Power cell technology creator wins top prize at GMIT New Frontiers Best Emerging Business Awards

GMIT’s head of innovation and enterprise George McCourt, with panel judges (l-r): Rory Hynes, Enterprise Equity venture partner, Geraldine McLoughlin, Western Development Commission investment executive, and George Curley, founder and CEO of CGA Technology. Photo:Andrew Downes, XPOSURE.

GMIT’s head of innovation and enterprise George McCourt, with panel judges (l-r): Rory Hynes, Enterprise Equity venture partner, Geraldine McLoughlin, Western Development Commission investment executive, and George Curley, founder and CEO of CGA Technology. Photo:Andrew Downes, XPOSURE.

The creator of an innovative power cell technology has won the top prize in the GMIT New Frontiers Best Emerging Business Awards. Dr Barry Flannery from Galway has won €10,000, sponsored by KPMG, for his electric auxiliary power unit which provides power to long-haul truck cabins during mandatory stop-overs.

“Xerotech’s solution is an integrated power conversion and storage module which has triple the run-time and double the cooling capacity of existing battery solutions," Dr Flannery said. "Like Tesla, Xerotech have designed a completely new approach to electric power systems. The system is completely silent, produces no emissions, and pays for itself within 18 months.”

Director of KPMG Conor O’Dowd said: “KPMG are delighted to sponsor the New Frontiers awards. Since our involvement, it has been great to see the progress of previous winners and participants on the programme in terms of funding and increasing employee numbers. We look forward to our continuing involvement and helping the next wave of participants on the programme to grow and prosper in the west of Ireland.”

Mark Corrigan from Castlebar, founder of Marine Cable Services, claimed the runner-up prize of €1,000, sponsored by AIB. Mr Corrigan is an experienced commercial diver and joined the New Frontiers entrepreneur development programme with an idea for near shore power and data cable trenching. His team has already commenced building their prototype and secured a trade agreement with a significant industry partner.

The One-to-Watch award of €1,000, sponsored by GMIT, was won by Iain Morrow of OpenBox Models. OpenBox software is a productivity tool for financial professionals building complex models required for large investment projects. Mr Morrow comes from the UK and now lives in Galway. He has a master's in machine learning and considerable experience within the London financial sector.

Funded by Enterprise Ireland, New Frontiers is a business startup process delivered through GMIT Innovation Hubs in Galway and Mayo. It has supported 83 entrepreneurs since inception in 2012 and more than 60 new businesses have emerged. Some 22 of these businesses have secured more than €1.1m equity investment from the Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund, and another €10m from private investors, venture capital, and Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start-Up (HPSU ) funding.

These companies have created jobs, developed intellectual property, created excellent products and are exporting throughout the world.

“Our startup process has attracted 114 applicants to the 2018 programme," said Tony O’Kelly, New Frontiers manager at GMIT Galway. "From this group we plan to support the development of the next wave of exciting startups in our region.”

For further information about the New Frontiers Programme in GMIT, see www.gmit.ie/newfrontiers

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