Business News

Innovative drone search and rescue app shortlisted for National Startup Awards

By Business & Finance
15 May 2018
National Startup Awards 2018, start-up, entrepreneurship
Heather Humphreys, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation; David Tighe, Head of Open Enterprise and Innovation, Bank of Ireland; Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland and Stephen Dillon, Founder, (Photo: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography)

The National Startup Awards, powered by Bank of Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, takes place this Thursday, 17 May at The Mansion House Dublin.

The breakdown

In total, 73 companies are shortlisted across 13 categories in the event’s seventh year. This competition recognises the top Irish start-ups in their business successes.

The prize fund comprises of €15,000, with the overall winner walking away with €10,000; the best early-stage start-up will receive €5,000.

By province, 20 companies are shortlisted from Munster, 15 from Connacht/Ulster, 27 from Dublin and 12 from the rest of Leinster.

A full list of national finalists can be seen on here.

What will be on show?

Some of the innovative businesses include drone software that can be deployed for search and rescue, eyewear for people who work at computer screens, edible cups and vegan frozen foods.

The categories are:

  1. Early Stage Startup – two years from date of incorporation
  2. Emerging Tech Startup
  3. Fintech Startup
  4. Agritech Startup
  5. Travel & Tourism Startup
  6. Drink Startup
  7. Social/Sustainable Startup
  8. Product & Manufacturing Startup
  9. eCommerce Startup
  10. Retail & Fashion Startup
  11. Tech Startup
  12. Research Spinout/3rd Level
  13. Medtech
DroneSAR, search and rescue, drone

DroneSAR: Matthew Kelly (COO), Oisin McGrath (CEO), Romeo Durscher (Director of Education, DJI) and Gearoid OBriain (Client Manager)


The Divisional Manager, HPSU at Enterprise Ireland, Joe Healy, said:

Enterprise Ireland has partnered with the National Startup Awards to give businesses with global ambition the opportunity to be catapulted onto a national stage at a crucial time in their progression and development. We offer a comprehensive range of supports, including funding, mentoring and hands-on support to accelerate the growth of these start-ups in international markets. I would like to wish all the start-ups that have been shortlisted the very best of luck.

Bank of Ireland’s David Tighe, Head of Open Enterprise and Innovation, commented:

We are delighted to be involved in powering the National Startup Awards in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland. Bank of Ireland is strongly committed to developing a supportive environment in which entrepreneurs can survive, thrive and prosper. We have been very pleased with the standard of entries this year and I know the national judging panel have a very difficult job in choosing the winners for the awards.

Stephen Dillon, Founder of, added:

A big congratulations to all the companies that have made it to this stage of the competition. Starting a new business takes a huge amount of courage and hard work. The first few years can be really challenging and the National Startup Awards are here to support entrepreneurs who are investing so much of themselves to build businesses that will ultimately create employment and benefit the broader economy.