) – Following a highly successful first year, Nicholasville-based animal nutrition specialist Alltech will select another cohort from across the world to participate in The Pearse Lyons Accelerator, a unique global accelerator backed by Irish entrepreneur Dr. Pearse Lyons. The three-month program will be hosted at Ireland’s leading startup hub, Dogpatch Labs, and will conclude in Lexington in 2018 on the main stage at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, where startups will have the unique opportunity to present to more than 4,000 attendees and some of the premier thought leaders in the world.
Last year’s startups collectively added $50 million in new qualified sales leads across 28 international markets by the end of the accelerator. Last month, seven of the 10 startups were featured by CB Insights* in “Agtech: 100+ Technology Companies Changing The Farm,” illustrating the quality of the startups involved. The accelerator was described as “by far streets ahead of any ag-tech accelerator out there,” according to Gary Wickham, CEO of MagGrow, one of the participants in the 2017 accelerator. Since completing the accelerator last year, Hargol FoodTech won WeWork’s The Creator Award, six international innovation competitions as well as closing a $2.5M round of funding.
Activity in ag-tech continues to grow, with startups raising more than $4.4 billion in the first half of 2017 alone, according to the AgFunder AgriFood Tech Investing Report, in no small part due to an ever-increasing global population. The latest forecast from the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs predicts that between now and the close of the century, our global population will increase from 7.6 billion to more than 11 billion people. The question of where our food comes from and how we produce it is becoming more and more pressing.
“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 Dr. Lyons. “It is essential to empower the next generation of ag-tech entrepreneurs who are pioneering for a sustainable future.”
In its first year, The Pearse Lyons Accelerator received 183 applications from 38 countries across six continents, and the startups selected for the 2017 cohort hailed from eight different countries with an average funding of $3.5 million each and $35 million collectively.
The startups had direct access to the founder and management of Alltech as well as the ability to drive business development through Alltech’s global network. That first startup program culminated in May 2017 in Lexington during Alltech’s annual symposium, which attracts several thousand participants from around the world. At ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, the startups pitched to leading agri-business leaders, high-profile investors and the press.
The startups shared the stage with thought leaders such as Peter Diamandis, founder and executive chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation and co-founder of Singularity University, and George Blankenship, former executive at Tesla Motors, Apple Computer and GAP Inc.
A clear route to market remains a challenge in the industry, and this program seeks to accelerate startups’ access to this global market, with a comprehensive package of support to help them navigate the challenge of scaling their operations to service large corporate customers.
“Last year saw some amazing outcomes for the participating startups,” said Patrick Walsh, managing director of Dogpatch Labs. “We’re excited to welcome a new cohort from across the world. This program 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 startup ecosystem.”
The deadline for applications to The Pearse Lyons Accelerator program will close on Dec. 22, 2017.