Winners of the Overall Best Start-Up Award at Enterprise Ireland's Innovation Arena 2019 were brothers Nick and Jack Cotter from Limerick are the creators of 'The Cotter Crate' which allows farmers to quickly and safely administer health products to lambs.
20th September 2019
Pictured from left to right: Stephen Creaner from Enterprise Ireland, Heather Humphreys, Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation, Alfred Cox, Founder of the Innovation Arena presenting the Best Overall Startup Trophy to Jack and Nick Cotter, and Anna May McHugh, MD of the NPA.
Best Agri-Engineering Start-up
Eariler in the week, the Cotter Brothers were also won their category prize, winning Best Agri-Engineering Start-up for their innovative labour-saving Cotter Crate lambing handling solution
Jack Cotter described the crate said, “The crate was initially developed for our own use. Every year around 350 lambs are born on the farm and that’s a lot of lambs to dose and vaccinate, especially when they are small; it’s really difficult. We were finding it was taking very long, it was rarely done properly and it wasn't much good for the back either. We said there had to be a better way and that's where the idea of a crate to make the job faster and easier came from.
Jack continued, "We kept refining it for our own use but in January of this year (2019), my brother Nick and I began to think about commercializing the idea. We thought there could be potential so we applied for an Irish patent and we applied for the Innovation Arena at the ploughing.
"And we have been blown away by the response to the idea! The interest has been phenomenal at the ploughing. There has been a huge number of people who we spoke to that have said 'the minute it comes out let me know'. It really is very exciting going into 2020, when we will starting putting prototypes on the market."
National Ploughing Association Managing Director, Anna May McHugh said: “My congratulations to all of the Innovation Arena Award winners and particularly to The Cotter Brothers as the overall winner of the Best Start-up Innovation. This is quite an achievement given the high quality and standard of all the exciting entries being showcased here at Europe’s largest outdoor event. Over the years, we have seen the Innovation Arena at the National Ploughing Championships grow as it offers a significant platform for global business opportunities for budding entrepreneurs and innovators in the Agri-tech and Agri-engineering space".