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Irish Startups impress at inaugural Newry tech event Innovation Nation 2018

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by Startacus Admin

Irish startups both North and South came to pitch at Innovation Nation 2018, the inaugural, two-day Ascend startup pitch comp at Innovation Nation 2018Newry tech event, with Cork startup SmartRoutes claiming the £50k valued prize fund.

Irish startups both North and South came to pitch at Innovation Nation 2018, the inaugural, two-day Newry tech event, an event that championed the Newry, Mourne and Down district area of Northern Ireland as a national hub for digital innovation.

Led and hosted by Startacus co-founder Alastair Cameron, the Ascend startup pitch competition was an integral part of the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council organised two-day tech event, with the winning Irish startup, SmartRoutes announced as the overall winner that evening at the event dinner at the Newry City Hall.

Ascend startup pitch comp at Innovation Nation 2018SmartRoutes is a Cork based startup who have designed and built a delivery route planning solution. Their Cloud-based platform helps businesses to seamlessly plan their routes, giving them the ability to run an efficient delivery fleet in-house 24/7. 

Coming a close second was Clare based startup Get the Shiftsa tech-centric staffing solution which is disrupting the Irish hospitality sector by supporting bars, restaurants, cafes, festivals, and other hospitality and events businesses to source experienced, temporary staff in their area on demand.

The Judges namely Kevin McGivern of Kx, Ashleen Feeney of KPMG in Northern Ireland, Garrett O’Hare of Flexi Work Space and Drew O’Sullivan of InterTradeIreland, who were impressed with the early stage Irish startups that pitched, also awarded Northern Irish startup Cropsafe with a ‘One to Watch’ title.

Cropsafe, with a team of three co-founders aged 17, impressed beyond their years, and their pitch for their AgriTech platform that utilizing satellite imagery to accurately detect and predict impending diseases within farmers crops, left a mark on the audience and the Ascend Judges. 

Alastair Cameron, co-founder of Startacus who hosted the startup pitch competion said:

“It is no exaggeration to say that we were totally delighted with the standard of the early-stage Irish startups on show. Whilst all credit must go to Smartroutes, Get the Shifts and Cropsafe for bring awarded with the 1st, 2nd and ‘One to Watch’ titles, it is fair to say that a good number of startups also scored heavily by the Judges and scoring was very close on the day.”

Alastair continued: “I would not be surprised if quite a few of these startups go on to raise angel and VC investment over the coming 12 months.”

RISCalert, Unitek.AI, Motoklik, Afterbook, Journey Protector, Jadeblok, Elastic Energy, Compensave, MiBudi, Machine Eye, made up the list of early-stage Irish startups on show.

Innovation Nation 2018 took place over two days and attendees heard from Brian Conlon, Founder and Chief Executive of First Derivatives plc; Norbrook Laboratories Chief Executive Liam Nagle and STATSports Chief Commercial Officer Sean O’Connor, as well as inspiring entrepreneurs and tech leaders from elsewhere.


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Published on: 30th September 2018

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