Sean Peters (CEO), Brendan Cawley (CTO), Charlie Curtis (Chair of Board), Tim Kruger (Boardmember at large) and Alyssa Blachez (Head of Plant Science) from Eagle Labs member DryGro tell us about their business.
Tell us about DryGro
DryGro is an agriculture technology company working to revolutionise the market for animal feed protein.
Today, most animal feed protein comes from soybean meal. Most of the world’s soybeans are grown in the US, Brazil, and Argentina. In the future, protein demand is increasing, but the land required to grow soybeans is scarce. What got us through the 20th century won’t get us through the 21st. We need better, more sustainable alternatives.
Founded at Oxford University in 2015, DryGro is developing cutting-edge growing systems to grow a soybean meal replacement crop called Lemna. This technology builds upon recent advancements in vertical farming and horticulture systems, and allows for efficient, reliable production.
When did you start your business?
Company founded 2015, team went full time in 2016.
What's been your biggest highlight?
Completing inoculation of our facility in Kenya! After conducting research between 2016-2020, in Q4 2020 we completed construction of our most recent growing unit, and in January we completed inoculation within that growing unit. This is the culmination of all of our previous research, and represents the next big step in R&D for our company.
What's been your biggest challenge?
Building science-based, hardware-focussed company is tough and requires longer timelines than digital technology companies.
Advice for entrepreneurs starting out
Meet as many investors as you can, and build relationships early. An investor that isn't relevant for your first round may be relevant for your next. Raising capital is a marathon, a relationship game and a numbers game. Think people, and plan long-term.