AgTech accelerator programme Yield Lab Europe has opened for applications from start-up companies for its 2018 programme.
Under the programme, the Galway-headquartered Yield Lab will support up to eight companies with an investment of €100,000.
In addition the chosen start-ups will receive mentoring and training to help them turn their ideas into successful internationally scalable businesses.
This year’s programme will have particular focus on businesses addressing issues of environmental sustainability and food security.
The chosen companies will also benefit from paid trips to three venture capital conferences for early stage AgTech companies; the Ag Innovation Showcase in St Louis, the World AgriTech Innovation Summit in London, and the AgTech Nexus Global Ag Investing Conference in Dublin taking place in December.
"AgTech start-ups are at the sharp edge of vital innovation that addresses the need to produce more food using less resources," Paul Finnerty, former CEO of Larry Goodmans’ ABP Food Group and chairman of Yield Lab Europe, said.
"We commenced operations in 2017 and progress to-date has exceeded expectations, with investments made in three start-ups in Ireland and one in the UK. We are now ramping up to invest in six to eight more businesses in 2018, and hoping to extend our reach into mainland Europe," Mr Finnerty said.
Alvan Hunt, chief executive of Hexafly one of the four companies selected last year, described the training and support network that the programme offers as "invaluable."
"With venture capital in Europe much less developed than in the US, particularly for the AgTech sector, initiatives like this are crucial to create an ecosystem within which companies like Hexafly can continue to thrive," Mr Hunt said.
Applications for this year’s programme are open until Friday 23 February.