iHubs Newsletter April 2022

Minister Harris officially opens new Atlantic Technological University

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, has today opened the new Atlantic Technological University (TU).

Atlantic TU sees the dissolution of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Sligo, and Letterkenny Institute of Technology.

Speaking to mark the occasion, Minister Harris said:

“The establishment of Atlantic Technological University, the fourth TU in the State, is a significant occasion for higher education in Ireland and, in particular, for the West and North West regions.

“I know today is a day of mixed emotions as we dissolve GMIT, IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT but it should be a day of immense pride too to the management, governing authorities and staff of the 3 institutions.

“Today is the start of a new journey. Together these institutions will merge to become ATU - a powerhouse working for the region, for investment in the region and its people.”

The first President of the new TU is Dr Orla Flynn, outgoing President of Galway-Mayo IT, and its chair is Maura McNally, chair of the Bar Council of Ireland.

Minister Harris added:

“Both Orla and Maura bring exceptional experience to the roles. I know they will work together to deliver real change and reform.

“This is a landmark that I am particularly glad to see reached, and I would like to congratulate all involved.”

Providing higher educational programmes across all levels of the National Framework of Qualifications, including both apprenticeships and doctoral level qualifications, the new TU will play a pivotal role in the strategic regional development of the West and North West.

The new TU will span the West and North West region via 8 campuses initially offering almost 600 academic programmes for over 20,200 students, supported by 2,215 staff.

Providing higher educational programmes across all levels of the National Framework of Qualifications from apprenticeships to doctoral level qualifications, the new TU will play a pivotal role in the strategic development of the West and North West and in so doing, would ensure a global outlook and a civic centric value system.

The new TU aims to ensure growth in education provision and enhanced research opportunities, as well as dynamic community and industry engagement across the region. Through its support for industry and communities, the new TU would make its region more attractive for indigenous small and medium enterprises and foreign direct investment (FDI) investment by linking to opportunities in knowledge creation and innovation. This in turn would contribute to the development of viable and vibrant communities that can offer an economically and socially-desirable regional counterbalance to the development of Dublin.

The new TU in the West and North West presents an opportunity to enhance, accelerate and amplify the ambition to contribute to the sustainable development of the region it serves reflected through teaching and learning excellence, research, development, innovation and engagement activities including in a cross-border collaborative context.

Photo by Piron Guillaume

Invitation to ATU iHubs Medtech Event - How world events have altered the grant funding landscape
We would like to invite you to our Medtech Event, on Friday, 29th Arpil 2022 at 10.30am.

This 60 minute hybrid event taking place online and in person will look at the changing funding landscape post Brexit, the Corona Virus Pandemic and other World events focusing on key themes such as:

  • Brave New World Post Pandemic
  • Brexit Happened - The Implications for Funding
  • Horizon Europe started and has changed the way public funding is awarded

Guest speakers include: 

Marc Greatrex, Director Grants Division, Myriad Associates

Marc is a director of Myriad Consulting in Ireland and is responsible for ensuring the quality and delivery of all grant applications for clients in Ireland, United Kingdom, mainland Europe and the United States.

Marc has an enviable track record in securing public funding for SMEs, Universities and large enterprises over the last 15 years. However, since 2015 Marc has concentrated on working within the Irish market, specifically within Medtech, Pharmaceuticals and GreenTech. During this time, Marc has won over €15m in funding for Irish clients. Marc will speak on funding opportunities for Medtech companies.

Dr John Thompson MD MBA, CEO & Co-founder Aurigen Medical

John  is  the  CEO  of  AuriGen  Medical,  where  he leads  the financing and strategy functions including clinical trial design, reimbursement, and  stakeholder  engagement.  Before  co-founding AuriGen Medical, John had a successful career in Pfizer, where he was tasked with the commercialisation of several in-market and pipeline assets. John graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons, and worked for many year as an Intensive care physician and has an MBA from The Smurfit School of Business. 

Event Details

10.00 - Coffee & Tea Reception
10.25 - Introduction (event commences online)
10.30 - Marc Greatrex
11.00 - John Thompson 
11.20 - Q&A
11.30 - Close

Pre-registration is required

A number of one to one slots are available following the event to speak with Marc. To make a booking please complete this form by close of business Wednesday 27th April 2022.

We hope to see you there.

We were delighted to welcome 3rd year Bachelor of Business in Hotel and Catering Management and Bachelor of Business in International Tourism Management students recently to the ATU iHubs .

ATU iHubs client companies present at EI Startup Showcase 2022
Enterprise Ireland supported 125 start-ups in Ireland last year, with companies working in a variety of areas from fintech to healthcare.

The figures come as the State agency kicks off the annual Enterprise Ireland Start-Up Showcase 2022 event at the Aviva Stadium recently, which brought together more than 150 entrepreneurs and representatives from early-stage businesses alongside investors, mentors and other members of the broader Irish start-up ecosystem.

The Start-up Showcase is the largest High Potential Start-Up event in the year bringing together the new companies which Enterprise Ireland has invested in during the year. The event is by invitation only and participants include all of the High Potential Start-up (HPSU) and the Competitive Start Fund (CSF) companies and a representative from each of the New Frontiers Programmes that Enterprise Ireland had supported during the year. The Start-up Showcase is also a networking event where companies are joined by potential investors, banks and other start up support organisations both private and public.

ATU iHubs client companies and ATU Galway Mayo New Frontiers alumni that were featured in the showcase included:

HPSU Category

CSF Category
ATU Galway Mayo New Frontiers is currently seeking Phase 1 applications. Interested parties can apply via
It was a pleasure to welcome Leo Clancy, CEO Enterprise Ireland (fourth from left) and colleagues to ATU iHub Galway on the last day of GMIT. 
ATU iHubs client company Venari Medical announces publication of pre-clinical data in leading scientific journal Phlebology and changes name to InVera Medical

InVera Medical are delighted to announce the publication of its pre-clinical feasibility study of the InVera minimally invasive, exclusively mechanical venous ablation device in Phlebology, an official journal of several international venous societies.

The study showed that the InVera device can safely achieve chronic fibrotic vein occlusion by an exclusively mechanical mechanism of action in a recognised large animal model.

Unlike venous ablation devices on the market today, the InVera device has a non-thermal, mechanical-only action which offers two key differentiations that may improve clinical safety and efficacy for Chronic Venous Disease patients: 

  1. An exclusively mechanical action with no implant, chemical sclerosant or glue left behind in the circulatory system.
  2. No risk of thermal injury to surrounding structures in the below knee anatomical region, a key treatment target area for patients with severe disease causing venous leg ulcers.

Many thanks to our co-authors: Lowell Kabnick MD and Dr Seán Hynes.

"The purely mechanical endovenous approach of the InVera device demonstrates huge potential to offer an effective, less invasive treatment by eliminating many of the drawbacks with current devices in the treatment of Chronic Venous Disease," added Lowell Kabnick, lead author on the study and InVera Medical Clinical Operations Director.

InVera Medical, an innovative medical device company advancing the minimally invasive treatment of Chronic Venous Disease based in Galway (Ireland), also announces it has successfully completed rebranding. The company was formerly known as Venari Medical.

About InVera Medical – Scientific Development for life changing outcomes in venous disease

Established in 2018, InVera Medical has developed a strong intellectual property position by perfecting a purely mechanical endovascular approach for the treatment of venous disease. Utilising the body's natural healing mechanism, the InVera novel catheter system achieves effective mechanical vein disruption at a cellular level to cure symptoms. This allows for a less invasive and more effective treatment for all CVD patients, but critically patients suffering from venous leg ulcers will benefit most. The InVera device is currently for investigational research use only, US & EU regulatory approval is anticipated in 2024.

InVera Medical's mission focus is on innovation of unparalleled safe, effective, patient-centred medical devices that improve quality of life for those with debilitating vascular disease. See more at

Seedcorn competition is back - You could win a share of €300k

InterTradeIreland’s Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition is the perfect chance to get ‘investor ready’. The Seedcorn contest mirrors the real-life investment process. Participants, who are in with a chance to win a share of a €300,000 cash prize fund, can secure expert feedback on their business plans and pitches, improve their investor readiness and gain exposure to investors, all while boosting their firm’s profile.

If you are interested in applying for this year’s Seedcorn Competition, you may benefit from attending this information session.
The Seedcorn Project Manager, Connor Sweeney, will give an overview of the 2022 Seedcorn Competition and outline the benefits for entrants.

The session will also involve hints and tips on ways to improve your application. 

Register to attend a session here: 
ATU iHubs New Frontiers participant Rory Casey was a previous winner. Read his story here:

What is Seedcorn?
For start-ups and early-stage businesses, the Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition is the perfect chance to get ‘investor ready’. The Seedcorn contest mirrors the real-life investment process. Participants, who are in with a chance to win a share of a €300,000 cash prize fund, can secure expert feedback on their business plans and pitches, improve their investor readiness and gain exposure to investors, all while boosting their firm’s profile.
The Competition is aimed at independent ventures incorporated on the island of Ireland (Ireland or Northern Ireland) in the seed, start up or early stages of business development and ideally targeting international markets.
The Competition is for individuals or venture teams, who have created, manage and own such ventures. The promoters/founder entrepreneurs are to have played a major role in conceiving the venture, continuing to have key management roles and to own significant equity. Companies must be less than five years old at 27 May 2022.
Promoters must decide which category to enter:
The two categories are:

  1. i. New Start Company, for entities seeking to raise between €50,000 and €299,999 or Sterling
  2. ii. Early Stage Company for entities seeking to raise in excess of €300,000 or Sterling equivalent
  • Only incorporated companies will be eligible to enter and competitors will be asked to provide their company registration number when applying for the Competition.
  • All ventures must be seeking external equity capital
  • Generally excluded are the following: buy outs, expansions of established businesses, consortia, tax shelters, franchises and licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area. The pre-incorporated trading activity of a sole trader or partnership may be taken into consideration when considering the length of time in business viz a viz eligibility.
  • Applicant promoters should be aged 18 years or over and only entries from such persons will be accepted. Employees or agents of, or family members of personnel of, InterTradeIreland or any member of the Judging Panel or other persons connected with this competition are not permitted to enter.
  • Ventures which have already raised external equity in excess of €1m (or sterling equivalent) are not eligible.
  • The determination of eligibility shall be at the sole discretion of InterTradeIreland, which may, in exceptional circumstances, allow entry to competitors which do not strictly comply with all of the above criteria.

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