8 Irish start-ups with a chance to be KPMG’s next global tech innovator

25 May 2022

Conor McGinn, CEO of Akara Robotics. Image: KPMG Ireland

One of these eight start-ups will be Ireland’s entry for the KPMG Global Tech Innovator finals at Web Summit in Lisbon this November.

KPMG is back with the Irish leg of its Global Tech Innovator 2022 competition, and eight start-ups will battle it out to take the top spot in the national finals next week.

Now in its second year, the Ireland qualifier will take place next Thursday (2 June) with a pitching event that will be broadcast online. The eight start-ups from across the island were selected from more than 40 entries this year.

The winner will represent Ireland at KPMG’s Global Tech Innovator competition at Web Summit in Lisbon this November, competing with 22 other countries and jurisdictions for the overall top prize.

Judges for the Ireland final include Microsoft general manager Anne Sheehan, ESW founder and CEO Tommy Kelly, Atlantic Bridge managing partner and co-founder Elaine Coughlan, Broadstone founding partner Chris McClelland, and KPMG Ireland managing partner Seamus Hand.

Here, we take a closer look at the eight Irish start-ups that could be named the next global tech innovator.

Akara Robotics

Trinity College Dublin spin-out Akara is a growing Irish robotics start-up. As well as its social care robot Stevie, it has built a fully autonomous UV disinfection robot called Violet that aims to reduce turnaround times in clinical settings.

The start-up recently bagged a spot in an EIT Health accelerator, granting it direct access to key European stakeholders to test its product at Tartu University Hospital in Estonia.


Angoka is an IoT security company focused on protecting machine-to-machine communications for smart cities and mobility.

The Belfast-based start-up develops technology that protects devices’ identities and safeguards critical communications integrity and data provenance. It also has offices in London and The Hague.


This University College Dublin spin-out is developing AI-powered software for drug researchers to predict how a drug molecule will behave in all of its possible crystalline states. Using a combination of machine learning, quantum simulation and cloud computing, BioSimulytics is looking to help biopharma companies get new drugs to the market much faster.

The start-up raised €595,000 in seed funding last September, in a round led by a number of angel investors and Enterprise Ireland.


EquiTrace has developed technology that tracks a horse’s health, identity and whereabouts with microchip scanners.

Founded in 2019 by equine experts Kevin and Jennifer Corley, its platform is designed to work even in environments with limited internet availability, such as stud farms.


Kinzen is a technology platform that combines human experience with machine learning to help keep online communities safe from harmful content, aiding safety professionals, content moderators and public policymakers.

It was founded by Áine Kerr, Mark Little and Paul Watson.


This proptech start-up provides a secure and transparent way for people to make offers to buy or rent real estate. Used by property agents in multiple countries, Offr ensures that all buyers are financially qualified and their offers are verified and published in real time.

The Dublin-based company secured €3m in funding in 2020 amid growing demand for online property sales.


Limerick-headquartered Provizio has developed a proprietary accident prevention technology platform that aims to reduce the human error that causes road deaths. Its platform looks to predict and prevent automotive accidents in real time using proprietary long-range imaging sensors and AI.

It was founded in 2019 by former Arralis CEO Barry Lunn and secured €5.2m in seed investment in 2020.

Zoan BioMed

This sustainability-focused medtech is developing naturally derived osteogenic medical devices to improve the lives of patients with bone issues.

Zoan has built one of the world’s first indoor coral production systems in Connemara, and recently partnered Cellink to use the harvested coral to 3D-print human bone grafts.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic