Pictured (l-r): Sharon Corcoran, Director of Economic Development & Tourism at Cork Co. Co., Vincent Forde, Founder of Gasgon Medical, Áine Behan, CEO of Cortechs Connect, and Elaine Walsh, Cork Co.Co
Gasgon Medical and Cortechs Connect have become Ireland’s top two entrepreneurial companies in the Bridge to MassChallenge Cork competition - Cork County Council’s ground-breaking start-up programme with Boston based MassChallenge, also endorsed by Enterprise Ireland and Health Innovation Hub Ireland.
The Cork and Dublin based companies, with Tipperary CEOs, competed against over fifty of their peers in a competition where they were evaluated by a panel of Bridge to MassChallenge experts who then selected twenty ambitious start-ups in the Life Sciences, Medical Technology and/or Digital Health Sectors to progress to the next stage. These start-ups displayed plans to scale up and connect internationally and were then given the opportunity to participate in a three-day Cork boot camp. Following an intensive pitching session at the end of the Cork bootcamp, twelve progressed to a week-long all expenses paid boot camp in Boston.
At the Boston boot camp, the top twelve participated in hands-on sales workshops, sessions dedicated to entering the US market and received one-on-one mentorship from Bridge to MassChallenge’s network of expert mentors from the Boston ecosystem. During the course of the week the Boston Irish Business Association (BIBA) convened a networking reception where 100+ business leaders gathered to meet and support Ireland’s most impressive Life Science entrepreneurs. The boot camp culminated in a rigorous pitch competition to a panel of seasoned Bridge to MassChallenge judges, from which the top two start-ups were selected - Gasgon Medical and Cortechs Connect.
The Cork-based Gasgon Medical is a start-up company that will support front-line medical staff through innovative IV tube products and procedures to ensure better patient outcomes by de-risking infusions. Cortechs Connect, headquartered in Dublin, are developing new ways to transform the way cognitive healthcare is delivered by using digital brainwave solutions to remotely track and improve attention.
Both ambitious start-ups will now participate in an in-person judging round for the 2018 MassChallenge accelerator from June to November. If selected, they will join one of MassChallenge's zero-equity programs that connects participants to up to $2M USD in cash prizes, an established international community of start-ups, world-class mentoring from industry experts, tailored programming, and unrivalled access to corporate partners.
Speaking of her first-hand experience at the Boston Boot Camp, Elaine Walsh, Programme Manager for Bridge to MassChallenge at Cork County Council, said:
“Cork County Council are privileged to have been able to offer this once in a lifetime experience to Ireland’s top entrepreneurs. Travelling with the top twelve to Boston and seeing how eager they are to learn and develop was inspiring. I sincerely hope that each participant learned and prospers as a result of their involvement and I have no doubt all twelve will do wonderfully in their respective areas. Having seen these companies grow from their application in November to now I am in awe of the homegrown skill and talent here in Ireland. Despite the fact only two could accelerate to the next round, I am positive this is not the last we will see of the top twenty Irish applicants. Bridge to MassChallenge Cork has also unearthed fifty-four high-caliber companies with whom we will continue to work.”
She added: “We are so proud of Gasgon Medical and Cortechs Connect for the strides they have made, and we wish them luck at MassChallenge’s international accelerator this summer. We would like to assure them of Cork County Council’s support of and pride in our homegrown entrepreneurs”.
Bridge to MassChallenge Cork was brought to Ireland by Cork County Council and is endorsed by Enterprise Ireland and Health Innovation Hub Ireland. This ground-breaking partnership with MassChallenge, a global network of zero equity start-up accelerators based in Boston, Massachusetts, is the first ever Bridge to MassChallenge partnership in Ireland. To date, MassChallenge has accelerated more than 1,500 start-ups worldwide, which together have raised $3 billion USD in funding, generated $2 billion USD in revenue and created over 80,000 total jobs in several locations across the world, including Boston, Massachusetts (USA), Mexico City (Mexico), Lausanne (Switzerland), London (United Kingdom), Jerusalem (Middle East) and more recently Austin, Texas (USA).
For further information see www.corkcoco.ie/b2mccork. To follow the progress of these top 2 lucky start-ups and to join the conversation online follow Bridge to MassChallenge Cork on Facebook\b2mcCork, Twitter @b2mcCork or LinkedIn. #B2MCCork