11 Irish start-ups with high potential to take research to the next level

15 Apr 2022

Image: © Sean Gladwell/Stock.adobe.com

Here are some of the many research-based high-potential Irish tech start-ups backed by Enterprise Ireland in 2021.

On 7 April, more than 150 founders and representatives from Ireland’s thriving start-up ecosystem came together alongside investors and industry leaders at the Enterprise Ireland Start-up Showcase 2022 at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.

Many of these entrepreneurs were leaders of the 82 high-potential start-ups funded by Enterprise Ireland in 2021, with innovations across a broad range of fields including deep tech, AI, medtech, agri-tech and augmented reality.

We took a closer look at some of those high-potential start-ups that have sprung from academic research at universities and institutions across the island.


Focusing on the future of work, Inclusio is pitched as a next-generation platform combining technology, psychology and AI to transform company culture. It gives organisations the ability monitor diversity data as well as track and report culture metrics linked to business KPIs within a system designed for risk and accountability management.

Founded in 2020, the start-up is a Dublin City University spin-out led by Sandra Healy.


FeelTect is a Galway medtech start-up that is trying to improve treatment for patients with venous leg ulcers. It is developing a pressure sensing device called Tight Alright that can be easily and securely attached to a compression bandage to measure and monitor pressure under the bandage.

The data collected can then be used by healthcare professionals to address issues with compliance or make informed decisions on changes in compression regimens. The start-up was founded by Dr Andrew Cameron and Darren Burke.

SymPhysis Medical

A previous SiliconRepublic.com Start-up of the Week, SymPhysis is looking to combine design and digital technology to deliver a high standard of patient care at home.

It is working on a minimally invasive technology that incorporates an active component designed to accelerate the treatment of malignant pleural effusions, or fluid build-up in the lungs. The start-up was founded by Michelle Tierney and Tim Jones and is based in Co Galway.


Ocumetra is a TU Dublin spin-out with a focus on myopia control. Based on research undertaken at the Centre for Eye Research Ireland, the start-up uses data science to help clinicians make evidence-based myopia treatment decisions that can help deliver better outcomes for patients.

It was founded in 2020 by optometrist James Loughman and ophthalmologist Ian Flitcroft.


Born out of research at Trinity and University College Dublin, CropBiome focuses on sustainability in agriculture. The company sources, selects, ferments, characterises and tests microbes that are formulated into biological products for use in agriculture, rather than chemicals.

Founded by Prof Fiona Doohan, Prof Trevor Hodkinson and Dr Brian Murphy, CropBiome has won a number of awards including a Trinity Innovation Award earlier this year and an Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund award in 2017. It was also the Dublin regional winner for the 2020 InterTradeIreland SeedCorn competition.


Biologit is an AI start-up that aims to help keep patients safe by simplifying the detection of adverse events from drug development to post-market. It does this by automating the monitoring of scientific literature.

Co-founded by Dr Nicole Baker, the start-up recently finished its first fundraising round and is now going out to industry and building its team. Biologit was also recognised at the Trinity Innovation Awards in February this year.


A spin-out of the Infant research centre at University College Cork, CergenX aims to use technology for early detection and treatment of brain damage among infants. According to the start-up, around five in every 1,000 newborn babies have some degree of brain injury.

With a team of scientists and software engineers, CergenX is using recent advances in AI to identify those infants most at risk. It was founded by Prof Geraldine Boylan, Jason Mowles and Sean Griffin.


SeamlessCare is a start-up developing technologies to enhance the care of people with a wide range of disabilities. It has four APIs that aim to improve life for people with intellectual disabilities, dementia and a range of complex needs. The APIs can be used together as an integrated system or individually and independent of one another.

SeamlessCare’s Dr Aviva Cohen told SiliconRepublic.com last year about her plans to help non-verbal people to communicate their needs independently using technology.

Luminate Medical

Luminate is a medical device company looking to prevent hair loss in people undergoing chemotherapy. Based in Galway, the start-up aims to create devices that can eliminate the side effects of drug treatments for cancer patients because it believes hair is an “essential element of personality and self-esteem”.

Its Lily device is being developed with the Translational Medical Device Lab at NUI Galway. Co-founded in 2019 by CEO Aaron Hannon, CTO Barbara Oliveira and chief scientific adviser Martin O’Halloran, it was selected for the Y Combinator programme in August last year.


Another medical device company, Endowave is developing microwave ablation technology for minimally invasive cancer treatment. Its lead product is a flexible catheter that can be delivered into the periphery of the lung, via the airway, to surgically remove early-stage lung cancer tumours.

Based in Galway, the start-up was founded in 2018 by Jonathan Bouchier-Hayes, Jimmy Eaton-Evans and Giuseppe Ruvio.


Combining stickers, tattoos, books and wall decals with an app, HoloToyz is on a mission to help children play and learn in a safe, augmented reality environment. Its many products come to life, so to speak, though its app that incorporates state-of-the-art 3D animations and graphics.

Founded by CEO Kate Scott and sales director Declan Fahy, the start-up secured major licensing agreements with Nickelodeon and Sega last year.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic