7 exciting start-ups based in the Galway Technology Centre

24 Oct 2019

Image: © mark_gusev/Stock.adobe.com

In our latest look at Galway’s tech ecosystem, we round up some of the start-ups based in the Galway Technology Centre.

Throughout October, we’ve been looking at the best of the west. Over the course of the month, we have rounded up 10 of NUI Galway’s most remarkable spin-outs, and some of the best data science start-ups.

We also looked at the places these start-ups and spin-outs call home, which shone a light on the significant role that the Galway Technology Centre plays in the city’s tech ecosystem. Now, we have rounded up some of the ones to watch that are currently based in the co-working space.

9th Impact

Featured as a Start-up of the Week on Siliconrepublic.com in 2016, 9th Impact is a game development studio led by director Mark Quick, CTO Finn Krewer and chief design officer Fabio Stara.

9th Impact works in partnership with rights owners to create the official video games of TV shows, producing the Biker Mice series as well as a Nintendo Switch game called Danger Mouse: The Danger Games.

The company has raised more than €500,000 from Enterprise Ireland and private investors.

Black Pug Studio

Founded in 2015, Black Pug Studio wants to bridge the gap between creativity and technology. The business is led by CEO and creative director Antonio Moreno, lead technologist Julien Garrigues and chief creative technologist Deirdre O’Connor.

A multicultural creative technology agency, led by a team from Ireland, Spain and France, Black Pug Studio works with clients all over Europe, specialising in design and web technology. Some of the company’s clients to date include Ubisoft, Oxfam, Dom Perignon, Nestle and Bank of Ireland.


Karl Lusted, one of the co-founders of Blue Tree Systems – which was sold to Orbcomm in 2017 – went on to develop Aptarus, a training platform for mobile workers that can be used on any mobile device. The business was set up with co-founder Martin Farrell in 2014.

With Aptarus, workers in the logistics sector can train at a time and place that suits them, which means that employers don’t have to take fleets off the road for training purposes.

The main goal for Aptarus is to make training and certification accessible to the mobile workforce and provide online training solutions to transport and logistic companies.


Another former Siliconrepublic.com Start-up of the Week, CorribPoint was founded by Caitriona McGuckian and John Rushe in 2016. The company has developed Akula, a cloud-based platform for credit unions that automates the process of identifying, analysing and reporting potentially suspicious financial transactions.

McGuckian and Rushe have previously received €50,000 in funding from Enterprise Ireland, and aim for their business to be the “go-to” company for all regulation technology solutions in this sector. From its presence in the Galway Technology Centre, CorribPoint is currently focusing on the credit union market in Ireland and the UK.


Hemdahl is another business led by Karl Lusted, this time co-founded with software engineer Gareth Roddy. Prior to working with Lusted on this project, Roddy developed solutions for refrigeration company Thermo King.

Now, the two men lead Hemdahl from the Galway Technology Centre. They have created a data analytics tool that provides actionable insights to protect food shipments. It gives food safety personnel a comprehensive risk analysis tool for each stage of the cargo’s journey through the cold chain.

The company developed its SaaS solution to help prevent the thousands of deaths that take place due to food-related illnesses in Europe each year. There has been €250,000 invested in the company to date, which was self-funded. In an interview with the Irish Times earlier this year, Lusted said that the company is making its way from the pre-revenue phase as the early trial period comes to an end.


SourceDogg was founded in 2009 by engineer Mark Scanlon and former Irish international basketball player John Quigley. They developed a cloud-hosted procurement software aimed at anyone with purchasing authority in a business.

In 2011, the company raised €600,000 from Nucleus Venture Partners, which acquired a majority share the following year. The business was moved to the Galway Technology Centre and is now led by Alan Phelan.

The company’s application, which has been used by Bank of Ireland, L’Oreal and Bord Bia, among others, allows non-procurement experts and professionals alike to easily manage business spend, control contracts, find the right suppliers and manage relations.


Founded by Giovanni Tummarello and Renaud Delbru in 2014 and now led by CEO John Randle, Siren has developed a modern investigative intelligence platform, which coordinates business intelligence-style dashboards with best in class, full text search, knowledge graph link exploration and domain-specific visualisations.

Siren has raised €3m in seed funding in a round led by Atlantic Bridge University Fund, had its technology adopted by An Garda Síochána, and won Irish start-up of the year at the National Tech Excellence Awards.

Updated, 11.10am, 25 October 2019: This article was updated to include Renaud Delbru as a co-founder of Siren.

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Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic