Farming & Fisheries

Kinsale agtech start-up wins €10,000 prize

February 16th, 2024 5:30 PM

By Southern Star Team

Moonsyst co founder and chief operating officer Desmond Savage with sales lead PJ Maguire and Marion Cantillon, founder of PitSeal, two start ups recognised at the accelerator programme. (Photo: Nick Bradshaw)

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A WEST Cork agtech company has won a €10,000 start-up prize as part of University College Dublin’s annual accelerator programme. The UCD programme is dedicated to early-stage startups with global potential in the agtech, agrifood, equine and veterinary sectors.

AgTechUCD announced Moonsyst from Co Cork as the AIB and Yield Lab AgTech Start-up 2024, winning the valuable prize.

Moonsyst is based near Kinsale and was founded by are Desmond Savage and Peter Gesler. It develops sensors to keep watch on cow health.

Moonsyst has developed a smart rumen bolus system. The smart bolus is orally administered by a farmer or veterinary and remains in the cow’s rumen. It is designed to alert dairy and beef farmers to any health, calving and breeding events on farm, all easily readable on a mobile phone and web application.

The software uses artificial intelligence (AI) to predict health and reproduction events related to the animal.The more information collect ed the more accurate alerts become, helping the farmer with livestock management 24/7.

Last November Moonsyst was chosen to take part in the 12-week intensive AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme, which focuses on fast-tracking the commercial and leadership skills of participants and to provide them with the support and guidance needed to accelerate their start-ups in Ireland and on the global stage.

Following a final pitching event, held at the AgTechUCD Innovation Centre at UCD Lyons Farm in Co Kildare, Moonsyst was named the AIB and Yield Lab AgTech Start-up 2024.

‘It is a privilege for Moonsyst to accept the AIB and Yield Lab AgTech Start-up 2024 Award, following the completion of the third AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme,’ said Desmond Savage, co-founder and chief operating officer of Moonsyst.

‘Based on the standard of all the companies who presented, the agtech sector in Ireland will continue to grow from strength to strength. I would like to compliment AgTechUCD on the quality of the Agccelerator programme and thank the sponsors for their generous support.’

Moonsyst has been supported to date with funding from the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Cork North and West and was recently successful in securing match funding investment through Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) programme.

The other startups which completed the third AgTechUCD Agccelerator programme in addition to Moonsyst were PitSeal; Agri Data Analytics Ireland; Burpeez; PolyBo; Prepsheets Spread It and Trojan Track.

PitSeal, founded by UCC student and Walsh scholar Marion Cantillon, is an eco-friendly biofilm spray comprising unique strains of seaweed and nutrients that forms an airtight, water-repellent seal over silage pits, eliminating the need for plastic sheeting and weights. It thus reduces plastic waste and reduces greenhouse gas emissions upon consumption by livestock.

PitSeal was named the FBD AgTech One to Watch 2024 and also received a €10,000 prize. A total of 27 start-ups have now completed the three AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme held to date.

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