Agri start-ups claim lack of funding is holding back their potential
Entrepreneur says she 'couldn't afford to attend the Ploughing'
Fledgling agri-business start-ups have claimed they couldn't afford to exhibit at this year's Ploughing Championships because of a lack of support from investors and state agencies.
Colette Martin, who developed the Slurrysafe product that won the Safety ward in the Innovations awards at the 2014 Ploughing, said she could not afford to return to the country's biggest trade show this year.
"Last year, Enterprise Ireland helped us out because we had an innovation, but our business could not afford to go to the Ploughing this year.
She added that several other companies who had exhibited at the Innovations event at the 2014 Ploughing couldn't afford to return this year either.
"There is very little help, and every show you go to costs you more money," said Ms Martin.
Slurrysafe is a safety platform for open pit entrances that prevents children, adults or animals falling into the pit while a farmer is agitating or spreading slurry.
It originally secured funding from Waterford Leader Partnership and Waterford County Enterprise, followed by a €25,000 investment from Enterprise Ireland.
"We'd have no problem with angel investors trying to help us out," added Ms Martin, who says her company is seeking a five-figure investment to develop the business.