12 tech entrepreneurs from Ireland to watch in 2022

5 May 2022

Image: © Lance Bellers/Stock.adobe.com

EY Ireland has revealed the finalists in the running for Entrepreneur of the Year 2022. Check out who has made the list from the Irish tech world.

Every year, EY Ireland names an Entrepreneur of the Year from a long list of Irish business founders and leaders making a mark at home and abroad.

Finalists from across the island are competing for this prestigious award yet again, with entrepreneurs from sectors such as technology, manufacturing, energy and health competing across three categories: emerging, established and international.

Last year’s top prize was picked up by Brian O’Sullivan of Zeus Packaging, with the founders of big Irish tech names such as Flipdish and LetsGetChecked also in the running.

Here we take a closer look at the Irish tech entrepreneurs nominated for EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2022, including many familiar names that are taking their businesses to new heights in Ireland and across the world.

John Harkin, Alchemy Technology Services

Founded in Derry in 2018, Alchemy Technology Services is a start-up that provides insurance software implementation services to insurance companies across Europe.

At the helm is Derry-native John Harkin, who founded Alchemy when he saw a demand for specialist skills to help the insurance industry through digital transformation.

Allan Beechinor and Niamh Parker, Altada

Cork-based Altada is a fast-growing deep-learning and AI start-up founded by CEO Allan Beechinor and chief legal officer Niamh Parker four years ago.

Altada has developed its own proprietary deep learning algorithms, predictive models, computer perception algorithms and knowledge extraction systems to help clients deploy and execute AI in their businesses. Its name pays homage to the world’s first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace.

Alan Carson, Cloudsmith

Cloudsmith is a software start-up that helps businesses manage software on the cloud – removing the need to hire in-house support staff and cutting down on expenses. Based in Belfast, the company was founded by Alan Carson and Lee Skillen, both of whom are former NYSE developers.

Carson is the CEO of Cloudsmith, which raised $15m in Series A funding last September to help it expand in the US.

Caroline Dunlea, Core Optimisation

Caroline Dunlea is the co-founder and CEO of digital marketing start-up Core Optimisation, which helps businesses across the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors with digital transformation. It has offices in Shannon, where it was founded in 2015, as well as Dublin and London.

Helen Cahill, InvoiceFair

InvoiceFair is an invoice trading platform that was established by Helen Cahill and Philip Hickey in 2015. Based in Dublin, the start-up helps companies with approved invoices or purchase orders from blue-chip or State companies to raise funds and complete the deals.

It saw an increase in activity in 2020 when it facilitated funding of €30m for PPE orders, according to the Irish Times.

Stephen Nolan, Nutritics

Having recently opened its Australian headquarters in Sydney, Irish software start-up Nutritics has been expanding rapidly. Founded in 2013 by brothers Damian and Ciarán O’Kelly, Nutritics provides nutrition software to clients in healthcare, elite sports, food services, food manufacturing and education.

Stephen Nolan now serves as managing director of the Dublin-headquartered company.

Fionn Lahart and Christoph Hennersperger, OneProjects

OneProjects is an Irish-German medtech developing a device to help doctors treat atrial fibrillation using advanced imaging and data analytics. It was founded by CEO Fionn Lahart and CTO Christoph Hennersperger in 2017 as a spin-out from the BioInnovate programme in Galway, and now has offices in Dublin and Munich.

In October 2021, OneProjects raised $17m in fresh financing to continue developing its technology.

Justin Lawless, Intact

Justin Lawless is the CEO of Intact, a software development company based in Dundalk, Co Louth, that has been around since 1992. Intact, which also has offices in Cork, Bray and the UK, makes enterprise resource planning and business management software for companies.

The company expanded significantly in Ireland and the UK last year, when it announced new jobs that would bring its total headcount to around 200.

John O’Sullivan, BioAtlantis

BioAtlantis is an Irish biotech company headquartered in Tralee, Co Kerry, which develops natural compounds to improve plant, animal and human health. Founded by chartered accountant John O’Sullivan in 2004, BioAtlantis received substantial early investments from the Bank of Ireland Kernel Capital Fund.

Jamie O’Rourke, Mainline

Jamie O’Rourke is the CEO of Cork-based Mainline Group, an engineering services provider to those in the power, water, telecom and energy sectors operating in Ireland, the UK and Scandinavia.

O’Rourke has led the company for more than a decade. Mainline’s clients include Vodafone, SSE Airtricity and Energia.

Martin McKay, Texthelp

Martin McKay is CEO of Belfast-based education technology company Texthelp. He was one of the founding members of business, which was set up in 1996 to help people with communication difficulties.

Its literacy, accessibility and dyslexia software products are now used in both the education and corporate sectors by millions of people around the world.

Aidan Corbett and Jack Pierse, Wayflyer

Wayflyer is fast becoming a household name in the Irish tech world, after it whizzed past the billion-dollar valuation mark earlier this year to become Ireland’s sixth and latest unicorn. The revenue-based financing and growth platform for e-commerce companies was founded by Aidan Corbett and Jack Pierse in 2019.

Last month, Wayflyer announced plans to grow its global headcount from 250 to 600 by the end of the year across its offices in Dublin, Atlanta, London and Sydney. This week, it revealed that it has made its first major acquisition, snapping up creator funding provider Peblo.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic