Neurent Medical’s Brian Shields named Founder of the Year 2019

27 Jun 2019

Brian Shields, Neurent Medical. Image: Orla Murray/SON Photographic

Galway start-up Neurent Medical tops peer-selected shortlist at Enterprise Ireland awards ceremony.

At a celebratory event in the Gibson Hotel in Dublin last night (26 June), Neurent Medical co-founder Brian Shields was crowned Founder of the Year 2019 among a shortlist of entrepreneurs supported by Enterprise Ireland as high-potential start-ups (HPSUs).

Galway-based Neurent Medical designs and develops products for the treatment of inflammatory disease of the nasal cavities. The initial product offering from this venture-backed medical device company reduces the primary symptoms of rhinitis, congestion and rhinorrhoea.

Founded by Shields and David Townley, Neurent Medical originated in the BioInnovate Ireland programme at NUI Galway. The company secured €9.3m in funding led by Fountain Healthcare Partners last year and was named among’s European start-ups to watch in 2019.

“The Founder of the Year Awards promotes Ireland’s ecosystem of entrepreneurs who have displayed the potential and commitment to building their businesses and realising their global ambition,” said Kevin Sherry, executive director of global business development at Enterprise Ireland.

“On behalf of Enterprise Ireland, I wish to congratulate Brian Shields from Neurent Medical on winning this year’s award. I wish also to pay tribute to the other finalists, all of whom were shortlisted by their peers, which is a real testament to their potential and future success.”

Runners-up also recognised

This was just the third year for the Founder of the Year Awards, through which Enterprise Ireland acknowledges and celebrates the world-class entrepreneurs and start-ups coming out of Ireland. Nine finalists were shortlisted for this year’s top award through votes from their peers participating in the HPSU Founders Forum over the last year.

The Founders Forum includes more than 200 participants from a range of sectors including software, medical devices and engineering. From the shortlist, Founder of the Year was decided by a judging panel of representatives from Enterprise Ireland, Ergo, Grant Thornton, Google and Atlantic Bridge.

“This year’s participants displayed the deep entrepreneurial talent and the innovative businesses that are growing across Ireland,” said Kevin Foley, a partner in Grant Thornton.

Two men and one woman smile proudly as they hold up certificates they were awarded from Enterprise Ireland.

From left: Brendan Sheppard, SmartFactory; Brian Shields, Neurent Medical; and Gillian Doyle, Cerebreon Technologies. Image: Orla Murray/SON Photographic

Two more founders from the shortlist were recognised as runners-up on the night for their companies’ achievements.

Gillian Doyle, co-founder of Cerebreon Technologies, was one of them. Her company has developed a platform for the UK insolvency market that extracts, validates and processes all insolvency documents and supporting data to a high degree of accuracy using bespoke machine-learning algorithms.

SmartFactory co-founder Brendan Sheppard was also a runner-up. SmartFactory operates in the industrial internet of things (IoT) space, enabling smart manufacturing and digital transformation through wireless sensors and cutting-edge IoT technology that can capture, analyse and visualise KPIs in real time.

The other finalists were Declan Soden (Mirai Medical), Ollie Walsh (Pip It), Rob Leslie (Sedicii), Aisling Teillard (Tandem HR Solutions), Pat Kirby (Tixserve) and Rafael Pagés (Volograms).

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic