Host of appointments at Irish start-ups see new leaders take root

8 Mar 2022

Donal Sullivan, the new CEO of climate action AI company Future Planet. Image: Michael O'Sullivan/OSM Photo

There have been new leadership appointments recently at Equal1, HaloCare, Accelerated Payments, Wayflyer and Future Planet.

Several new executive appointments have been announced by Irish start-ups recently.

Quantum computing start-up Equal1 appointed chief operating officer Jason Lynch as its new CEO in February. Lynch stepped into his new position as company co-founder Dirk Leipold moved into the role of president to focus his energy on accelerating the development of quantum-enhanced processor technology.

Future Human

Equal1 is a spin-out from University College Dublin (UCD) and has R&D teams working at NovaUCD and in Silicon Valley.

It recently secured €20m in grant and equity funding through the European Innovation Council as well as a venture capital funding round led by Btov Industrial Technologies with long-time investor Atlantic Bridge and backing from Enterprise Ireland.

“With our recent funding and the substantial progress we have made toward enabling affordable, functional quantum computers, it’s key that I focus on overseeing our technology strategy and development execution,” said Leipold.

“Jason has been instrumental in building out the team and leading our fundraising efforts and is well positioned to lead the company into the next stage.”

A headshot of Jason Lynch wearing a suit and standing in a bright room.

Jason Lynch. Image: Equal1

Equal1 has now also appointed former Intel Movidius VP of engineering Brendan Barry as its CTO and Elena Blokhina as CSO.

According to Lynch, “Elena and Brendan, along with our co-founder Dirk Leipold, are the perfect team to bring the best of silicon technology and quantum technology together to enable our quantum AI solutions.”

Carlow-headquartered start-up HaloCare announced yesterday (March 7) that it has appointed Sarah Jane O’Dwyer as its new CEO. O’Dwyer will join the company, which develops tech to facilitate the care of elderly people who want to live independent lives.

HaloCare’s current CEO and co-founder, David Walsh, is to become the company’s first chairperson. According to Walsh, O’Dwyer’s two decades of experience in leading and advising healthcare organisations across Europe and the Middle East will be “invaluable” as she leads the company in its next phase of growth.

The start-up’s clinical advisory board includes Dr Rhona Mahony, Prof Dermot Power and Dr Edwina Dunne. It currently employs 25 people at its Carlow headquarters.

David Walsh and Sarah Jane O'Dwyer of HaloCare

David Walsh and Sarah Jane O’Dwyer. Image: HaloCare

Meanwhile Irish AI company Future Planet, which is focused on climate action, has appointed Donal Sullivan as its new CEO. Sullivan has 25 years of experience in technology and sustainability, having held senior positions at Johnson Controls, Tyco and Flextronics.

Donal Daly, co-founder of Future Planet, said that Sullivan’s vision for sustainability is clearly aligned with the company’s. “With his experience in building high-performance teams that deliver results, we know that he is the right person to scale up Future Planet after our successful launch last autumn,” he said.

SME funding provider Accelerated Payments appointed Neil McMillan to lead its continued North American expansion. As the company’s head of North America, McMillan will be based out of Toronto.

Accelerated Payments is based in Dublin, with offices in London and Toronto. It has reported more than 56,000 invoices financed to over 300 companies since it was launched in 2017. Last year, it expanded its UK office to support businesses that have been struggling with supply chain issues and the ending of furlough schemes as SMEs switch from state funding back to the private sector.

Also in North America, Irish e-commerce financing unicorn Wayflyer announced today (8 March) that it is appointing Rebecca Weizenecker as head of US sales. The experienced saleswoman joins from Atlanta-based fintech Now, where she was VP of sales and marketing.

Wayflyer is valued at $1.6bn after recently securing a $150m Series B funding round. Weizenecker will lead its expansion plans in the US, which involve hiring more than 100 new salespeople by the end of the year.

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com