Dublin’s Lios wins global competition for women-led start-ups

11 Nov 2022

Lios co-founders, CTO Eimear O'Carroll and CEO Rhona Togher. Image: Lios

Formerly known as Restored Hearing, Lios has developed technology that can protect people from avoidable hearing damage by using novel materials.

Lios, a Dublin start-up on a mission to protect hearing, has won first prize at the She Loves Tech 2022 awards, which had 5,000 applications from around the world.

Launched in 2015, She Loves Tech is a global platform that is committed to closing the funding gap for women entrepreneurs.

After competition rounds in more than 70 countries this year, the massive competition for women-led start-ups had 28 pitching finalists.

Founded in 2009 by Rhona Togher and Eimear O’Carroll, Lios has developed technology that can protect people from avoidable hearing damage by using novel, patented materials for hearing protection.

The former Start-Up of the Week (then known as Restored Hearing) has two core products: Sound Relief tinnitus sound therapy and Sound Bounce hearing protection.

Sound Relief works to reduce the effects of tinnitus and is available worldwide through a mobile app. Sound Bounce, meanwhile, is an “acoustic metamaterial” that reduces the force of low-frequency noise.

“Sound Bounce is at the cutting edge of material science, disrupting the acoustic materials sector to make products quieter and reducing vibration,” according to Lios.

In 2020, Lios partnered with the European Space Agency to develop the Sound Bounce material for use in space transportation technology.

This project aims to tackle damage that occurs with launch vehicle payloads, such as satellites and delicate instrumentation, when they are subject to high levels of acoustic noise and vibration during space flight.

The She Loves Tech finalists are meeting in Singapore at a global conference this week. This is the first time that all the annual competition finalists have come together since the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The high calibre of the competition is a testament to all the fantastic women led businesses around the world,” Lios CEO Togher said. “This week in Singapore I’ve been meeting with potential investors and collaborators who are as passionate as we are about reducing noise pollution.”

The runners-up of the competition included Algbio, a biochemical supplier in Turkey which treats industrial wastewater and CO2 using microalgae.

Third place went to GoBeba, a Kenyan quick-commerce retail platform that distributes household essentials conveniently through a network of micro-warehouses.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic