Donegal company Arklu has been named the winner of the Google Adopt a Startup 2016 Spring Programme following a dragon’s den style final held in the Foundry at Google’s EMEA headquarters in Dublin.

Arklu are makers of Lottie and Finn dolls which are based on characters who are 9 years of age and created to be positive role models for children, stimulate their imaginations, and inspire learning and fun through play.

Each of the eight finalists had to present a seven minute pitch on their business strategies and the results of taking part in the Adopt a Start Up programme, to a panel of judges which included Patrick Walsh Dogpatch Labs and David Grunwald, EMEA head of Global Partnerships for Google for Entrepreneurs.  The winners will receive €10,000 in Adwords credit, and will become eligible for the Google Cloud Platform for Startup program which comes with $20,000 Google Cloud credits.

Speaking at the final, Paddy Flynn, Head of Google Ireland’s Startup programme said, “Now in its fourth year our Adopt a Startup programme is unique to Ireland and it allows us to support the local startup community in a significant way. Over 150 Startups applied for one of the 30 places on offer on the Spring programme and over 90 Googlers from across all functions at Google Ireland shared their expertise with them to develop a holistic business strategy to scale their business and enjoy further success.”

He added, “Arklu was selected by the judges because they made a lot of progress throughout the programme and committed 150% to the process investing a lot of time and effort to develop their business strategy.”

Mayo’s Truckscience placed 2nd, and received €5,000 in Adwords credit while Dublin’s placed 3rd and accepted a cheque for €3,000 in Adwords credit.

Dogpatch Labs, Ireland’s leading tech and co-working community, awarded a special prize of  Hot Desk membership for 6 months to Newslinn. This prize, worth €6,000, was open to all 30 participants and asked contenders to submit an application explaining why they would benefit the most from the prize. Award winner, Newslinn is an open and free platform that provides new ways for people to communicate easily and safely with journalists all over the World.

“Hot Desk Membership is a way for Startups to access the entire tech and Startup ecosystem at Dogpatch Labs, while working out of the flexible desk space in the heart of Silicon Docks,” said Patrick Walsh, Managing Director of DogPatch Labs. “In addition Members have access to the Dogpatch Labs community including a thriving mix of Irish Startups, international companies and investors, which gives them the connections to continue to grow their Startup. This prize will help Newslinn to continue the accelerated growth they have achieved by completing the “Adopt a Startup” programme.”

30 leading Startups were selected to participate in the 90 day programme of mentoring sessions with a dedicated Google Ireland support team assigned to each Startup to work on their business growth strategies. These 30 Startups were then shortlisted to eight finalists who were given the opportunity to pitch their developed strategies to a panel of judges which included: Joe Healy, High Potential Startup Unit, Enterprise Ireland; Patrick Walsh, Managing Director, DogPatch Labs; Paddy Flynn, Director and Head of Google Ireland’s Startup programmes, Liz Cunningham, Director, Google and David Grunwald, Global Head of Partnerships, Google for Entrepreneurs.

Winner of the Adopt a Startup Autumn 2015 programme Ciara Clancy, CEO Beats Medical said,  “The Google Adopt a Startup program was really valuable for our business in so many ways it enabled us to impact more people with Parkinson’s worldwide and helped us scale our impact globally”

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