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  • Emma Meehan

National Startup Awards 2022

The National Startup Awards Ireland take place on an annual basis to recognise and appreciate the hard work that startup founders and their teams all across Ireland invest in their ideas and passion to bring new technology to the market.


It's a competitive process both regionally and nationally across a number of categories from food and beverage to medtech, to sustainability and everything in between. Startups are encouraged to apply for multiple categories, so we submitted entries to Early Stage, Emerge Tech and Tech Startup.


One thing that's an advantage in the National Startup Awards compared to other awards is the amount of time that needs to be spent on an application and the speed of turnaround. The applications opened at the end of October and closed November 7th. It was a short application of approximately 700 words total to showcase the startup's innovation, business model, customer value proposition, scalability and social impact. 700 words was a huge relief compared to many other grant, award and other applications that startup teams need to invest time in!


After just 10 days, the Regional Shortlist was published online here and all applicants were notified. We were elated to be recognised as one of the top Emerge Tech startups in the Connacht/Ulster region along with a pioneer in automated rugby analysis, RugbySmarts who we were on a sports tech startup accelerator programme with in 2021.


Only one day later, the National shortlist was published and we were delighted to be recognised as one of the seven top Emerge Tech startups in Ireland for 2022. Other finalists in this category included Volograms, an avatar generation solution for the metaverse and TrojanTrack, a biomechanical analysis solution for horses. Precision Sports Technology completed that same sports tech accelerator with TrojanTrack and Brace, an app for improving injury rehabilitation journey for patients, which was nominated for the National shortlist in the Early Stage category. Amazing to see SportX alumni breaking new ground and being recognised for the successes of 2022!


Following the publication of the National shortlist, all finalists were asked to pitch at McCann Fitzgerald offices in Dublin, with a remote option available, the following week. The format was an eight minute pitch with seven minutes Q&A with focus on the areas from the initial written application. Over the weeks previously, I had completed three, five, seven and ten minute pitches which all had different points of emphasis, so it was a matter of adjusting the material to maximise this opportunity!


There was an excellent event taking place in the Galway Technology Centre the day I was called to pitch: Scaling Your Business in the US, which I had marked in my calendar for weeks previously. Along with that, I was also offered the 09:00 slot in the morning. Even if I had taken the earliest train out of Galway (05:25!) I still couldn't have guaranteed arriving to the McCann Fitzgerald offices when I was due to be there, meaning I took the opportunity to pitch online instead, even though it would put me at a disadvantage. The energy and passion a founder has for their startup doesn't translate as well over video call compared to in-person, but both the above factors made it impossible to make the journey to Dublin that day.


Each of the National finalists received an invitation to the awards ceremony taking place in Dublin City Hall on December 1st. I was delighted about this - it's been a long year of 50-60+ hour weeks working on my startup mostly on my own for the majority of the time, with the exception of student interns working on software development and working with my mentors and advisors to progress the business development. This was the first in-person ceremony the National Startup Awards hosted since 2019, and I was really looking forward to spend an evening relaxing and sharing a few drinks with some like-minded founders and reflect on what has been a huge year for everyone there.


Dublin City Hall was an incredible venue - beautiful building with huge historic significance, right in the city centre. I took the opportunity to stay overnight in Dublin and was invited to participate in a female entrepreneurs event at Dogpatch Labs on the same day, so the timing worked out very well for a west coast based founder!


Craig Doyle was the host on the night and did an excellent job of keeping spirits high and keeping good time to run through 29 winners across 11 categories, including a live pitching competition across only two hours!



As mentioned above, I was honoured and delighted to be attending this ceremony but still kept my hopes high for the Emerge Tech category. Then the announcement came..."Silver goes to...Precision Sports Technology!" It's wonderful validation to be recognised and have some silverware to show after a year like no other. You can see the full list of winners here.


Huge thanks to the National Startup Awards for believing in Precision Sports Technology and to all our supporters along the way. Here's to an even bigger 2023!


Emma





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