And then there were 3…. The ESB Spark of Genius Story so far

There’s only 6 weeks to go until Web Summit. Want to be a part of it? Get your tickets here.

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And then there was 3….. After hundreds of applications were whittled down to 30, last Wednesday saw a hugely talented group of Irish startups battle it out for a place in The ESB Spark of Genius Final. And what a night of pitching we had, which in the end left 27 startups disappointed, despite displaying some unbelievable talent and ideas.

The evening itself was a massive success, all thanks to an excellent bunch of startups, a time schedule enforced with military precision, an MC come stand-up comic (@paulhayesman), a great judging panel, great support from ESB, an enthusiastic audience and an excellent venue in NDRC. From 5pm until just after 9pm 30 startups took to the stage, pitched their ideas and answered questions – continually receiving praise from the judges on the creativity and assuredness of their presentations.

In the end MC Number 2 Marcus Segal announced our 3 finalists, Tender Scout, Love & Robots and Restored Hearing, who had made a big impression on the judging panel of Niamh Bushnell, John McKiernan, David O’Kelly, Mary Moloney, Brian Caulfield, Paul Adams & Eamon Leonard,  – well done to them & well done to all who took part. The standard was sky high, the future is bright:

Tender Scout

With the 4th pitch of the night Tony Corrigan took to stage to share the vision of Tender Scout. What are TenderScout? They are an SaaS  which increases your likelihood of success when competing for public sector contracts. And Tony certainly left his mark with the judges, enough so that he will be joining us again at Web Summit in 6 weeks time.

Tender Scout 2

Love & Robots

New name, same result. Love & Robots pitched excellently, with Emer O’Daly taking to the stage representing the startup. So what do they do? Love&Robots is an interactive design platform that connects customers with unique, customizable, 3D printed products. The judges quizzed them and were happy that this is something that could play a huge role in the future of ecommerce and the tech industry. Well done Love & well done Robots!

Love&Robots 3

Restored Hearing

As Marcus Segal pointed out when announcing the finalists, Restored Hearing lived up to their name and were most certainly heard by the judging panel. Who are they? Restored Hearing provides scientific solutions to problems with hearing. Their mission is to protect people from tinnitus and promote healthy hearing. Eimear O’Carroll pitched on behalf of the team and did a great job getting them to the final in 6 weeks time. Here’s some amateur (very amateur) footage of Eimear accepting the award.

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Our 3 finalists will now go head to head to head at Web Summit in November, with the winner crowned ESB Spark of Genius Winners 2014. As an added bonus, and due to the standard set on the night, the 3 will be part of the START program at Web Summit, the later stage startup track for an exclusive group of high potential startups ready to make the next step. And if that wasn’t enough, they have also been fast-tracked into PITCH, the International PITCH competition at Web Summit.

There’s only 6 weeks to go until Web Summit. Want to be a part of it? Get your tickets here.

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