Microgen Biotech Wins Global Recognition With Two Awards At World’s Largest Start Up Competition


Institute of Technology Carlow spinout MicroGen Biotech won the Agtech & Food category at the recent Samsung Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) competition, selected from over 2,400 companies across 80 countries. Dr Xuemei Germaine, Founder & CEO, also took home the Female Founder Award.

Founded in 2012, MicroGen Biotech provides patented tailored microbial products for stressed and polluted arable land. The company develops and sells a unique range of soil microbes, which restore the soil’s natural microbiome and fertility, and reduce heavy metal residues in soils and in our foods. MicroGen Biotech’s vision is to feed the world with safe foods that are produced sustainably. It has already sold millions of euros of products in China this year. Microgen is also co-developing products for North America to reduce toxic arsenic in rice.

Dr Xuemei Germaine commented “Human health is damaged by highly carcinogenic heavy metals such as arsenic, which are in everyday foods including potatoes, rice, wheat and vegetables. Our technology can significantly reduce these toxins, and can restore the 3 billion acres of land that are polluted with heavy metals today. Winning the XTC Ag & Food award is a huge achievement for us, and brings global recognition of Microgen’s work in improving food safety, reducing hunger and tackling soil pollution. I am also deeply honoured to win the XTC Female Founder Award, and I would say to all girls and women, to stand up and go for your big dream without fear, to persevere through difficult times, and believe that nothing can hold you back!”

Earlier this year, the company closed a $3.8m Series A round, led by Fulcrum Global Capital, The Yield Lab Europe and The Yield Lab Opportunity Fund (USA). Prior to that, the company received funding from angel investors, Enterprise Ireland and The Yield Lab Europe, and participated in The Yield Lab Europe’s accelerator programme.

Nicky Deasy, Managing Partner of The Yield Lab Europe said: “Xuemei is a fantastic driver of change and ambition, with a vision that we shared and backed. Reducing toxic heavy metals in food and restoring soil health are critically important to improving the quality and safety of our food, and to regenerative agriculture. These awards are well deserved, and we will continue to support Xuemei and her team in her journey towards global success.”

Irish venture capital fund The Yield Lab Europe invests in early stage, deep tech companies with technologies to improve the agrifood industry, focusing on improving the carbon footprint and the broader environmental footprint of the agrifood industry, and improving the quality, safety and nutritional value of our food, whilst also improving the profitability of the industry. It is currently accepting applications for its 2020 award-winning accelerator programme, which includes equity investment and tailored supports to help European AgTech companies commercialise globally.

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