Two imaginative Galway start-ups were among the companies honoured for their efforts at the finals of the 2017 AIB Start-up Academy last week.
Galway city native Ailbhe Keane of Izzy Wheels was named runner up along with former Connacht Rugby player Michael Swift of Frankman in a competition which was won by Kevin Kelleher, CEO and co-founder of Limerick-based company, Ostoform.
Over 300 guests attended the event at the Lighthouse Cinema in Dublin, which was hosted by broadcaster Gráinne Seoige.
The 14 finalists each delivered a five-minute elevator pitch about their business and then faced a further five-minute Q&A session with an expert judging panel.
Now in its third year, the AIB Start-up Academy received almost 500 applications from businesses across the country.
These entries were narrowed down to a shortlist of 22, from which ten were chosen. A further four start-ups were selected at the regional AIB Start-up Academy Summits in Galway, Cork, Dublin and Belfast.
The final 14 start-ups then took part in a comprehensive eight-week strategic training and mentoring programme on topics such as networking, data analytics, design thinking, finance, marketing and social media.
Izzy Wheels are a range of personalised spoke guards for wheelchairs. The idea for Izzy’s Wheels was inspired by Ailbhe’s sister, Isabel, who was born with Spina Bifida and as a result is paralysed from her waist down.