The Irish app that wants to help people get up in the morning

Pieta House said that they hoped their partnership with the app would help users in a “meaningful and positive way”.

SO MANY INVENTIONS are created by trying to find a solution to common problems.

For Ruaidhrí Finnegan and Dan Moriarty, the problem was getting up early in the morning, without snoozing or lying in bed on their phones.

So the 27-year-old professionals – one a media consultant, the other a businessman – decided to team up to create FirstUp to solve the problem by rewarding users for getting up in the morning.

The app, still in test mode and due for launch in August, has already formed a partnership with Pieta House and Electric Ireland, and is drawing international attention.

So what’s it about?

How it works

FIRST UP / YouTube

“Most alarm clocks shock you into waking,” Ruaidhrí Finnegan told “We wanted to create a positive start with the app, so people would feel positively about waking up.”

The app doesn’t have a klaxon or alarm to wake people, but more soothing sounds like birds singing and waves. When you turn the alarm off, it counts as one sleep.

“You can only gather one sleep per calendar day,” Finnegan explains. “And when you get five sleeps, you get a reward.”

Those rewards could be a breakfast or a taxi voucher, Finnegan explains. The incentive for businesses to offer free deals, comes from the advertising they get from being on people’s phones first thing in the morning.

shutterstock_295098866 Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images / Monkey Business Images

Finnegan said they created the app out of their own experience; “I know every trick in the book about how to make excuses not to get up early.”

So what if people use the app, turn the alarm off, and go back to sleep? Is that not a way of cheating into getting rewards?

“It’s not about stopping people cheating,” he says. “It’s about helping people have a better start to their day.”

He describes the app as having an ‘Instagram-like’ layout: with big text and block images.

He says that Pieta House ambassador Jack McGrath was on the homepage that morning, holding a board with the quote.

“We see so many innovations across all industries and devices, but the alarm hasn’t been touched.”

shutterstock_331947668 Shutterstock / shutter_o Shutterstock / shutter_o / shutter_o

Their partnership with Electric Ireland and Pieta House aims to help people be more mindful, self aware and more positive about their day.

CEO of Pieta House Brian Higgins said:

“With the amazing turnout of this year’s Darkness into Light event, we wanted people to really understand the positive impact their decision to brave the early hours of Saturday morning had for Pieta House – and we thought what better way to do this than by rewarding them for waking up in the morning!

We view FirstUp as an innovative and exciting young Irish company with real potential and we’re delighted to be involved with them in exploring avenues to engage participants of Darkness into Light in a meaningful and positive way.

If you’d like to try FirstUp to help you get up earlier in the morning, download the trial version here which offers €5 vouchers from mytaxi and breakfast deals from Cocu.

Read: ‘Thanks for saving her’: 4 people tell us why they walked from Darkness Into Light

Read: ‘Darkness Into Light allows us to talk about the wound left by suicide’

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