Irish start-up Aurius scoops first prize for innovative hearing aid

14 Aug 2017

Paul Allan, CEO of Aurius, with Caitriona Fottrell, vice-president and director of The Ireland Funds. Image: Stillwater Communications

Aurius brings start-up crown home to Dublin.

Dublin-based start-up Aurius has won €10,000 as part of the annual Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition in partnership with the NDRC.

The young company offers affordable, high-quality hearing aids that are paired with a phone or tablet app, allowing users to tune the device at home. This eliminates the need for a visit to an audiologist, saving those with hearing difficulties time and money.

Future Human

Aurius CEO Paul Allan spoke about the benefits of snagging first place in the contest. “The Business Plan Competition helped us greatly in understanding that, while we might have a brilliant product, it is our marketing strategy that will be key to our future success.

“The mentorship and networking opportunities provided by both The Ireland Funds and NDRC is second to none, and I would encourage any early-stage start-ups to consider applying for next year’s competition when the time comes,” Allan added.

The prize includes the opportunity to pitch for a place on the NDRC programme, allowing the company to hone its business and development strategies for the long term. Allan and his Aurius team members, Dinnaga Ranul Padmaperuma and Luc Bellintani, hope to use the prize fund to help get their product to market.

“The standard of presentations from teams this year was really phenomenal. It’s great to see The Ireland Funds and the NDRC supporting young people in this space, to create the next level of indigenous talent that is Irish-based and that can scale around the world,” said panel judge Gene Murphy, entrepreneur in residence at Bank of Ireland.

Aurius faced some serious competition from many other high-calibre start-ups, such as Cork-based biotechnology firm Helixworks, which came in second for its development of a more efficient DNA writing technology. Victor the Visabot, a text bot designed to solve travel visa issues, secured third place in the competition.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects