10 Irish firms shortlisted for Startup World Cup regional qualifier

9 Nov 2017

The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco. Image: JonathanC Photography/Shutterstock

Which 10 companies will fight to represent Ireland in San Francisco?

10 young Irish start-ups have the honour of battling it out for the chance to represent their country at the Startup World Cup.

Last week, we reported on the final call as start-ups across a myriad of industries and sectors applied to take part in the first-round stage of the competition.

The Startup World Cup is a global initiative developed by Fenox Venture Capital that offers start-ups the opportunity to win $1m funding at the world competition stage.

The regional final, which takes place on 14 November at NDRC, will demand a live pitch by each finalist before an expert judging panel that includes: Joe Healy, Enterprise Ireland; Barry O’Brien, Silicon Valley Bank; Charlie Ardagh, Facebook; David Bowles, Delta Partners and Thomas Olszewski, Frontline Ventures.

The regional qualifier event will also feature a lively panel discussion on the funding challenges Irish companies face when scaling internationally.

Taking on the world

The Startup World Cup conference and final competition will take place in May 2018 in San Francisco, California, and will see the top start-ups, VCs, entrepreneurs and tech CEOs from regional rounds across the globe compete against each other.

Previous judging panel members included Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, and Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit.

“We’re very excited too by the calibre and diversity of the companies competing, and expect the best Irish start-ups can hold their own and compete strongly on the world stage,” said Healy, manager of Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up division.

So, here are the 10 start-ups battling for the honour of representing Ireland.


HireUp helps HR departments to increase employee engagement and share job vacancies more effectively.


ID-Pal creates a simple and effective system for capturing, verifying and storing customer ID documents and information.


Kastus presents an entirely new scale of antimicrobial efficacy.


OpenBack enables any app to deliver powerful personalised notifications.


Exceedence Ltd catalyses commercialisation and investment in the renewables industry.


SwiftComply connects restaurants, grease-pumpers and cities through an easy-to-use web platform.

Solar AdTek

Solar AdTek provides solar-powered LED lighting systems for the illumination of outdoor advertising displays.

Standard Access

Standard Access builds robust solutions to solve the day-to-day challenges business face in managing secure access.


Sanctifly is a global members club that grants access to airport hotel gym, pool and spa facilities without having to book a room.


Xunison Limited creates high-quality smart tech products, including TV boxes, VR glasses, smart home devices and home security systems.

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