Torann wins €15,000 in Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition

24 Jun 2020

Torann founder Lewis Loane. Image: TechWatch

Torann founder Lewis Loane has won another prize for his Signal Optimiser technology.

The winners of this year’s Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition have been revealed, with Torann’s Signal Optimiser taking the first prize and winning €15,000.

The start-up’s founder, student Lewis Loane, won the top prize at the Invent Awards last year. He was also a finalist at the Enterprise Ireland Student Entrepreneur Awards 2020.

Loane’s start-up Torann – the Irish word for noise – has developed the Signal Optimiser device, which aims to solve the problem of lost sound quality that is encountered by musicians who play amplified instruments. It is a plug-and-play device that connects with any musical instrument to continuously deliver 100pc of the sound.


The Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition 2020 was a partnership between The Ireland Funds, the NDRC and St Patrick’s Mental Health Services (SPMHS).

After Signal Optimiser, the runners-up were OpinionX and Safety Freelancer, winning €7,000 and €2,000, respectively. OpinionX is a hybrid survey platform for engaging large groups online to gather feedback, while Safety Freelancer is an outsourcing platform for health and safety professionals.

The Mental Health Innovation Award, which was sponsored by SPMHS, went to KeepAppy, a social enterprise and wellness app that provides mental health tools to users. It is currently active in more than 100 countries and encourages users to engage with their mental health and wellbeing on a daily basis.

Due to Government Covid-19 restrictions, the pre-acceleration programme was delivered entirely remotely. It provided eight weeks of guided support and mentorship to teams to develop a pathway towards building a viable technology future.

Ben Hurley, CEO of NDRC, said: “This year’s programme was quite different to the previous years’, with an entirely remote delivery of the pre-acceleration model required amid the Government restrictions surrounding Covid-19. However, it is clear that the engagement and development of each business idea stood the test of time, and the journey each has been on has shown real rewards.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic