8 Dublin Startup Boost pre-accelerator start-ups worth watching

13 Dec 2017

Pitch night for Startup Boost Dublin. Image: Startup Boost

The need for pre-accelerators is more critical than ever, urges Startup Boost Dublin co-director Gene Murphy.

Startup Boost, the successor to Startup Next, is already up and running with its first cohort of eight companies worth watching in 2018.

These include: Aine NutriScience, Lexi, Meetingroom.io, Upryzr, Hublio, Bespoke Choice, Krayon and Tor Fitness.

‘The pipeline of entrepreneurs has changed in recent times to reflect the environment of countries now being back in full-time employment’

Launched in Dublin, Austin, Detroit, Los Angeles, London and Toronto in October, the volunteer-led Startup Boost wants to bring together 100 start-ups and put them on the road. Further chapters are being planned for launch in 2018 in Amsterdam, New York, San Francisco and Seattle.

Locally, Startup Boost Dublin is organised by three city co-directors, namely: Carolyn Quinlan, Startlab programme manager at Bank of Ireland; Nubi Kay, Stripe; and Gene Murphy, entrepreneur in residence at Bank of Ireland.

“Startup Boost was born out of the now retired Startup Next pre-accelerator programme, which had been run up until this time last year by Techstars,” explained Murphy.

“Over a six-week period, a cohort of selected early-stage tech start-ups are taught by amazing local thought leaders in subjects including venture funding, accelerators, how to build great product and other areas while also being drilled, week in week out, on their pitch readiness, and getting time with our entrepreneur lead mentor sessions.”

He said the goal is for each programme to help increase the opportunity of success for start-ups to join accelerator programmes, prepare for seed investment and, most importantly, get their company revenue-ready.

“As a pre-accelerator, we go about this over a short, sharp six-week boot camp in Dublin supported by Bank of Ireland and Google Ireland with chapters also in Detroit, Toronto and Los Angeles, with more in the pipeline for 2018 around the world.”

Murphy said that there is a strong need for pre-accelerators in the Startup Boost format. “This is more critical now than ever. The pipeline of entrepreneurs has changed in recent times to reflect the environment of countries now being back in full-time employment so, by this, we see that a large proportion of our cohort applications are coming from people based in industry or that have recently spun out of industry.”

Here are the eight start-ups from the first cohort of the first Startup Boost Dublin pre-accelerator.

Áine NutriScience

Áine NutriScience is a one-stop, personalised nutrition platform for livestock and other animals. It is a comprehensive, engaging, full-loop (including grass analysis and quality management) animal feed/ration formulation platform. The product delivers tailored nutritional advice based on the needs, conditions and requirements of each particular user/farmer and their animals. The platform also offers inventory and feed-cost management and analytics; a feedstuffs prices monitor and price-comparison productivity tracker; and an animal marketplace and social exchanges.

Bespoke Choice

Bespoke Choice enables event venues to adapt to the modern couple’s needs, using an online software platform developed to increase wedding venue sales and revenue.


Hublio is a digital insurance and finance assistant. Typically, people don’t understand whether they’re sufficiently covered, or if they have the correct and optimised financial stability for themselves, their family and their business. Using a balanced mix of AI, behavioural economics and qualified advisers, Hublio can tell if you’re overinsured or underinsured, whether you have duplicate cover, and whether you can get the products you need at a better price or quality balance.


Krayon is an online booking platform for offline, in-person workshops. Using Krayon, offline workshop teachers can make it easier, faster and more efficient for their current and future customers to discover, book and pay for hands-on educational workshops. Teachers get access to a range of online tools to help them run more workshops, take more bookings and make more money while avoiding traditional workshop marketing and management issues such as taking cash payments on the day. Simply put, with Krayon, teachers earn while students learn.


Lexi is an industry-specific, language-learning platform targeted at professionals. Lexi teaches non-native English speakers job-specific vocabulary. Its bespoke language-learning courses are generated through a machine-learning algorithm that scrapes through industry-specific online websites.


MeetingRoom.io allows users to have face-to-face conversations from anywhere, creating highly engaging meetings. The collaboration software is built for distributed teams, which can share the same physical space while separated by geography. MeetingRoom.io improves workflow and provides augmented management intelligence to increase sales and productivity.


Upryzr is a multisided marketplace platform for entertainers – think AngelList for the entertainment industry. It helps musicians, filmmakers and comedians to validate their talent and creative projects, and then matches them with top-level industry professionals and big-name record labels, studios etc.

Tor Fitness

Tor Fitness helps gym members to succeed with their workouts by allowing them to track their progress every session, giving feedback and advice to motivate and encourage.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years