12 new technology solutions pitch for investment at Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Big Ideas 2020’

25th November 2020

The stage at the Big Ideas 2020 event
  • Big Ideas include innovations to treat heart conditions, vertigo, improve fertility care and technology to inspire and empower employees

Twelve investor-ready start-ups will pitch their new technology solutions to investors at Big Ideas 2020 today. The annual Enterprise Ireland showcase of start-up innovation emerging from higher education institutes has moved online this year.

Now in its 12th year, Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas illustrates the commercialisation potential of Irish academic research. This year, innovations include medtech devices to treat heart conditions, a wearable sensor to manage vertigo and dizzinesss, a sperm sorting technology to revolutionise fertility care and technology that combines psychology and Artificial Intelligence to empower people to be their best selves at work.

The selected third-level spins-outs with Big Ideas will each have just three minutes to promote their innovations and business propositions to an invited online audience made up of the Irish research and investment communities.

A ‘One to Watch Award’ will be presented for the outstanding pitch of the day. Guest speakers at today’s event will also include US based board-director, author, advisor and speaker Dr Anita Sands who is originally from Co. Louth.

Stephen Creaner, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland said: “Enterprise Ireland’s annual Big Ideas event offers an exciting snapshot of the future, showcasing investor-ready start-ups with disruptive technologies that will change our world for the better, as well as providing opportunities for keen investors.

“The 12 individuals promoting their innovations today are demonstrating the results of deep research and the hard work of commercially-focused researchers, combined with significant investment from the state. These are the businesses of the future and they stem from a vibrant and collaborative commericalisation ecosystem which will help drive the future of the Irish economy.”

Gearoid Mooney, Divisional Manager, Research and Innovation, Enterprise Ireland added: “Enterprise Ireland’s research commercialisation team is working to ensure that research teams with global ambition receive the supports and introductions they need to successfully spin-out to become viable start-up companies. We recognise the vital importance of research and innovation, particularly in driving the growth and scale of Irish companies with novel, proprietary products and services in overseas markets.

“Supporting the commericalisation of research allows us to develop the next generation of innovative High Potential Start-Ups (HPSUs) and last year, 13 HPSUs were successfully generated in partnership with our third level institutions. Enterprise Ireland is delighted to showcase the fantastic innovative work that is being done in our academic institutions and we look forward to working with these spin-out companies to help them grow and scale.”

Full details on the event are available at www.bigideas.ie


Notes to editor:

Big Ideas 2020 include:

  • AthenaCX, a rapid, no-code, adaptive, multi-channel Experience Sampling Platform, has been developed by Prof Tomas Ward´s development team at DCU with product guidance from Willie Muehlhausen. Willie is a successful serial intrapreneur with 22 years´ experience in product development and he successfully managed teams who gained international recognition in Patient Experience sampling, virtual clinical trials and realworld data science. Promoter: Willie Muehlhausen

  • Drug safety professionals have to read hundreds of medical articles every week to find the most relevant ones. biologit’s artificial intelligence diligently finds important articles, saving time and money. The founding team is formed by Nicole Baker, Bruno Ohana and Seán Murphy. biologit is an ADAPT Centre research team working with Professor Lucy Hederman within Trinity College Dublin, School of Computer Sciences & Statistics. Promoter: Nicole Baker

  • BioPixS, a UCC spin-out, develops optical phantoms that simulate human organs and will help reduce the exploitation of animals in preclincal trials. Sanathana Konugolu-Venkata-Sekar, co-founder and CEO at BioPixS, is a deep tech scientist and an aspiring entrepreneur with experience as an advisor, director and mentor at various start-ups. The BioPixS team has 30+ years of experience with a unique understanding of the phantom revolution in biophotonics. Promoter: Sanathana Konugolu-Venkata-Sekar

  • A powerful combination of computational chemistry, quantum physics, high-performance computing and Artificial Intelligence, the BioSimulytics solution will allow for smarter, faster and more cost-effective drug development. The founders of the UCD spin-out BioSimulytics are Peter Doyle (CEO), Niall English (CTO) and Christian Burnham (Head of Product Development). As a team, they combine a strong mix of the key technical and commercial skills and experience required for growing the business. Promoter: Peter Doyle

  • Galenband’s unobtrusive wrist-worn device records heart activity continuously for up to 90 days, offering reliable detection of heart rhythm abnormalities. Eddie McDaid leads the Galenband team of medtech and software engineering experts, partnered with co-founder Oisin McGrath, who invented Galenband at NUI Galway. Eddie has led the creation of multiple software platform businesses which have achieved over €50M in sales. Promoter: Eddie McDaid

  • What if there was technology that kept us connected, empowered and inspired to be good people at work? inclusio is combining technology, psychology and AI, to inform, inspire and empower people to be their best selves at work. inclusio was established in 2018 as a technology start-up in DCU by Sandra Healy founder and CEO. Sandra, together with her cofounders, Deborah Murphy and Arthur Lubambo, have built a diverse team of experts spanning AI, psychology and data analytics to bring inclusio to the global market. Promoter: Sandra Healy

  • Lifelet Medical is making sustainable heart valve leaflets for patients with heart valve disease, aiming for a solution that lasts a lifetime. Elle Sander and interventional cardiologist Prof. Faisal Sharif are co-founders of Lifelet, based in NUI Galway’s Lambe Institute. With a bioengineering and regenerative medicine background, Elle is motivated to realise the commercial ambition of Lifelet Medical. Promoter: Elle Sander

  • neoMimix is revolutionising fertility care worldwide through its novel sperm sorting technology. This innovative solution will improve outcomes and make fertility care more available to the one in six couples requiring fertility treatment. Sean Fair is a Reproductive Biologist and the CSO of the UL spin-out neoMimix. The core team also consists of Declan Keane (CEO) a clinical embryologist who established his own fertility group, ReproMed, as well as Eoin White (Design and Regulatory Lead). Promoter: Sean Fair

  • Nua Surgical is innovating in women's health. Its surgical retractor will make caesarean delivery safer and enhance patient recovery. Nua Surgical was developed out of BioInnovate Ireland and is currently based at NUI Galway. The founding team of Barry McCann, Padraig Maher and MarieTherese Maher have over 50 years combined industry experience covering commercial, technical and design control requirements. Promoter: Barry McCann

  • Current microfluidic technologies are not meeting the advanced technical requirements of the pharmaceutical, biomedical and aerospace industries. Stokes Microfluidics, a spin-out from the University of Limerick founded Dr Eric Dalton and Dr. Valeria Nico, has a solution. Promoter: Eric Dalton

  • NUI Galway spin-out SymPhysis Medical has developed a home-based medical device which will help late stage cancer patients suffering from breathlessness due to fluid build-up around the lung. Tim Jones is Co-Founder & CEO. With an engineering and commercial background Tim has worked with his co-founder Michelle Tierney for the last three years. Promoter: Tim Jones

  • Vertigenius is leading the way to better balance. It combines a unique wearable sensor with an app to help treat dizziness, vertigo and imbalance. Dr. Dara Meldrum is the inventor and founder of Vertigenius and is a Senior Research Fellow at TCD Academic Unit of Neurology. Promoter: Dara Meldrum


For more information:

Brigid Burke

Press Office

Enterprise Ireland

Brigid Burke

+353 87 1803995