Irish agtech Niskus Biotec gets $200k to join global accelerator

Niskus Biotec is the only Irish start-up selected for Big Idea Ventures accelerator programme running in Paris, New York and Singapore.

Niskus Biotec is the only Irish start-up among the 17 selected start-ups and is taking part in Big Idea Ventures’ Paris accelerator programme along with five other start-ups, from Germany, Iceland and the UK.

The start-ups were selected for pre-seed investment packages of $200,000 each as part of Big Idea Ventures’ bi-annual new protein accelerator programme.

“The support from their team is helping us forge strong collaborations with food companies and connections with food tech investors around the globe”

Investments were made through the firm’s three offices in Paris, New York and Singapore and the firm’s first fund – New Protein Fund I ($50M+ AUM).

Through this fund, Big Idea Ventures is trying to address one of the biggest challenges for the future, feeding the world sustainably. The alternative protein industry can significantly contribute to solving challenges, such as food security and environmental consequences of climate change, by making quality protein cheaper and more readily available, and by moving the end-to-end production process to local communities.

Who are Niskus Biotec?

Niskus Biotec, which recently established a production facility at the Ballybay Food Enterprise Hub in Co. Monaghan, was founded by Vincent Farrelly, Dr Alejandra Omarini and Dr Tony Callaghan.

The company’s first ingredient product range is MycoGrain, a gourmet mushroom mycelium-based protein rich flour suitable to use as a base ingredient for a broad range of food products. It can be tailored to provide additional taste, texture, aroma, and nutraceuticals by changing the mushroom species in the fermenter.

“We are delighted to have been selected for the Big Idea Ventures Accelerator, the support from their team is helping us forge strong collaborations with food companies and connections with food tech investors around the globe,” Farrelly said.

In January Niskus Biotec completed the inaugural 12-week AgTechUCD Agccelerator Programme for early-stage AgTech and Agri-food start-ups with global potential. AgTechUCD is focused on promoting and accelerating the launch and scaling of start-ups and SMEs, with disruptive innovations in Ireland and Europe, in the AgTech, Agri-food and VetTech sectors, as they build their innovative businesses into leading companies on the global stage. AgTechUCD, based at UCD Lyons Farm and part of NovaUCD, has been funded through the Regional Enterprise Development Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland.

This summer Niskus Biotec was also among the 61 high-impact agrifood start-ups from across Europe selected to join the EIT Food Acceleration Network (EIT FAN) and the company is currently taking part in the EIT FAN programme in Reading and in Cambridge, UK.

Main image at top: Pictured at the Ballybay Food Enterprise Hub, Co. Monaghan, is Dr Tony Callaghan, co-founder, Niskus Biotec with some examples of bread products that the company’s MycoGrain flour can be used in

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.


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