Johnnie Jones, Jr.
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI/GALWAY, IRELAND October 27, 2016
The Yield Lab, a St. Louis, Missouri, USA based agriculture technology firm and business accelerator is pleased to announce the addition of Paul Finnerty to the team of the newly established Yield Lab Ireland as Chairman, which will serve as the Yield Lab’s beachhead into new Irish and European Markets. Paul was most recently CEO of ABP Food Group, one of Europe’s leading agri-businesses.
“We are very excited to have Paul join our team,” said Yield Lab Ireland Managing Director Brian Clevinger. “Paul brings an exceptional international agribusiness background and network to Yield Lab Ireland and to the companies that will participate in our program. We will use the same selection process in Ireland as we do in St. Louis, which is to identify and select early stage AgTech companies that sustainably increase the world food supply or reduce the inputs into the production chain.”
The Yield Lab, originally founded in St. Louis, Missouri in 2014 to support early stage agriculture technology and sustainability, announced its plans to expand into Ireland in July 2016 during a St. Louis Economic Trade Delegation visit to Ireland. St. Louis is in the center of the agricultural heartland of the United States, with access to numerous early stage AgTech companies and geographic proximity to a wide array of customers, collaborators and investors across the Midwest. The Yield Lab’s expansion into Ireland is predicated on similar ground; the Yield Lab Ireland intends to leverage Ireland’s proximity to European early stage agriculture technologies, agricultural production and market access. The Yield Lab in St. Louis recently closed their application period for the 2017 investment and accelerator cycle with a total of 180 applicants. Over 90 of those applicants, headquartered in 34 countries around the world, elected to be considered for the Yield Lab Ireland accelerator program. A dedicated application cycle for the Yield Lab Ireland will open in early 2017.
“As the food sustainability agenda grows in importance internationally, I feel that the Yield Lab’s focus on AgTech is of considerable importance and opportunity to the agri industry both in Ireland and internationally. Already, the Yield Lab in St. Louis is establishing a notable track record of success in its first two years in the United States; all of their previous cohort companies are still in business and those companies have gone on to independently raise, in the aggregate, almost $20 million in follow on capital,” said Paul Finnerty. “I look forward to joining the Yield Lab Ireland as both Chairman and an investor and exploring the opportunities where I can provide value, as we seek to use the resources, experience and methodologies of the Yield Lab approach to help selected companies realise their potential and grow into industry leaders.”
As Chairman, Paul will guide the strategic direction and development of the Yield Lab Ireland and provide mentorship and network access to the Yield Lab Ireland’s cohort companies. The Yield Lab Ireland intends to host its first cohort of companies in St. Louis in the summer of 2017 to expose them to new markets and capital opportunities. Additionally, the Yield Lab in St. Louis is encouraging all of its cohort companies to leverage Ireland as a beachhead into new Irish and European markets.
“The Yield Lab has traveled from Galway to Dublin, Tuam to Tullamore and Cork to Connemara meeting with prospective early stage companies and exploring the landscape of agriculture technology in Ireland,” said Yield Lab Principal Matt Plummer. “We have seen many promising companies over the past few months and see Ireland’s agricultural industry and heritage as the premier location for AgTech startups across Europe to grow and develop.”
In the news:
“Yield Lab adds former agribusiness CEO as Chairman.” by Brian Feldt, St. Louis Business Journal, Oct 27, 2016, 11:23am CDT.