MicroGen Biotech shortlisted for international AgFunder Innovation Awards


Following its prestigious win last year at the Forbes Agtech Summit, Irish company and Institute of Technology Carlow (IT Carlow) spin-out MicroGen Biotech has been shortlisted for another international accolade.

The company has been shortlisted in the Most Innovative International Startup Pre-Series A category of the prestigious AgFunder Innovation Awards that recognise the innovators and entrepreneurs driving the international agrifood tech sector.

The AgFunder Innovation Awards are selected by industry peers based on votes placed by a 45,000-strong network and the winners will be exclusively announced at the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in San Francisco in March. The World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit is an international networking and deal-making event for agribusinesses, solution providers, entrepreneurs and investors, held annually in London and San Francisco. Attendees come from the US, Australia, China, Europe, Israel and Latin America and the aim of the summit is to accelerate the commercialisation of advanced agricultural technologies by supporting global partnerships and collaborations.  

A committee of global agrifood tech investors was assembled for the first time this year to nominate startups for each category. This year’s focus is on new data platforms, robotics, soil health and synthetic biology, featuring 60 game-changing speakers and the most exciting start-ups on the market. Last year’s competition saw 23 startups awarded across five categories with the winners raising over $650 million.

The shortlisting is yet another coup for MicroGen Biotech, which was established four years ago as an Irish High-Potential Start-Up (HPSU) spin-out from the EnviroCORE research group at IT Carlow. Headed by Dr. Xuemei Germaine, MicroGen Biotech’s mission is to  provide safe foods produced sustainably; it uses nature's microbes to reduce toxins in crops while increasing crop yields and reducing pollutants in arable soil. The start-up has developed a fast and efficient technology that allows identification of functional microbes in four months – a process that can typically take years.

In 2015, MicroGen Biotech raised its seed funding from Irish and Chinese private investors and the Irish government agency, Enterprise Ireland.

Dr. Xuemei Germaine is a native Chinese, born and raised in China. She had a PhD degree in biotechnology from Institute of Technology Carlow and worked in life science sector for over 20 years both in China and Ireland. Dr. Germaine has extensive knowledge of Chinese market penetration of startups with disruptive technologies.  

For reference: Alma Feeley, Communications Office, Institute of Technology Carlow
Date: 29th January, 2018  M: 087 8204934/059 9175098