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clever clogs

These are the startups Ireland's newest business leaders have been coming up with

Complicated tech ones for the most part…

5939055612_17acd26a3c_o Steven Depolo / Flickr Steven Depolo / Flickr / Flickr

ENTERPRISE IRELAND TODAY had a passing-out ceremony at Dublin Castle for the startups they have been funding and investing in over the last year.

The kind of businesses being run by the 183 startups is pretty varied – albeit 67% of them are “technological” by category – ranging from a smartphone app for helping those with Parkinson’s Disease, to a mobile sensor for alerting farmers to birthing activity amongst their cattle,the brilliantly titled Moocall.

These businesses will be creating 1,500 jobs in the next three years – something which is not to be sniffed at. grabbed four of the companies at the event and asked them for a quick rundown on their business:

AmbiSense Ltd

Stephen McNulty (CEO) and Fiachra Collins spoke to us about AmbiSense, their company which designs and manufactures field-deployable gas monitoring instruments.

That is as impressive as it sounds.  The instruments in question provide an enhanced method for monitoring compliance at licensed biogas (organic gas, a sustainable energy) facilities, as well as helping said facilities to run more efficiently.

As well as being deemed a a high potential startup by Enterprise Ireland, Ambisense has been shortlisted for the Irish Times’ 2015 Innovation Awards in the Energy / Environment category. These guys obviously know their onions.

Video / YouTube

IMG_0462 Pictured: a gas monitoring instrument / Cianan Brennan / Cianan Brennan / Cianan Brennan

The Hub Controller

Oliver Hynes runs The Hub Controller, a house installation and smartphone app that allows the customer to control their utility bills via the amount they spend – that is the consumer sets the budget and the Hub Controller responds by running utilities at the most economical opportunity.

IMG_0459 Ollie Hynes / Cianan Brennan / Cianan Brennan / Cianan Brennan

A beneficiary of Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund, Hynes says the Enterprise Ireland experience has been a challenging but rewarding one.

“It’s not for the faint-hearted, you’ll have to be able to cope with tough questions and you need to know the answers,” he says.

We’ve failed on more than one occasion, and to be honest you learn more from your failures than from your success.
Enterprise Ireland are kind of like consultants, in that they don’t know what it’s like to be in a company at 6am on a Monday moring baling out the bottom of the boat as it were, but they do know a lot about the big stuff.
If you’re honest and straight with them then they’re absolutely brilliant.

Idaso – Data in Motion

Westmeath company Idaso’s managing director, the overly modest Ian Kerr, was a little skeptical that anyone would be interested in the fundamentals of his company.

Given Denis Duggan of Enterprise Ireland’s midlands office assured that Kerr’s niche is so unique his product is going to end up global, it sounds interesting enough to us.

Another recipient of the competitive start fund, Kerr’s idea is an automated means of extracting data from CCTV for infrastructure projects, a job that is currently both essential to construction around the world, and also highly manual.

Also used for the likes of traffic accident assessments, the automated service is cloud-based and could reduce a time-consuming human process (that is currently outsourced to India apparently) to next to nothing overnight.  One can see why it’s in demand.

Video / YouTube

DiaNia Technologies

Galway medical technology firm and competitive start fund recipients DiaNia are developing a type of material that makes medical catheters both cheap to produce and minimally invasive. Yikes.

Currently catheters are made from either teflon liners or hydrophilic coatings, materials which are significantly more expensive  and process-heavy than what DiaNia have in mind.

The next step for the company is to apply for high potential startup funding.  Meanwhile, CEO and PhD Sinéad Kenny did her best to make her company’s product sound simpler than it is:

Video / YouTube

It would all be enough to make a regular person feel like a bit of an underachiever.  Still, the showcase of so much talent at Dublin Castle is proof positive of where a little brains and a lot of graft can get you.

A full list of 2014′s startups can be found here.

First published 18/02/15

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