12 start-ups pitch for investment at Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas 2021

11th November, 2021

Big Ideas 2021
Big Ideas 2021
  • Big Ideas include innovations to prevent chemo-induced hair loss, a change management platform for distributed workforces, wearable therapy to treat COPD and a way to integrate healthy, purposeful physical movement into kids’ screen time

Twelve investor-ready start-ups will pitch their new technology solutions to investors at Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas 2021 today. The annual event, which showcases deep tech start-up innovation emerging from higher education institutes, provides founders with direct access to investors. Now in its 13th year, Big Ideas 2021 will take place online for the second year running.

The event will see founders pitch their ‘big ideas’, which include a medical device to help cancer patients prevent chemotherapy induced hair loss, a smartphone enabled solution to get children active and moving, an AI-powered outside broadcast technology that dramatically reduces production costs, an improved infection treatment to reduce unnecessary amputations and a wearable breathlessness therapy for COPD.

The selected third-level spins-outs 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 and the wider start-up ecosystem.

Start-ups that pitch at Big Ideas are representative of deep tech start-ups – companies that have to successfully conquer high levels of technical, engineering and science risk in parallel to other start-up risks such as market and finance risk. However, their combination of talent, and a differentiated, proprietary product means these types of start-ups can be highly disruptive to market incumbents and consequently impactful at a societal and economic level.

Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said: “Today’s event is an excellent example of the collaborative nature of business in Ireland. The interaction between investors, higher education institutes and Enterprise Ireland provides these 12 ambitious founders with an opportunity to take their businesses to the next level. The commercialisation of companies that were born as a result of a research idea is an imperative for Enterprise Ireland and the State as their success will change our collective future for the better.

“We have a really strong mix of companies pitching today and it is great to see that 50% of them have women founders. I wish each of them luck today.”

Gearoid Mooney, Divisional Manager - Research and Innovation at Enterprise Ireland said: “Enterprise Ireland has been working with higher education institutes and the Irish research and investment communities on Big Ideas for over a decade and we have seen its benefits through the emergence of some excellent start-up companies. The start-up ecosystem in Ireland is really strong and Enterprise Ireland is proud to support it through events like Big Ideas as well as follow on complementary supports such as our High Potential Start-Up, Competitive Start Fund and Horizon Europe investments for deep technology based start-ups. I wish each founder here today the very best of luck!”

Big Ideas alumni that have since gone on to raise angel, venture capital and corporate investment, grew headcount, secured international reference customers and were awarded highly competitive national, European and international funding include Nova Leah, SoapBox Labs, SepTec, Croí Valve, Nearform, Ostoform, Exit Entry, Loci Orthopaedics, AudioSourceRe, Selio, PlasmaBound, AtriAN Medical, Output Sports, Tympany Medical and Venari.

A judging panel will decide which of the 12 start-ups will be presented with this year’s ‘One to Watch Award’ for the outstanding pitch of the day. The online audience will also have their say – their vote will decide which pitch will be presented with the ‘Viewer’s Choice Award’.

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


Notes to the editor:

Spin-outs pitching at Big Ideas 2021 include:

  • Amara Therapeutics, pioneering for a new treatment for overactive bladder, or OAB. OAB affects 42m men and women in the US alone. To treat OAB, guidelines recommend behavioural therapy, but many patients are prescribed medications that can have a range of serious side effects. As a solution to this, Amara Therapeutics created RiSolve, a cost-effective, comprehensive Digital Therapeutic Solution that uses video and audio content to guide patients through an 8-week intervention via their smartphone. RiSolve collects and visualizes key information which allows clinicians to make data-driven care decisions. Promoter: Emma Carr
  • Arama, a solution that will revolutionize TV outside broadcasts by dramatically decreasing the production costs. Having extensive experience working in TV, CEO Donal Scannell has used his industry insight to develop a tech led solution that enables a crew of 3 to achieve what currently takes 33 by using AI and Computer Vision. Arama can do outside broadcasts for €5,000 that currently costs €40,000. Promoter: Donal Scannell
  • AVeta Medical, a Hormone-free and effective treatment of Vaginal Atrophy suitable for all women. Vaginal Atrophy (VA) is a chronic and progressive condition that impacts on a woman’s quality of life, intimate relationships and makes it uncomfortable to sit, stand, urinate or even work. There are currently 14.6m women across Europe and the US seeking treatment for VA, representing a €2.5bn market. Current treatment options are over the counter products with clinical side effects and risks and are not suitable for long term use. AVeta delivers a hormone-free, safe, affordable solution that is suitable for all women sufferers. Promoter: Paula Newell
  • Elevre Medical, treating COPD with wearable breathlessness therapy. To bring innovation to the neglected space of breathlessness management in COPD, Elevre Medical has created ResWave – a first-of-its-kind wearable therapy for breathlessness. ResWave delivers localised neuromuscular stimulation to the chest wall to provide relief when patients need it most – during physical activity. With a total addressable market across US and EU estimated at €10.7bn, ResWave will be the first device on the market that can offer unobtrusive breathlessness relief to patients, making it ideally placed to seize this significant opportunity.  Promoter: Miriam Savage
  • Epicapture, improving the care of cancer patients through the development of accurate, non-invasive, urine diagnostic tests to identify aggressive cancers like Prostate cancer. Globally, 1.4 million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and 375,000 die from the disease each year. Despite a lack of accuracy, it is estimated that 25m PSA tests are carried out in the US every year. Antoinette Perry’s ambition is that EpiCapture-prostate will run alongside the PSA test in the US and EU, where prostate cancer incidence metrics suggest the market opportunity is significantly larger than the US. Promoter: Antoinette Perry
  • illuminAi, has developed an AI-powered, biodynamic light-stress therapy technology to promote circadian and mental health. Disruption to our circadian rhythm can lead to poor sleep, depression, anxiety, weight gain, and many other ailments. Current Human Centric Lighting are ‘one-solution-for-all products’ for a problem that is complex and personal and are costly. The total addressable market for Human-Centric Lighting globally is € 1.03bn and illuminAi Tech has established a clear, and highly scalable, route to market. Promoter: Morteza Matkan
  • Luminate Medical has developed a wearable device to help cancer patients prevent chemotherapy induced hair loss. Currently, 84% of Luminate Medical’s target market purchase wigs at an average cost of $1,095 to manage chemo induced hair loss. As a solution to this, Luminate Medical has developed Lily – a wearable, portable, cap-like device which uses our proprietary compression therapy to prevent toxic chemotherapy drugs from reaching the hair follicles. Promoter: Aaron Hannon
  • MoveAhead tackles the ticking inactivity ‘timebomb’ by meeting children where they are (on phones, tablets etc.) and powering third-party digital experiences that ‘move’ children across digital games, play, toys, sport, and entertainment. This means MoveAhead can personalise the child’s movement experience so it’s ‘never too hard, never too easy’,  keeping children engaged, confident in their movement and developing over time. Promoter: Johann Issartel
  • PEARlabs: optical imaging technologies, such as microscopy, are essential tools for investigations in biomedical research and diagnostics and are fundamental to the understanding of disease mechanisms. PEARlabs has developed a patented Super Resolution Imaging (SRI) technology, which can overcome this dilemma. It is compact, cost-effective, and easily integrated into standard microscopy systems as a first commercial implementation. Further development of its technology will allow PEARlabs to become a sensor based high resolution imaging solution in diagnostic applications, such as endoscopy (a US$30bn market opportunity) or point-of-care “microscope-in-a-pocket” solutions and could even find its way into consumer devices. Promoter: Jürgen Osing
  • ai is aiming to reduce the time patients spend on hospital waiting lists. Stimul.ai uses scenario modelling to deliver evidence-based data intelligence, which allows clinicians to keep pace with demand and to plan their day based on the requirements, resources and available capacity. Ireland’s hospital waiting list numbers reached a record approaching 1m this year, as a pre-existing problem has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Stimul.ai is positioning itself within the first 3 years to support the Irish, UK and Canadian markets with a total addressable market of €210m. Promoter: Naomh McElhatton
  • WRKY is a simple, powerful and cost-effective point solution that combines flexible data capture with real-time data-visualisation and data-insights so leadership can drive measurable improvements across engagement, cultural and performance initiatives for mobile and frontline workers. The pandemic has accelerated rapid change in employee relations and dramatically shifted people’s expectations of employee welfare and support. The total addressable market for People analytics is $2.49bn and WRKY is well positioned to support mobile workers with its flexible mobile and cloud-based offering. Promoter: Brian Slattery
  • XTremedy Medical is focusing on improving infection treatments to prevent unnecessary amputations. In 20% of patients, an amputation is required to control the infection. XTremedy Medical has developed a surgical device that delivers electrical signals through the wound treating both the surface and below to zap any residual infection. There are over 300,000 diabetic foot ulcer procedures each year and a potential market of €600 million. The Xtremedy platform technology has scope to expand into the wider chronic wounds, trauma and surgical site infection markets, with a total potential market of €2.5 billion in the US. Promoter: Lyn Markey


For further information, please contact:

Deirdre Geraghty

Press Office

Enterprise Ireland

Deirdre Geraghty

086 603 1969