Limerick start-up firms win prestigious business awards

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts


Limerick start-up firms win prestigious business awards

James Power was named as one to watch in recognition of his Agri Guardian device

BRIGHT new start-ups based at the Enterprise Accelleration Centre in the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) have won prestigious awards.

An EdTech psychology company to support parents and teachers, a software to save time and cost when building a website and a farm safety wearable device, were the big winners at the LIT New Frontiers Awards 2021.

A total of 14 new business leaders from the New Frontiers programme showcased their start-up companies at a virtual ceremony hosted by LIT today.

Funded by Enterprise Ireland, the LIT New Frontiers programme comes with it a support package worth €30,000.

It is delivered by LIT at the Hartnett Enterprise Acceleration Centre for early-stage high potential start-ups.

The programme’s primary purpose is to accelerate the development of sustainable new businesses that have strong employment, growth, international potential and contribute to job creation and economic activity in the region.

The prize for start-up of the year went to Lorraine Lynch, the chief executive and founder of the Child Psychology Institute.

It was set up in 2020 in response to the need of overwhelmed parents and teachers who want to support children’s emotions and behaviours.

Its course focused on working with children who have experienced trauma is a 10-hour online self-paced course that covers everything parents and professionals need to know about trauma.

Meanwhile, Derek Nolan, founder of DogNotDuck won the business innovation award.

DogNotDuck provides embedded annotations software for teams building websites, to leave feedback, chat and collaborate directly on the website they are working on, to save time & cost on web projects.

The one to watch was James Power, who founded Agri Guardian.

This is a wearable device to make farming safer.

It has two versions, one for child safety and one for adult safety. The children’s device warns parents when a child enters the farm, is in danger areas and close to machinery in operation. The adult version detects falls, slurry gas levels and provides a location to emergency services, if required.

LIT president, Dr Vincent Cunnane said: “The talent, innovation and sense of purpose that these entrepreneurs have shown is remarkable. Entrepreneurship is at the very heart of what defines this region, and we in LIT are very proud to support and nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs. We are committed to fostering creative and entrepreneurial activities, in all their forms, in collaboration with our stakeholders to help shape the future of our region.”

LIT’s vice-president for research development and innovation Dr Liam Brown, described New Frontiers as a truly national programme with significant regional outreach and global export potential. 

“Participants of the New Frontiers Programme are playing a significant role in the indigenous business community - driving Ireland’s economy forward. We know that completing the New Frontiers Programme is like wearing a badge of quality in the business world. There is a willingness for other businesses to meet and engage with you after successful completion of the programme,” he added.

While, Paula Carroll, Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers national programme manager said: “I would like to congratulate the 2021 LIT cohort of the New Frontiers Programme for all they have achieved in what has been a difficult year for many due to the impact of the pandemic. This was a particularly strong group, showcasing the entrepreneurial talent of the Mid West.”