Thursday, 21 September 2023
US Sharks now enter negotiation for up to $100k cash investment
ALPHA Innovation’s first-ever Disrupt By The Sea, took place on the grounds of Rathmullan House on Friday 15 September with Ireland’s top scaleups pitching to a panel of US Investors, for a possible $100,000 cash investment.
Master of Ceremonies, Gormfhlaith Ní Thuairisg (Craoltóir - Radio na Gaeltachta; Communications & Marketing Manager - Udarás na Gaeltachta), introduced the live audience to the prestigious judging panel who took to the stage of The Pavilion venue.
John Fries, Managing Partner of Philadelphia-based Germantown Ventures - himself a 2023 Tip O'Neill award winner, was joined on stage by Mark Baiada, Chairman of BAYADA Home Health Care and General Manager of BAYADA (Ireland), Mike Finucane.
The live audience was treated to pitches from 6 inspiring scaleups operating in the fields of agriculture, health, elite sports and satellite communications.
With 6 minutes on the clock, each scaleup pitched their business, followed by the Sharks putting them through their paces with questions delving into their turnover projections and plans for US pilots.
Members of the audience had the opportunity to vote for their favourite pitch, with Precision Sports Technology, securing the Audience Choice Award.
After 30 minutes of deliberation by the Sharks, the Galway-based scaleup also came out on top as the Overall Winner. Chief Commercial Officer, Seán McVeigh, who is based in Letterkenny, was presented with both trophies on the day. Seán, and his co-founder Emma Meehan, will now enter negotiations to determine whether they can agree terms with the sharks.
Precision Sports Technology enables elite sports teams to analyse top athletes’ exercise techniques and manage rehab, in real-time with the aid of their smartphones. The promise is that this will replace expensive labs, and long delays in calculating results, which is the current standard.
Commenting on the success Seán said “Emma Meehan and myself are delighted to have been shortlisted to pitch at Disrupt By The Sea 2023, so to go on and win both prizes is overwhelming. We are thrilled and grateful to ALPHA Innovation for their insights and feedback on the lead-up to the event! The calibre of scaleups on stage with us was really high so winning both prizes was beyond our expectations!”
In addition to investment, Precision Sports Technology gain access to a suite of wrap-around supports that includes meeting space on the US East Coast courtesy of ALPHA Innovation and their US investors.
In the weeks leading up to Disrupt by the Sea all those shortlisted received coaching to help them craft a compelling story and predict the tough questions. This service is open to other ventures that want to pitch next year and the hunt to identify the long list for Disrupt By The Sea 2024 has already begun.
Head of Innovation [at ALPHA Innovation], Kevin Sexton was delighted with how the afternoon went “Today was about showcasing the connections and supports we bring to Startup and Scaleup ventures. We introduced these enterprises to influential US investors that would otherwise take them years to access one-to-one, gaining valuable first-hand insights on the US market and feedback on their businesses along the way. Our Sharks have asked us to track a number of the other teams that pitched. So if the businesses execute on their feedback they may be in front of these investors again before long”.
“Our sharks commented afterwards they were pleasantly impressed by the talent that was on display and have committed to returning next year to hear from more innovative scaleups, ear-marking another big name they want to join them on the stage in 2024. That is testament to the standard and level of ambition coming out of Ireland that they witnessed here today.
The event concluded with a fireside chat discussion titled ‘Connect The Dots’ hosted by Michelle Conaghan, IDA Ireland’s North West Regional Manager. She was joined on stage by: Charlene Kennedy - PGIM; David Gildea - Druva; and Paul Phelan - Optum; They discussed the strengths of the region, the talent available, and how organisations can come together to support one another across the ecosystem.
Kevin concluded: “Against the backdrop of the Wild Atlantic Way in a top-notch location, with artisan food from local producers, Disrupt By The Sea showcased some of the best the county has to offer ..and today’s event firmly planted Donegal on the investor radar. I intend to continue building on the already strong relationships we have with the US East Coast during my next visit in November”.
ALPHA Innovation is supported by Enterprise Ireland and Donegal County Council.*
If you are interested in pitching in 2024 and accessing the coaching supports ALPHA Innovation provides