According to the latest survey by the Irish Venture Capital Association, more than 1,000 Irish technology companies have raised over €2 billion since 2008. These funds have also encouraged international investing in Irish tech firms, bringing up to €825 million of capital into Ireland.
Many entrepreneurs are starting their businesses here in Ireland for a variety of reasons. World-class companies in the ICT, gaming, financial, life sciences, and food and beverage services have set up shop here. This, plus the low tax environment, is favourable for startups – giving them access to experienced and quality staff, investors, suppliers, and other services.
There are many promising new businesses finding their feet here, making Ireland an exciting place to be for an entrepreneur. Here are four Irish tech startups to watch in 2015:
CareZapp is helping to solve the logistics of taking care of those living at home alone who can’t take care of themselves.
Since faced with all the challenges that come along with caring for a loved one with a terminal illness, Co-founder and CEO Andrew Macfarlane is on a mission. His desire is to “transform care at home by connecting home, community and technology, enabling caregivers to create their own network of care to support the health and wellbeing of a loved one at home.”
CareZapp is a free app for caregivers – including family members, friends, neighbors, and healthcare professionals – to stay connected so they can better coordinate and plan to look after someone in need.
Messaging and smart reminders can be displayed on an online noticeboard. Important alerts can be transmitted via in-app notices, email or SMS. People can create their own groups for private messaging, and different groups can communicate with each other.
Personalised care plans can also be created through subscriptions that monitor daily activity levels, wandering (dementia care), and vitals (feedback on biometrics). There’s also 24-7-365 monitoring that supports predictive and preventative services – providing feedback, notifications and alerts to caregivers or third-party call centres.
CareZapp was one of the 14 finalists in the Start-up Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt 2014 in London. This year it announced a partnership with the charity, Autism Initiatives, to use its technology to create a private social network of support and care for individuals with autism.
Artomatix is taking the craft of digital media creation for movies, games, and animation and making it better.
Building the first Artificial Intelligence with an imagination, the technology takes a few examples of art pieces to create many more variations on the theme. For instance, an artist can use a few digitally created soldiers, swamp creatures (or whatever else their imagination can think up) and turn them into an army.
Artomatix doesn’t just morph one piece into another, but actually creates a completely new piece – allowing for more variation. It enables the work of one artist to do the job of a team of many.
Art creation is an expensive and time-consuming part of movie and video game production. Artomatix applies machine learning to enable the computer to take over many tedious and time-consuming aspects of art creation. This allows the graphic artists to focus on their art while reducing project times and costs.
Run by Kildare-born Neal O’Gorman and American Eric Risser, Artomatix already has some impressive wins under its belt. It won the inaugural Start App competition for Dublin in June 2014 and was the champion of Nividia’s “Emerging Companies Summit” in March 2015.
Farming these days isn’t just about plowing the fields, taking care of livestock, and milking the cows. There’s also a lot of paperwork involved, such as record-keeping and staying on top of inventory.
That’s where Farmflo comes in. It’s a cloud-based farm management system that keeps track of anything a modern farm needs to keep in check – such as inventory, tasks and farming activities, fertilizer and chemical usage, harvest yields and production outputs, and livestock monitoring. It eliminates the use of paper-based records and spreadsheets.
Farmflo helps the farmer save time on doing tedious paperwork and, since it’s cloud-based, the farmer can access and update the information in real-time from anywhere.
Launched in mid 2014 by Jason and Gareth Devenney, Farmflo was selected by AIB as one of only eight Irish companies to present their innovative technology in the Alpha programme at the Web Summit in Dublin last year.
Founded by Dr Brian Moore and Dr Andrew Hodgson in Sligo, Orreco uses its unique technology to help elite athletes around the world to achieve peak-performance.
The technology analyses biomarkers found in blood, saliva, or tissues to identify underperformance and fatigued states. This allows for early intervention and management, proper training and nutritional strategies, and leads to reduced illness, injury, and ultimately improved performances.
The analytics developed by Orreco reference to the biomarker profiles of thousands of world-class athletes. By utilising statistical modelling to identify patterns of excellent and poor performance within athletes, the biomarker data collected alerts to specific signals that can be identified and relayed to the medical team.
The firm has grown quickly and already has some impressive sport champions as clients in the arenas of Formula 1, golf, and track and field. Orreco has raised €1 million from investors in 2015, which will allow it to double its workforce this year.