Sytorus announced as High Potential Start-Up 'Founder of the Year 2018' at Enterprise Ireland Awards

27th June, 2018

Founder of the Year 2018
HPSU Founder of the Year 2018. John Ghent from Sytorus was awarded Enterprise Ireland High-Potential Start-Up (HPSU) Founder of the Year for 2018 at an awards event at the Gibson Hotel Dublin last night. Pictured L-R: Joe Healy, Divisional Manager for the High Potential Start-up Unit, Enterprise Ireland; John Ghent, CEO, Sytorus.

John Ghent from Sytorus was awarded Enterprise Ireland High-Potential Start-Up (HPSU) Founder of the Year for 2018 at an awards event at the Gibson Hotel last night, sponsored by Grant Thornton. Sytorus is one of Europe’s leading data protection firms with offices in Dublin, London and Stockholm.

The Founder of the Year Awards, now in its second year, acknowledge and celebrate the commitment that entrepreneurs and start-ups have made to build world class companies of the future. There were seven finalists for the 2018 Award, all of whom were voted for by their peers that have been taking part in Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) Founders Forum over the last year.

Other finalists included: Paul Killoran, Ex Ordo; Niall Rafferty, Medxnote (3rd Runner-up); Simon Dempsey, Likewhere; Brian Noonan, Cala Medical; Dan Fox, Johnson Hana and Paul Mullin, The White Hag (2nd Runner-up).

The Founders Forum draws over 170 participants from a range of sectors including software, medical devices, food, engineering and construction, and provides a platform for founders to help each other succeed internationally and scale faster.  The Founder of the Year was decided by a judging panel which included representatives from Enterprise Ireland, Grant Thornton, Google and Atlantic Bridge. The ceremony’s guest speaker was Helen Ryan, former Chief Executive Officer of Creganna-Tactx Medical, a global supplier to the medical device industry and current Board member of Enterprise Ireland.

Addressing the Awards ceremony, Joe Healy, HPSU Manager, Enterprise Ireland said: “The Founder of the Year Awards celebrates Ireland’s ecosystem of entrepreneurs who have displayed the potential and commitment to building their businesses and realising their global ambition. We are delighted to build on the success of the Awards which is now in its second year, and the Founders Forum as initiatives to recognise and highlight high-performance, innovative Irish start-ups. On behalf of Enterprise Ireland, I wish to congratulate John from Sytorus 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.”

Kevin Foley, Partner Grant Thornton said: “Grant Thornton is delighted to sponsor the Enterprise Ireland Founder of Year Awards 2018. This year’s participants displayed the deep entrepreneurial talent in existence across Ireland. Grant Thornton is a strong supporter of ‘the entrepreneur’ and we are proud to support an initiative that helps unlock their potential. We are very happy to be associated with this wonderful celebration of these particular start-ups.”


Note to Editors:


Full list of short-listed nominees:

  • Paul Killoran, Ex Ordo
    Ex Ordo is a software platform for managing research conferences. The technology has powered over 1,000 conferences in nearly 60 countries, is used by 11 of the top 20 universities in the world and has helped 160,000+ researchers build relationships that will advance global research. Customers include: Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Oxford, Cambridge, IEEE, Hewlett Packard and the European Space Agency. The company employees 15 people in Galway.
  • Niall Rafferty, Medxnote
    Medxnote is a secure and compliant communication platform for healthcare, designed to replace Hospital Pagers and WhatsApp and text messaging. Medxnote’s ‘Chatbot’ technology can intelligently communicate with a hospital’s Electronic Medical Record (EMR) using the latest HL7 FHIR standard. Medical facilities can now build their own Medical Chatbots, leveraging their existing clinical data and business intelligence to create game changer workflow improvements.
  • Simon Dempsey, Likewhere
    LikeWhere combines artificial intelligence with a global community of local bloggers & content creators, and enables brands to deliver personalised travel recommendations specific to the interests of the individual customer. With LikeWhere, brands can now personalise their marketing for greater retention and higher conversations.
  • Brian Noonan, Cala Medical
    Cala Medical is a biomedical device company developing therapies for diseases resulting from dysregulation of the immune system. The Limerick-based company was founded in 2017 and is developing Cytoflow5 as a completely new therapy for sepsis.  Cale Medical’s mission is to deliver a new life-saving treatment option for the 26 million people affected by sepsis each year.
  • John Ghent, Sytorus
    Sytorus is one of Europe's leading data protection firms. Sytorus operate across Europe with offices in Dublin, London and Stockholm. In addition to data protection consultancy services, Sytorus have developed a cutting edge personal data management platform, PrivacyEngine, designed by Data Protection Officers for Data Protection Officers. PrivacyEngine is deployed in every European country by hundreds of organisations, it provides the Data Protection Officer, and their team with everything they need to demonstrate and drive compliance, turning personal data into a business advantage.
  • Dan Fox, Johnson Hana
    Johnson Hana is Ireland’s first alternative legal solutions company, transforming the work of in-house legal, compliance and data protection departments through the provision of flexible, high value and cost effective legal support solutions. Johnson Hana’s mission is to cut legal costs by upwards of 50% without compromising on quality by providing Ireland’s first compelling alternative to conventional legal models for work that is non-advisory and more repeat in nature.
  • Paul Mullin, The White Hag
    The White Hag Irish Brewing Company is a multi-award-winning craft brewery from Sligo, Ireland. A young Irish team and a master brewer from Ohio, US, they exploded on the Irish brewing scene in 2014 with a huge range of unique beers, and over the past 4 years have grown to have our products available in pubs, beer shops and hospitality across Ireland, the UK, Northern Ireland, France, Russia, Germany, Norway and Italy.

For further information, please contact:

Aoife Kelly

Press Office

Enterprise Ireland

Aoife Kelly

01 727 2344