Empowering Entrepreneurs

Brave & Bold

IDEATE Ireland provides a unique opportunity for students to put entrepreneurship principles into practice. So whether you go on to win a cash prize, advance your new venture idea, or take advantage of the learning and apply it in your career, we promise that the competition will be a dynamic, challenging and enriching experience.

Entries for 2024 are now closed. Register your interest for IDEATE Ireland 2025 by clicking below.

Meet The 2023 Alumni


Ideate Ireland Competition


First Runner-Up


Second Runner-Up


Our purpose is simple, to accelerate you through the early-stage of venture development with a set of repeatable tools and skills to give your start-up the best possible kick-start.

  • The Competition is open to undergraduates, post-graduates, recent graduates (two years or less), and researchers from third-level institutes, universities and research centres on the island of Ireland.
  • Teams should be resident on the island of Ireland at the time of application.
  • Teams should be at the pre-investment stage, i.e., have not taken equity investment at the date of application.
  • Specifically, we are looking for three things:
    • An individual or a team; with
    • An innovative product, service or technology; and
    • Global scalability to achieve international sales and create employment.

The only individuals who will have access to your application are Ideate Ireland assigned evaluators who have agreed to maintain confidentiality on all submissions. IP resides with the promoter and participating team. Note that a short description of your idea may, with your permission, be used in public documentation relating to the Competition. As members of the Ideate Ireland community, students agree to abide by our shared values of honesty, integrity, respect for others and accountability for personal behaviour.

Selection Criteria
All applications are reviewed by multiple experts who then recommend up to ten teams to proceed to the next stage of the Competition.

Evaluation criteria are as follows:

  • Has the problem or opportunity been clearly defined?
  • Is there an understanding of the target customer?
  • Is there a large, global market?
  • Can competitive advantage be created?
  • What is the business model?
  • What are the complementary skills and experience of the team?
  • What progress has been made to date?
  • Can the team make meaningful progress in 3 months?

Shortlisted teams will be announced on Thursday, 28 March 2024
If an idea is not selected to proceed, we are happy to schedule a call to offer feedback and direction to other start-up supports.


All finalists receive:

  • Detailed feedback from VC’s, entrepreneurs and industry experts.
  • Access to Ideate Ireland Alumni Network.
  • Complimentary hot desk space at The Guinness Enterprise Centre in Dublin and The Ormeau Baths in Belfast.
  • Complimentary access to Happy Scribe.
  • Ideate Ireland badge to display on a website.

2024 Timeline

13 February

Applications Open

29 February

Open Evening

19 March

Applications Close (at midnight)

28 March

Shortlisted Teams Announced

09 April

Workshops Commence (Online)


Competition Showcase (in-person)

2023 Finalists


ArrayPatch introduces its proprietary microneedle (MN) patch, a unique medical device designed to treat localised diseases. The ArrayPatch comprises an assembly of painless, sharp, and dissolvable MNs that penetrate and subsequently dissolve into the skin upon application, delivering a highly effective dosage of medication. This novel MN system has been developed to overcome several obstacles inherent in current standard care practices.

University College Cork


DigiAcademy proudly presents a user-friendly digital skills education application, replete with video tutorials led by educators with intellectual disabilities and autism. This application is custom designed to provide training at a pace suitable to its users, emphasising the accessibility features and functions of prevalent technologies. The aim of DigiAcademy is to ensure digital access, empower learners, and facilitate the achievement of their individual digital aspirations.

Trinity College Dublin


Easesecure has developed the world’s premier intravenous IV catheter stabilisation device specifically for the veterinary industry. This innovative device is set to revolutionise IV catheter securement and care, and significantly enhance patient care and welfare in veterinary clinics and hospitals worldwide.

University College Dublin

Gran Lab

Gran Lab is a medtech company that aims to address skin diseases on a global scale. They have created advanced, patent-pending formulations that treat psoriasis and eczema effectively without the use of steroids. These formulations are suitable for all skin tones and come with advanced AI-based software tools to improve the accuracy, efficiency, and scalability of skin disease diagnosis.

Queen’s University Belfast

LEP Biomedical

LEP Biomedical are the proud creators of ‘HyaGuard’. HyaGuard is designed to address the global cost to the healthcare system caused by excessive inflammation in glaucoma drainage surgeries. HyaGuard is a biodegradable, anti-inflammatory drug-eluting device that is quickly and easily inserted under the conjunctiva during glaucoma surgeries.

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland


PolyBo presents an innovative device developed for the effective and sustained delivery of active ingredients such as nutrients, vitamins and drugs to cattle and sheep through one-time dosing. Composed of FDA-regulated biodegradable polymers, the device uses self-regulated time-dependent pore generation for a customisable controlled release of an active ingredient.

Technological University of the Shannon


Re-CoLi is working on an innovative solution to reuse crucial metals from spent lithium-ion batteries using metal leaching technology powered by microorganisms. Re-CoLi’s approach bypasses high energy consumption and the use of harmful chemicals typically associated with conventional methods, contributing to a more sustainable lithium-ion battery recycling ecosystem for the Electric Vehicle battery industry.

Tyndall National Institute

Siler Technology

Siler Technology is committed to meeting the demands of aspiring young gamers seeking immersive experiences, free from the drawbacks of competitive, violent, and toxic games. Their innovative approach involves developing a diverse range of IP-based games that tackle these concerns. They actively engage the player community, encouraging suggestions for the development of future series, as they aim to revolutionise gaming, empowering young gamers with immersive, meaningful, and socially responsible gameplay.

Technological University of the Shannon

Sision Medical

Sision Medical provides a comprehensive digital biomarker-based risk-stratification platform and associated wearable solutions that can identify patients with pelvic conditions, such as endometriosis. This platform supports clinical decision-making and optimizes the delivery of personalised care to each individual patient. 

University of Galway

Wonky Woolins

Wonky Woolins, an acclaimed children’s brand, offers an exceptional range of early-stage children’s toys and baby gifts. Inspired by traditional craftsmanship and ethically handmade by marginalised women in Morocco and Nepal, Wonky Woolins’ products imbue quality and conscience in every piece. 

University of Galway

Past Finalists

2017 - 2023
  • Advanced Analytics Labs
  • Amara Therapeutics
  • ArrayPatch
  • Better Examinations (acquired)
  • Bionics
  • Carbon Harvesters
  • Change Donations
  • Connect the Dots
  • Cotter Agritech
  • Darwin + Goliath
  • DigiAcademy
  • Easesecure
  • Equine MediRecord
  • Giyst
  • Gran Lab
  • Happy Scribe
  • Indiecom
  • jumpAgrade
  • Kids Speech Labs
  • LEP Biomedical
  • Luminate Medical
  • Machine Eye
  • MetHealth
  • MyClinic365
  • Neurobell
  • NeutroPredict
  • OpinionX
  • Peckish
  • pHetalSafe
  • PolyBo
  • Re-CoLi
  • Safecility
  • SeamlessCARE
  • Sensi
  • Shirt in a Box
  • Signal Optimiser
  • Siler Technology
  • Sision Medical
  • SMARTProbe
  • Sula Health
  • Vocalynx
  • Whispr.AI/Lua (acquired by Beekeeper)
  • Wonky Woolins
  • Zendra Health

Become Ireland’s Next BIG Thing!

Ideate Ireland Application
Application Process
  • Applications are open from Tuesday 13, February and close on Tuesday, 19 March 2024 at 23.59 GMT.
  • Applications are considered on a competitive basis.
  • All IP resides with the promoter and team.
  • Teams should be available to participate in all workshop sessions.
Application Instructions
  • Applications must be submitted using the online link by the closing date and time.
  • Please be as succinct as you can and respect the suggested wordcount.
Tips & Advice
  • We accept everything from early-stage to more developed concepts so we strongly suggest that you submit an application.
  • You do not have to have set up a company to make an application.
  • You can have received grant assistance but should not have taken any equity investment in the idea.
Workshops Schedule

The competition is a combination of both in-person and online workshops. In-person workshops will take place at the Guinness Enterprise Centre, Taylor’s Lane, Dublin, D08.


09-Apr-24Workshop 1:
In Person
16-Apr-24Workshop 2:
Problem Framing
23-Apr-24Workshop 3:
Customer Discovery

Break week for customer discovery

07-May-24Workshop 4:
Value Proposition
14-May-24Workshop 5:
Market Sizing
21-May-24Workshop 6:
Presentation Skills
28-May-24Workshop 7:
Business Road Mapping & Investment

Break week for presentation preparation

11-Jun-24Workshop 8:
Mentor Sessions
18-Jun-24Workshop 9:
Practice Pitch
25-Jun-24Competition ShowcaseIn Person


Entrepreneur Feedback

When asked what our greatest learning was, we answered EVERYTHING.

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It challenged every assumption we had, and forced us to put the customer at the centre of what we did and why we did it.

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If you want to stress test your business idea and make an honest go/no-go decision this is the right forum for you.

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A stand out for me was the quality of the information provided.

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The personal one-on-one contact is a real stand out strength to what made this programme so valuable.

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The stage tasks were a tough test for the validity of our business idea.

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Having such brilliant and supportive mentoring has helped us stay true to our vision.

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Hearing from people who have had success and shared their experiences is invaluable.

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We added a group of quality start-ups and entrepreneurs to our network.

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Fascinating guest talks and general advice in terms of road mapping.

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You will get further in 8 weeks than you could in 8 months on your own.

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Each module opened our eyes to new ideas; each invited talk inspired us to drive our idea forward.
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Empowering Entrepreneurs

Empowering Entrepreneurs

We believe that “a job is the best social philanthropy anyone can provide, and that every job starts with an entrepreneur”. Ideate Ireland is our way of supporting new ideas emerging from third-level institutions on the island of Ireland.

Founding Team

Bill McKiernan

William (Bill) S. McKiernan, whose grandfather hailed from Leitrim, is currently the President of WSM Capital LLC, a private equity fund focused on payment related businesses.

    Bill McKiernan

    President, WSM Capital

    Cian O'Flaherty

    Cian O’Flaherty is an entrepreneur, who began his current start-up Safecility as a member of the 2018 BPC cohort. A native of Kerry, Cian has grown Safecility in the Smart Building sector since 2019.

      Cian O'Flaherty

      CEO, Safecility

      Danny Moore

      Danny Moore, based in Belfast, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Options Technology, the number one provider of IT infrastructure to global Capital Markets firms, and is responsible for leading the firm's day-to-day global operations.

        Danny Moore

        CEO, Options

        David Moffitt

        David Moffitt, Dublin, is currently CEO of Kayfoam Woolfson. David began his career as a General Management Trainee with Smurfit Kappa and subsequently became the Irish Director of R.R. Donnelley before establishing Tech Group Europe.

          David Moffitt

          CEO, Kayfoam

          Helen Fullen

          Helen Fullen, hailing from County Down, is an internationally recognised expert in early-stage entrepreneurial venture development and the architect of a robust pre-accelerator programme model.

            Helen Fullen

            CEO, Alinea

            Steering Group


            Ideate Ireland is generously underwritten through philanthropic donations and corporate sponsorship.

            Each & Other
            Guinness Enterprise Centre
            Key Capital

            In-Kind Sponsors

            We are committed to enhance cooperation, connection and mutual understanding on the island of Ireland and to engage with all communities and traditions to build consensus around a shared passion for entrepreneurship and new venture development.

            Accountant Online
            Invest NI
            Ormeau Baths
            The Ireland Funds
            Turas Branda

            Academic Partners




            Academic Partners





            Our Vision
            Our Vision
            Our vision is to be the catalyst that turns brilliant ideas into thriving international businesses.
            Our Mission
            Our Mission
            Fuelled with renewed energy, dynamism and fresh thinking, our mission is to capture the imagination of Ireland’s brightest minds and help promising companies to make a lasting contribution to social goals, employment, and the global economy.
            Our Values
            Our Values

            We are guided by key values in our mission to support entrepreneurs and innovation.

            We are driven by the power of ideas to change the world.

            We are as excited and ambitious about our entrepreneurs’ projects as they are.

            We know great ideas can come from anyone and anywhere, and we are open to all.

            We do the right thing, do our best, and tell it as it is.

            We use a rigorous entrepreneurship methodology designed for sustainable results.

            We are always learning and refining our approach to share with future cohorts.

            We support an entrepreneur-led journey of personal and professional growth.

            We cultivate long-term relationships and share our collective networks.

            We give back and pay it forward to make the journey easier for all.

            Your Brand
            Your Brand
            Ideate Ireland creates a strong platform for entrepreneurs to flourish. The bold appearance of the letter ‘i’ represents the strength of Ideate Ireland’s enlightenment, and the bravery of our participants.

            The brand icon represents pathways, showing the different avenues that arise from engaging with Ideate Ireland to achieve your vision. This pinpoints an entrepreneur in a certain direction, with diverse options to success—helping you along on your journey.

            Entrepreneurial Lessons Learned

            We were delighted to be joined by Bill McKiernan from Silicone Valley for our IDEATE Ireland Open Evening 2022. He shared some fascinating learnings from his own experience of starting a business and growing a company.

            Contact Us

            Contact Ideate Ireland







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