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18 Jan 2022

Award-winning Limerick firm survived and thrived when Covid arrived

Award-winning Limerick firm survived and thrived when Covid arrived

Tim Crowe and Ken Sheehan, of WrxFlo, receive their accolade at the it@cork Leaders Awards from Ciara Concannon, Enterprise Ireland; Donagh Kiernan, it@cork and Tenego

YOU WOULD think Cork people would be sick of Limerick success but not so.

Tech start up of the year winner at the recent it@cork Leaders Awards went to Limerick-based WrxFlo.

Starting a new company to target the global manufacturing industry months before coronavirus arrived may sound like an unsurmountable obstacle but not to Tim Crowe, Doon and Ken Sheehan, Croom.

They are joined by another Doon man, Francis Cummins and Jennifer Kelly from Limerick city.

WrxFlo stood out to the judging panel due to the incredible resilience shown during the greatest impact of Covid-19 crisis, using the opportunity to refocus their business on delivering a world class service to a small number of strategic clients.

They are about to close a €1.2 million funding round and plans to increase its headcount from ten to 50 within three years.

Put as simply as possible, WrxFlo solves companies’ problems on production lines and allows them to better understand the processes underpinning their manufacturing efforts, says the Business Post.

Mr Crowe, WrxFlo CEO, had spent most of his career at Dell.

“I designed and implemented manufacturing processes for Dell across Europe, Asia and North/South America. I also managed the global engineering and Continuous Improvement teams. Before I left in 2014 I setup Dell’s supply chain in Chengdu China and ran that for a period of time.

“Following my time in Dell I spent four years as engineering director for Actavo, an engineering services company. And then, almost three years ago, I took a big step in co-founding WrxFlo where we enable business to achieve greater levels of process efficiency through Lean Industry 4.0.,” said Mr Crowe.

Setting up WrxFlo was his biggest career decision.

“Corporate and entrepreneurship worlds are very different but I saw an opportunity in the market to solve problems using technology that I wish I had when I ran global factories. I took a big risk, but if I hadn’t taken it I’d always be left wondering what if? And I thought to myself if it doesn’t work out that I could go back and get a proper job!

“So a few years later I’m still here and now I couldn’t see myself going back to the corporate world full time. It hasn’t been easy, lots of ups and downs, but now here I am providing solutions back to the industries I came from. That’s what motivates me,” said Mr Crowe.

They are based at the Nexus Innovation Centre in UL and all their hires to date are graduates from the university. WrxFlo has significant pharmaceutical and medtech companies among its clients and is on the verge of opening a new office in Mumbai, India.

Mr Crowe didn’t have to look too far to find his COO and operational excellence director, fellow Doon man Francis Cummins. 

“We would like to thank everyone who is involved in the success of our business to date. In particular, our team who are the driving force, our customers and the enterprises who have helped us along the way it@cork, Enterprise Ireland , CorkBIC, Dublin BIC,” said Mr Cummins.

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