The Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition 2017
About the final:
Dublin, NDRC, Wednesday 9 August 2017
The final of The Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition in partnership with NDRC, an early stage investor in tech companies, was hosted by NDRC at their start-up hub in Dublin’s Digital Quarter.
After an exciting morning of pitches, Q&A, and extensive deliberations, the winners were announced by NDRC’s Pre Accelerator Leader, Helen Fullen.
The winner was Aurius, and the award was accepted by CEO Paul Allan.
Aurius offers affordable, high quality hearing aids paired with an app on a phone or tablet that allows users to tune the device at home. This breakthrough technology means that a visit to the audiologist is no longer required when common glitches occur, thereby saving the user both time and money.
Allan, a 22-year-old student at Trinity College Dublin said “The Business Plan Competition helped us greatly in understanding that, while we might have a brilliant product, it is our marketing strategy that will be key to any future success. The mentorship and networking opportunities provided by both The Ireland Funds and NDRC is second to none and I would encourage any early stage start-ups to consider applying for next year’s competition when the time comes.”
In second place, Helixworks Technologies a Cork based biotechnology firm, represented by Nimesh Pinnamaneni has developed a new DNA writing technology that can write complex DNA code 10 times cheaper and faster than what is currently available to biotech companies. Luke Sexton and Daniel Beere came in third place with their product, Victor the VisaBot. Victor is a visa information text bot designed to solve systemic problems associated with securing travel visas.
Panel judge Gene Murphy, Entrepreneur in Residence at Bank of Ireland said ‘The standard of presentations from teams this year was really phenomenal. It is great to see the work that has been put in by The Ireland Funds and the NDRC. It’s great to see The Ireland Funds supporting people in this space, to create the next level of indigenous talent that is Irish based and that can scale around the world’.
The judging panel was made up of industry experts: Dermot Casey, Investment Leader at NDRC, Avril McHugh, Director of Global Marketing at Cpl Resources plc, Gene Murphy, Entrepreneur in Residence at Bank of Ireland and Gareth Quinn, MD of Digital DNA.
General Facts about the 2017 Business Plan Competition:
The Business Plan Competition has been generously funded by Ireland Funds America Board Director Bill McKiernan of WSM Capital LLC since it was founded in 2012 and today is also supported through generous donations from fellow Board Directors Angela Moore and Harry Hartford.
In 2017, the competition received 72 applications. Of these applications, 12 teams were selected to receive mentoring and support from NDRC through a series of workshops during June, July and August before the finale.