AI, AR and adtech battle it out for Bolton Trust final

19 Apr 2019

From left: Patrick Liddy UtilityAR; John Lauder, Bolton Trust; Keith Curley, Gladcloud; Shane O’Sullivan, Glimpse; and Joe Tynan, PwC Ireland. Image: Maxwells

This year’s Bolton Trust/PwC Innovation Awards competitors are very much into deep tech.

Three digital start-ups spanning the worlds of augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI) and adtech are soon to battle for a prize of €10,000 as part of the Bolton Trust/PwC 2019 Innovation Awards.

The finalists – all recent graduates of the Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers Programme at TU Dublin and IADT Dún Laoghaire – will aim to convince the judging panel that their venture represents the strongest potential for global expansion and return on investment.

The event is supported by PwC and the awards evening will take place on Wednesday 1 May at PwC’s Spencer Dock offices.

The Bolton Trust Awards are open to teams who have completed Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers Programme at TU Dublin’s three campuses and at IADT Dún Laoghaire.

Since 2012, the programme has offered a support package of finance, training and workspace to more than 300 start-ups, which have gone on to secure more than €40m in equity investment and have created over 1,000 jobs.

Devising the deep tech of tomorrow

“Our 2019 global CEO survey highlighted that 85pc of CEOs believe that artificial intelligence will significantly change the way business is done in the next few years,” said PwC managing partner Feargal O’Rourke.

“The 2019 finalists have identified the opportunities that artificial intelligence, and other technologies, can bring to business and this is at the core of their innovations.”

The shortlisted finalists are Keith Curley of Gladcloud, Shane O’Sullivan of Glimpse and Patrick Liddy of UtilityAR.

Gladcloud has developed an AI-based location marketing platform that empowers brands, franchises and wholesalers to transform their thousands of merchant partners into digital brand ambassadors at scale.

Glimpse has developed an ad-tech offering called Consensys which analyses the demographic profile of visitors as they walk past digital advertising displays. It uses this information to display ads specifically targeted at the dominant demographic profile of viewers at that point in time.

UtilityAR is developing augmented reality solutions for utilities, industry and other organisations who manage large portfolios of physical assets. The company now boasts local and multinational clients in the data centre, pharma and utility sectors.

“Our awards aim to help highly innovative start-ups along the sometimes difficult road to securing investment,” said John Lauder, chair of the Bolton Trust. “Combined, our three finalists this year are seeking in the region of €3.5m, and I am very glad to report that our three most recent winners have raised €4m since their success in the awards.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years