Galway gaming innovator wins €100,000 in all-island start-up competition

25 Nov 2022

InterTradeIreland CEO Margaret Hearty, chair Richard Kennedy, and ByoWave co-founder Eibhlin O’Riordan. Image: Press Eye

ByoWave, Atlas Smart Technologies, Capella and EpiCapture were named winners at InterTradeIreland’s annual event.

ByoWave, a Galway tech start-up aiming to make gaming more accessible, has bagged €100,000 as overall winner of the 2022 InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition.

Seedcorn is an annual investor readiness programme aimed at innovative early-stage start-ups around the island of Ireland.

As well as cash prizes for the winners, participants are provided with business planning workshops, networking opportunities, and access to mentorship support and angel investors.

This year’s winner ByoWave makes modular, accessible and customisable video game controllers for people with disabilities. It allows users to build controllers based on their own physical needs and get into the world of gaming.

“There are millions of people all over the world with a physical disability that prevents them from using traditional video game controllers,” said Eibhlin O’Riordan, co-founder of ByoWave.

“We have been working for the past two and a half years to develop solutions that help people overcome this barrier, and the €100,000 prize fund will go towards our product development as we build more accessible controllers to make gaming open for everyone.”

The winners of the Seedcorn competition stand in a line holding their awards.

Atlas Smart Technologies’ James Logan, InterTradeIreland’s Margaret Hearty, ByoWave’s Eibhlin O’Riordan, Atlas Smart Technologies’ Jack Fullerton, InterTradeIreland’s Richard Kennedy and Atlas Smart Technologies’ Joseph Gillan. Image: Press Eye

This wasn’t the only prize from InterTradeIreland, the Government-backed body that helps boost small businesses in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Antrim-based Atlas Smart Technologies won the Best New Start award, pocketing a €50,000 prize. Founded last year by students at Queen’s University Belfast, this start-up has developed an adjustable smart dumbbell and workout app.

Meanwhile, Capella Workplace Solutions picked up the Sustainability Award, which recognises start-ups innovating in the low-carbon and green sector. Capella is a Dublin-based company developing tech to facilitate hybrid and home working.

Finally, cancer detection start-up EpiCapture won a €10,000 special award for best venture stemming from a university. This University College Dublin spin-out is developing a cutting-edge diagnostic test for prostate cancer.

Margaret Hearty, chief executive of InterTradeIreland, said the Seedcorn competition is all about “promoting and nurturing the growth of innovative start-ups” from across the island.

“ByoWave, Atlas Smart Technologies, Capella and EpiCapture each demonstrate the talent, fresh thinking and can-do attitude that epitomises the very best of what companies across this island have to offer,” she added.

“In the current challenging economic climate and with a global recession looming, it is innovative businesses like these who can embrace change and shape the future of our economies.”

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Sarah Harford is sub-editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com