Here are some promising Irish start-ups that are pioneering new technologies.
We featured 29 start-ups in our Start-up of the Week series last year, many of which were based around Ireland or founded by Irish entrepreneurs all over the world.
Here, we take a look at 14 of those tech start-ups based in Ireland that are aiming to take their businesses to the next level in 2022.
Started in 2020 by Oli Cavanagh and Charles Dowd, Strikepay is a start-up that aims to solve the problem of tipping in an increasingly cashless world. Its patent-pending technology allows users to tip, pay or donate to others with the tap of a button, and without the need to download an app.
Using NFC and QR codes as payment points, Strikepay’s aim is to have a platform that is simple to use and swift to set-up. The start-up has been rapidly expanding out of Ireland into the UK and European markets, with live trials in the US.
This Dublin-based compliance start-up is on a mission to “change the way companies and individuals alike think about personal data”, according to CEO Michael Storan. Dataships has developed a SaaS tool to automate data privacy compliance across jurisdictions. It aims take the complexity out of privacy policies, cookie consent tools, GDPR and CCPA, and make compliance simple for SMEs.
Storan founded the start-up in 2019 with Ryan McErlane, a year after GDPR came into force. In September of last year, Dataships raised $3m in seed funding from US and Irish investors while it was taking part in the NDRC accelerator at Dogpatch Labs.
Vyra is a sustainability-focused start-up looking to help organisations shift their employees’ attitude to climate action through accessible learning and a gaming-led approach. Vyra helps organisations ranging from start-ups such as Zipp Mobility to larger players to nudge employees to make more sustainable choices through challenges that are meant to be fun as well as engaging.
It was founded in 2020 by Luke Fagan, Jack Dwyer and later Eoin Le Masney, three Wicklow natives hoping to drive climate action via workplaces. With a series of pilot programmes under its belt, Vyra is set for an enterprise launch in the first quarter of 2022.
This Cork start-up is helping peer-to-peer online traders inspire consumer confidence with an escrow-style payment app. Trustap has built a platform that aims to protect users from being scammed when they attempt to buy or sell with someone they don’t know.
Widely compatible across devices, its platform combines Stripe-powered payments with a transaction management system. When a purchase is made with Trustap, the buyer’s money is held in a safe hold account until all transaction milestones are met. The start-up was founded by CEO Conor Lyden in 2017.
Novus has developed a diagnostic device for sepsis patients who don’t have time to wait. The start-up started out under the name of its flagship medical device SepTec, which aims to screen sepsis quickly and efficiently. The device was dubbed the One to Watch at the 2018 Big Ideas showcase of science-led start-ups.
Founded by Dr Elaine Spain and Dr Kellie Adamson, Novus has created technology that can test for sepsis, from blood draw to results, within 15 minutes – a process that typically takes more than 12 hours.
Volograms is a Dublin start-up that aims to make the creation of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) content accessible for anyone with a smartphone. CEO and co-founder Rafael Pagés told SiliconRepublic.com last year that there is a lack of AR and VR content creation tools for regular users – a market opportunity Volograms is trying to grab.
The start-up has developed an app called Volu, which lets users capture real-life content using their smartphone and instantly prepare it for AR. This is done by using a process called volumetric video capture, which is a way to capture video suitable for AR and VR. Volu has seen thousands of downloads since it launched in September, and even caught the attention of CNN.
This Waterford start-up has been described by its CEO as “a secure Google Maps for the world’s biggest pharma companies”. PlantQuest has created technology that can help site workers find their way around large facilities without the need for network connection, by creating a digital representation of the facility to which staff can contribute.
Founded by CEO Ger Carton and Tom Daly in 2018, Plantquest closed out 2020 with €650,000 in a funding round supported by Enterprise Ireland. The start-up will potentially be looking to raise funds again this year.
Vidu is a start-up that has built tools to help users set up GIF templates that can be customised for different forms of messaging quickly and easily as needed. Founded last year by former Intercom employees Gavin Joyce and Will Holden, Vidu’s GIF generator is tailored for sales teams to make their email pitches more eye-catching.
Holden and Joyce started working on the project around four years ago while working at Intercom to solve the problem of creating personalised content frequently across a number of reps. It was one of 11 start-ups on the NDRC accelerator cohort in summer 2021.
This Cork-based start-up is creating AI-led tech to tackle time management in healthcare systems – specifically to reduce the time patients spend on hospital waiting lists. Long patient waiting lists are a problem in Ireland and the UK, and Stimul.ai aims to solve this using AI by automating laborious processes and allocating times matched to patient category requirements without interrupting daily practice.
Founded last year by CEO Naomh McElhatton and Prof Barry O’Sullivan, Stimul.ai operates via an on-demand cloud-based SaaS platform and was described by McElhatton as more of a “strategic planning tool” rather than a rostering or scheduling system.
Altada is another Cork-based start-up that offers its clients deep domain knowledge on AI and deep learning. It 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.
‘Altada’ comes from the combination of two words. The ‘alt’ is for alt data – that is, alternatives to traditional data sources which are increasingly being used to provide deeper insight for decision-makers. Ada Lovelace is the namesake for the latter half. It was founded by CEO Allan Beechinor and Niamh Parker in 2018, and raised $11.5m in funding last year to grow its team and expand globally.
Venari is an NUI Galway BioInnovate spin-out that has developed a minimally invasive medical device to tackle chronic venous disease (CVD) at early and extreme stages. CVD is a condition in which patients with weak valves in the veins of their legs experience blood flowing backwards and pooling in the lower limbs, causing pain.
The device is a mechanical vein catheter that takes what Venari co-founder Stephen Cox described as “a micro-invasive approach” to CVD treatment, which no risk of skin or nerve injury. Cox leads Venari Medical as CEO with Sean Cummins as CTO and Nigel Phelan as chief medical officer.
This health-tech start-up aims to deliver smart healthcare platforms that “empower patients and their clinicians to access the best healthcare solutions at the touch of a button”, according to CEO Mitchell O’Gorman. Based in Dublin, xWave has raised €600,000 in pre-seed funding to develop a radiology referral tool called xRefer.
The cloud-based platform lets users send referrals from either a computer or mobile device, with a search function that helps clinicians in public and private hospitals determine the most appropriate scans to suit patient needs.
Nexalus is a Cork-based start-up and Trinity spin-out that has found a way for power-hungry data centres to keep cool and create energy, not just consume it. Its patented technology can not only cool a data centre but also capture and reuse heat energy produced through cooling, cutting both costs and carbon emissions.
The start-up is also eyeing high-performance computers, cryptocurrency mining and the gaming and automotive industries to apply its cooling technology. Nexalus was founded by Dr Tony Robinson, Kenneth O’Mahony and Dr Cathal Wilson.
This is a medtech spin-out from NUI Galway seeking seed investment for its wrist-worn heart monitoring device. Galenband claims that the device is so reliable that it can detect so-called ‘silent AFib’, a rhythm irregularity that is asymptomatic and difficult to detect. Catching this silent condition early could vastly reduce the risk of stroke.
The medtech start-up was founded in 2020 by biomedical engineer Oisín McGrath, software entrepreneur Eddie McDaid and electronic engineer Patrick Conway. Later that year, the device was named One to Watch at the annual Big Ideas showcase.
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