12 investor ready start-ups pitch for investment at Enterprise Ireland's Big Ideas 2022

24th November, 2022

Big Ideas 2022
Big Ideas 2022

Big Ideas include an injectable gel treatment for knee osteoarthritis, AI-powered video summarisation, a medical device to treat dry eyes, and a solution to lower carbon emissions

Twelve investor-ready start-ups will pitch their new technology solutions to investors at Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas 2022 today. The annual event, which showcases deep tech start-up innovation emerging from higher education institutes, provides founders with direct access to investors and an opportunity to unveil their Big Idea. Now in its 14th year, Big Ideas 2022 will take place as a hybrid event with a live audience in Croke Park Dublin and a wider international audience watching online.

This year, innovations address a wide range of issues, including an injectable gel treatment to give superior relief and protection from knee osteoarthritis, AI-powered video summarisation, a wearable medical device to treat dry and sore eyes, and a way to categorise transaction data to determine carbon hotspots and provide recommendations to lower carbon emissions.

The selected pitch teams will each have just three minutes to promote their innovations and business propositions to an invited in person and online audience made up of the Irish research and investment communities and the wider start-up ecosystem.

The teams pitching at Big Ideas today are representative of deep tech start-ups – companies that must successfully conquer high levels of technical, engineering and science risk in parallel to the other risks that companies face when starting out, 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.

Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation at the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment, Dara Calleary, TD, said:

“Ireland has one of the most vibrant and collaborative commercialisation ecosystems in the world – due in no small part to the people that make the system what it is – the entrepreneurs and the founders and the technology and innovations they pursue. The origins of these technology-based start-ups are deep rooted in ground-breaking research emanating from State-funded Irish institutions and this new wave of deep tech entrepreneurs is helping to position Ireland as a leading player on the global innovation scene.

“As these founders face a more challenging start-up funding environment, it’s important to sustain and support their growth, and instruments such as the Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund (DTIF) play a critical role in addressing potential funding gaps for deep tech start-ups. I wish all 12 teams the best of luck today and into the future.”

Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy said:

“Given the severe global headwinds that Irish businesses are facing, it has never been more important to champion the courage and ambition of Irish founders, as their spirit and drive are the cornerstones of our local and national economies. Enterprise Ireland is committed to further accelerating entrepreneurship in Ireland and today’s event is an excellent example of this, with the interaction between investors, higher education institutes and our own support teams providing these 12 ambitious founders with an opportunity to take their businesses to the next level. The commercialisation of companies, 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.”

The Big Ideas pitch teams will also be vying for one of two accolades today. 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 live and online audience will also have their say – their vote will decide which pitch team will be presented with the ‘Viewer’s Choice Award’.

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


Notes to Editor

Big Ideas 2022 promoters include:

Darwin &Goliath: a Trinity College spin-out from the ADAPT research centre provides carbon calculators that categorise transaction data to determine carbon hotspots and provide recommendations to lower carbon emissions. The technology enables companies to calculate and ultimately reduce emissions in procurement by comparing vendors and displaying emissions information to end customers. Promoter: Eamonn Donlyn.

Fada Medical: With a mission to improve insulin delivery for people living with Type 1 diabetes mellitus. Fada Medical has developed a novel diffusion technology that can extend the wear time of infusion set cannulas, supporting consistent long term insulin pump use. Promoter: Robert Wylie.

giyst: An emerging UCD start-up, giyst is using AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning to create video summaries to tackle the issues of information overload and shortening attention spans for business, education and other markets. The aim is to repurpose content to drive better engagement and discovery. Promoter: Avril Power.

Infraprint: From medical implants to aircraft engine parts, 3D printing is defining the next industrial revolution. Infraprint’s technology enables the 3D printing of engineering plastics stronger than any system on the market, empowering companies to manufacture high strength, lightweight, customised parts in a cost and time efficient way. This digital technology is leading the way to a sustainable, reliable and energy efficient production process for small batch components, from Aerospace to pharmaceuticals and beyond. Promoter: Andrew Dickson.

Lia Therapeutics: Following needs-led research conducted during the BioInnovate Fellowship Programme at University of Galway and a Commercialisation Fund at UCD , Lia Therapeutics has developed NightleafTM, its drug-free, wearable medical device to treat dry and sore eyes. Promoter: Sinead Buckley.

NanobOx: Maintaining levels of dissolved oxygen in process waters is a significant operating cost and critical to productivity in many commercial bioprocesses. Dr John Favier, a serial entrepreneur, along with Dr Mohammad Ghaani at Trinity College Dublin have developed a highly energy efficient technology for oxygenation of water using nanobubbles. Promoter: John Favier.

OPEnS: Dr Conor Lynch, a research fellow & group lead at Nimbus research centre in MTU, has developed a solution for automating energy savings. The company OEPnS has a grid-connected smart network system encompassing energy market-tracking tariff prediction technologies that has the capacity to optimise based on energy cost, carbon emissions or both simultaneously. Promotor: Conor Lynch.

Pumpinheart: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) spin-out company Pumpinheart has prototyped a transcatheter implantable diastolic heart pump ‘PReduction’ to treat advanced stage Heart Failure with preserved Ejection Fraction. The management team is mix of clinical, engineering and start-up expertise. Prior to joining RCSI, CMO Dr Aamir Hameed was a cardiothoracic surgeon. CEO Donald Hickey is an experienced EdTech and MedTech entrepreneur and CTO, Dr Andrew Malone is a medical physicist. Promoter: Donald Hickey.

ReleviumBio: Having previously managed projects for large multinationals such as ROCHE, Boston Scientific and Cook Medical, Dr Alison Liddy, Co-Founder of ReleviumBio has developed an injectable gel treatment to give superior relief and protection from knee osteoarthritis. The company is targeting knee osteoarthritis as a first clinical indication and plan to extend the treatment indications to target other joints affected by osteoarthritis, where the same treatment problems exist. Promotor: Alison Liddy.

TiLT (Transformation in Learning and Training): For organisations operating in an environment of diversity – this does not necessarily equal inclusion. TiLT has created a training solution to make diverse organisations more inclusive that focuses not on individual unconscious bias training but on shifting the norms around social interaction in the organisation. Promotor: Anne Holohan.

UniDoodle: has created a digital tool that addresses the problem of student disengagement in class-based learning - a Student Response System that understands students like never before. The Promotor Denise O’Grady is a serial entrepreneur in the EdTech domain, having founded Way2Pay a FinTech / EdTech start-up in 2013 and successfully exiting in 2019 selling to Evo Payments, a USA based, quoted company. Promoter: Denise O’Grady.

Vzarii: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a neurodegenerative retinal disease affecting up to 10% of adults over 65 years. Vzarii has developed innovative platform gene therapies that target late-stage dry AMD. The Vzarii gene therapy technologies are the result of pioneering research from the Farrar team at the School of Genetics and Microbiology, Trinity College Dublin. Promotor: Loretto Callaghan.

For further information, please contact:

Deirdre Geraghty

Press Office

Enterprise Ireland

Deirdre Geraghty

086 603 1969