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.

Meet The Entrepreneurs


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 potential 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?
  • How will revenues generate revenues, and from whom?
  • 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, 14 April 2022.
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.
  • Complimentary access to OnePageCRM.
  • Ideate Ireland badge to display on a website.

2022 Timeline


Applications Open


Applicant Information Event (17:00hrs)


Applications Close (at midnight)


Shortlisted Teams Announced


Workshops Commence (Online)


Competition Showcase (in-person)

2021 Finalists


BIONICS has developed the world’s first biologically inspired deep-tech AI surveillance system. The system delivers superior performance and speed, particularly in low light environments or with fast-moving objects, eradicating many problems currently experienced by video surveillance providers and manufacturers.

Representing Ulster University

Carbon Harvesters

Carbon Harvesters is an ag-tech start-up that monitors farms’ emissions weekly. Designed to promote the implementation of economic climate mitigation strategies and monetize verified and certified emission reductions, it seeks to build the resilience of rural communities globally.

Representing Nova UCD


NanoDetect Devices is bringing a novel platform diagnostic to the healthcare sector to detect diseases from patient samples. The company’s first offering is positioned to address the need for a non-invasive way to detect prostate cancer. Their solution delivers detection capabilities that are 1,000+ times more sensitive than currently available diagnostics.

Representing the National University of Ireland, Galway.


Cousty is a mental wellbeing service that actively supports both students and counsellors by maximizing university resources. Their service aims to improve response time, student retention rates and allow users discreet access, providing specialized technology to meet each facility’s unique needs.

Representing Queen’s University Belfast


iBrux is a patent-pending platform solution that measures a person’s sleep wellness and stress levels at night. iBrux is digitizing the night guard market to understand and better treat sleep teeth grinding while also developing other sensors for a more holistic understanding of a person’s wellbeing.

Representing University College Dublin

Inishowen Algae

Inishowen Algae is an automated, software administered algae growing system. The algae grown can be used in the production of carbon-negative energy. Other market opportunities include pharmaceuticals, cosmetic, health food, biofuel and animal fodder.

Representing Letterkenny Institute of Technology


The ECLIPSE suture closure device is the only product to immediately and securely close any suture. This increases the likelihood of a successful outcome through reduced procedure time for vets and animals.

Representing the National University of Ireland, Galway


Peckish is a SaaS-based online food marketplace for restaurants to easily manage and market the suitable dish to the right consumer. Their menu search engine provides consumers with tailored dish recommendations based on personal and dietary preferences enabling ordering from the restaurant’s preferred online ordering service.

Representing University College Cork


RetainerAid is a retrofitted orthodontics device that allows orthodontists to remotely measure their patient’s alignment progress, improving practice efficiency while shortening the time it takes to straighten the patient’s teeth.

Representing Munster Technological University


Speakeasy is a wellbeing-focused classroom management system that utilizes a proprietary algorithm to identify struggling students and notify school faculty. They want to produce the happiest and highest performing students by closing the communication gap between students and teachers in secondary schools today.

Representing the National University of Ireland, Galway


STREL seeks to link the industry and the academic research communities to drive innovation and solve complex technical problems. Their platform will allow universities and research centres globally to share details of available IP and connect the right and best expert researchers with industry.

Representing Queen’s University Belfast

Past Finalists

2017 - 2021
  • Advanced Analytics Labs
  • Amara Therapeutics
  • Better Examinations (acquired)
  • Bionics
  • Carbon Harvesters
  • Change Donations
  • Connect the Dots
  • Darwin + Goliath
  • Equine MediRecord
  • Happy Scribe
  • jumpAgrade
  • Kids Speech Labs
  • Luminate Medical
  • Machine Eye
  • MyClinic365
  • OpinionX
  • Peckish
  • Safecility
  • SeamlessCARE
  • Sensi
  • Signal Optimiser
  • Sula Health
  • Whispr.AI/Lua (acquired by Beekeeper)
  • Zendra Health

Become Ireland’s Next BIG Thing!

Ideate Ireland Application
Application Process
  • Applications are open from Tuesday, 08 March and close on Thursday, 07 April 2022 at 23.59 GMT/CET?
  • 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

There are 8 half-day online workshops (09.30hrs-13.00hrs):


Workshop IOrientationTuesday, 26, April 2022
Workshop IIProblem framingTuesday, 03 May 2022
Workshop IIICustomer discoveryTuesday, 10 May 2022
Workshop IVValue propositionTuesday, 24 May 2022
Workshop VMarket sizingTuesday, 31 May 2022
Workshop VIPresentation skillsTuesday 07 June 2022
Workshop VIIRoad mapping and investmentTuesday, 14 June 2022
Workshop VIIIPractice pitchTuesday, 21 June 2022
Competition showcaseTuesday, 28 June 2022

Talk To Us

If you have a query in advance of your submission, please send us an email.

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

            In-Kind Investors

            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.

            Invest NI
            OnePage CRM
            Ormeau Baths
            Ormeau Baths

            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







            General Queries

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