David Hunt is the managing director of Comex McKinnon, a 100% family owned Irish agricultural
logistics company that focuses on using software and technology to ensure value and quality for its
Comex McKinnon is structured as a virtual company with all non-core tasks outsourced, at odds with
the vertical integration structure common in the agricultural industry.
Our propriety software provides our staff with real-time analytics and automates many historically
manual processes, arming people with the data and time for creative problem solving.
Comex McKinnon implemented this data system in 2011 and has enjoyed three years of >35% CAGR
since its integration.
David enjoyed a rural upbringing in the west of Ireland where his primary distractions were wildlife
and scenery. He graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a business & economics degree in 2005.
Following his degree David took a year out to pursue his love of the outdoors, qualifying as a game
ranger in South Africa and a ski instructor in New Zealand.
After a year in the wilds, David made the mistake of pursuing a corporate banking career, based
variously in Dublin, Toronto, and New York. While this was an educational period for him (including
representing his bank in Canada’s largest bankruptcy, Canwest), David abhorred the banking culture
and felt that he was nothing more than a gate-keeper of credit for the people who were doing the
real work on the other side of the table. Disillusioned with corporate life, David resigned from his
banking position and returned to his home village to manage a duck shoot in Connemara.
Despite thoroughly enjoying his life with the ducks, David had to abandon this idyllic lifestyle after
visiting a large agricultural science conference in Kentucky. What he learned there led him to
believe that we are on the cusp of a technological driven agricultural revolution, one that would be
particularly volatile resulting from the agriculture’s generally slower pace of innovation adoption.
Due to this, he returned to his family agricultural business (where his twin brother Ross was already
Financial Controller and implementing his proprietary computer system) and made a number of
suggestions as to what the family business needed to do to stay relevant in the face of impending
change. He was asked to join Comex McKinnon on a consultancy basis initially, before being made
In his time in Comex McKinnon, David has sought to promote adoption of more modern standards
of business as well as systematically improving Comex’s quality standards. David believes in a more
natural, symbiotic agricultural process as he thinks that this is the only way in which we will feed
our growing population without destroying our planet. Comex McKinnon actively pursues any new,
natural agricultural technologies in relation to this.
In his role on Singularity University’s XAB, David hopes to improve agriculture’s knowledge and
adoption of technologies that are being developed outside of the sector. David also hopes to provide
agricultural contacts for the SU community. Agriculture creates many of humanity’s grand problems,
so the sector needs to be engaged as part of the solution for them.
David’s dream is that one day a field that is growing food for humans will be indistinguishable from a
wild grassland and that our current rampant rate of environmental destruction will be appended as
a shameful piece of our history. Additionally, David hopes to use his XAB role to help further develop Ireland’s burgeoning tech