Researchers and investors gather for showcase of Irish innovations of the future at Enterprise Ireland's Big Ideas 2016

28th November, 2016

Big Ideas
Pictured: Brian Noonan, Cala Medical with Carol Gibbons, Enterprise Ireland

Eight investor-ready start-ups to pitch their new technology solutions and business propositions

Today, eight investor-ready start-up companies will pitch their new innovations to investors at Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas 2016 event in the Helix, Dublin. Taking to centre stage, each company will have just four minutes to promote their technology solutions and business propositions to an invited audience made up of the Irish research and business communities.

A “One to Watch Award” will be presented to the outstanding pitch.

In its seventh year, Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas 2016 is a platform for high potential start-ups from the Irish research system to pitch their innovations to investors and to turn their Big Ideas into profitable ideas.

Previous Big Ideas participants who have gone on to achieve international success will also take to the stage, highlighting the successful collaborations that exist between higher education institutes, investors and state support in Ireland. 

Gearoid Mooney, Divisional Manager, Research and Innovation, Enterprise Ireland said: “The Big Ideas being promoted here today by investor-ready start-up companies are an example of the innovations that will propel the Irish economy into the future. The potential and global ambition of these companies is being supported by Innovation 2020, the government's strategy for research and development, which aims to increase total investment in R&D led by the private sector, to over €5 billion annually by 2020. We are delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate the success of previous Enterprise Ireland Big Ideas participants and to preview the latest innovations that will continue to make Ireland stand out on the global map as an Innovation Island”.

The keynote speaker at Big Ideas 2016 is the Middle East-based award winning Irish entrepreneur Paul Kenny, founder of which was bought in 2015 in a deal worth €30m, five years after the company’s inception. Two panel discussions will also take place: “How we did it” featuring personal entrepreneurial journey stories, including those of last year’s Big Ideas participants Nova Leah and Soapbox Labs, and “Getting Investor Ready” where investors, including Helen McBreen, Atlantic Bridge and Jonny Parkes, Versari, will offer advice to new innovators.

Carol Gibbons, Head of Research and Innovation Start-Ups, Enterprise Ireland said: “The Enterprise Ireland Big Ideas event illustrates the commercial potential of innovations from Ireland's academic institutions across a range of sectors. High-tech products and services account for over 40% of Irish exports and it’s no coincidence that our world renowned research institutes are noted for exceptional collaboration between industry, academia, government agencies and regulatory authorities. Our Annual Business Results survey for 2015 found that companies that got involved in collaboration had exports ten times the client average and exceeded the average employment level by 35%. At Enterprise Ireland, our aim is to turn research into profitable international business which not only supports job creation at home, but also offers innovative solutions that will enhance and improve the lives of people on a global scale”.       

Full details on the event are available at


Notes to editor:


The people with Big Ideas making their pitch today include: 

  • Dr Brendan Boland, AltSurgical – an implant for arthritis sufferers that mimics the natural motions of the joint
  • Stephen Collins, Tip Tap Tap – interactive school desks which allows a fairer opportunity for students to interact simultaneously
  • Kevin Kelleher, Ostoform – new medical device to manage skin complications suffered by ileostomy patients
  • Breandán Kennedy, Phision Therapeutics – developing drugs to treat blindness associated with diabetes and aging
  • Chiara Leva, TOSCA – bespoke risk management solutions for high-risk industries, eg aviation
  • Andrew McCareen, DATAS – web services which centralise multiple date feeds, enabling clients to develop insights about their business KPIs.
  • David Molloy, Guru Developments – cloud-based software which simplifies the academic exam process
  • Brian Noonan, Cala Medical – extracorporeal cassette-based prototype for the treatment of sepsis.
Conor O’Donovan

Head of Communications

Enterprise Ireland

+353 1 7272912

Conor O'Donovan

Brigid Burke

Press Office

Enterprise Ireland

+353 1 7272430

+353 87 6310252

Brigid Burke