Kieran Furlong has been at the leading edge of major startup trends, including ag-tech and cleantech, for the past fifteen years. He is currently an innovation mentor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a venture partner with Finistere Ventures. He established the Finistere Ventures EU office in Dublin and launched the Ireland Ag-Tech Fund (IAF) in partnership with the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) in 2017.
Furlong started his career with the global chemical firm ICI and spent a decade in the catalyst industry with ICI and Johnson Matthey in a range of technical and commercial roles across the globe. During this time, he worked closely with major agri-business customers, such as Cargill, ADM and Bunge.
Following his career in the chemical industry, Furlong entered the world of startups. He first worked at Solzyme, an algae biotechnology company, where he pieced together the company’s initial manufacturing supply chain. He then led the business development activities at Virent, including a successful partnership with the Coca-Cola Company to develop a 100% bio-based PET bottle. Upon joining the Finistere team, Furlong turned his attention to the application of biotechnology in agriculture. His focus broadened to the full scope of technology for agriculture and food, including IoT devices in beehives and other surprising areas.
In addition to the U.S. and Ireland, Furlong has lived and worked in Germany, the U.K. and Argentina. He received a degree in chemical engineering from University College Dublin and a master's degree in business administration from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.
From feed mills to farmers, processors to retailers, is the global agri-food supply chain prepared for the impact of ag-tech on their businesses?