Skip to main content

Enterprise Ireland’s Start-Up Day Celebrates New Frontiers StartUps

Last week, Enterprise Ireland hosted the largest annual event on Ireland’s startup calendar, welcoming over 600 people and celebrated Irish companies from sectors such as ICT, life sciences, fintech, food, and sustainability.

The first edition of Start-Up Day at Dublin Castle celebrated Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Class of 2023’ and brought together the wider start-up ecosystem which supports the development of these businesses, including investors, state agencies, and accelerators.

On the day, 10 investor-ready ventures participated in the Big Ideas competition and pitched their pioneering innovations to a panel of judges in front of a live audience consisting of representatives from the Irish start-up ecosystem, including founders, VCs and other funders, state support agencies and professional and financial services.

Big Ideas gives ventures emerging from higher education institutes the opportunity to showcase their innovations and pitch their solutions. They also receive support with meeting and networking with potential investors, partners, and advisors. LaNua Medical won the overall Big Ideas Award and will go on to represent Ireland at the Pegasus Start-Up World Cup in San Francisco later this year.

New Frontiers alumni shine at Start-up Day 2024

Amongst the invitees at Start-Up Day were a number of the 2023 funded New Frontiers Phase 3 recipients, who had the opportunity to network with representatives from the Irish startup ecosystem. We’re delighted that 11 of the companies awarded HPSU investment in 2023 are alumni of the New Frontiers programme.

They are:

  • Andrew Farrell of Block Angel Ltd (2017 New Frontiers participant in Tallaght)
  • Gerry McCauley of OmniSpirant (2017 New Frontiers participant in Waterford)
  • Shana Chu of Style Wrapped (2019 New Frontiers participant in Waterford)
  • Jennifer O’Brien of Plantruption (2020 New Frontiers participant in Dublin/Dún Laoghaire)
  • Niamh Dooley of Lurgan Foods Limited t/a/ Biasol (2020 New Frontiers participant in Athlone/Maynooth)
  • Gavin Duffy of Trigr (2020 New Frontiers participant in Limerick)
  • Marie Toft of Emotionise (2020 New Frontiers participant in Limerick)
  • Kim O’Callaghan of EventzSavvy (2020 New Frontiers participant in Blanchardstown)
  • Heidi Davis of Identify Her (2021 New Frontiers participant in Blanchardstown)
  • Matthew Conlon of Cytidel (Overwatchr) (2021 New Frontiers participant in Galway-Mayo)
  • Emma Meehan of Precision Sports Technology (2021 New Frontiers participant in Galway-Mayo)

In addition, a number of other New Frontiers alumni were panellists on the day – Ciaran Crean of Micks Garage and more recently WaveOMS; Sinead Crowther of Soothing Solutions, who spoke about the power and importance of networking; and Rory O’Connor from Scurri, who spoke about his scaling journey.

Enterprise Ireland backs Irish startups

In 2023, Enterprise Ireland invested €24 million in Irish startups and supported a total of 156 startup companies through its High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) and Pre-Seed Start Fund (PSSF) programmes. Of those, over 55% are based outside of Dublin and 45 (31%) are led by women.

Speaking to RTE Morning Ireland, Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy commended the “ambition and capability” of Ireland’s startups and spoke of the “calibre of talent and innovation” demonstrated by the 85 high potential startups and 71 early-stage businesses from across the country.

Start-Up Day is a wonderful opportunity for people from the ecosystem to connect, share, network, inspire, and learn. We’re already looking forward to next year’s event!

[Featured image: (l-r), Leo Clancy, Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Ireland; Dara Calleary TD, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation; and New Frontiers alumna Emma Meehan of Precision Sports Technology]

About the author

scarlet-merrillScarlet Bierman

Scarlet Bierman is a content consultant, commissioned by Enterprise Ireland to fulfil the role of Editor of the New Frontiers website. She is an expert in designing and executing ethical marketing strategies and passionate about helping businesses to develop a quality online presence.