Happy to bring you an interesting guest post by Dr Finn McLeod CEO of ZenLikeFocus, with a great review of some Cork based startups doing well.

Cork is a small town, about twice the size of Palo Alto, on the Southern Tip of Ireland. However it is generating a number of homegrown successful startups. Last year the fraud prevention firm, Trustev won overall startup of the year at SXSW as well as being named the Top EU startup by the European Commission in 2013, before exiting a few days ago to TransUnion in a 44m deal.  The project management tool, Teamwork has also been scaling fast (having famously finally acquired their domain name for over $600k!). However, success happens in circles, and here are five newer members of the  Cork ecosystem that are all doing remarkable things:

Scraping Hub

Everyone does it, but no-one talks about it – web scraping is increasingly important for many businesses. Founder, Shane Evans and his Uruguayan partner, have scaled Scrapinghub to a 120 person company that works with a number of multinationals.  Creators of the open source framework Scrapy, Scrapinghub has pursued a successful open source strategy to generate clients. Shane usually gets into conversations with people about the Scrapy framework before they realise his team built it!


Sothic BioScience

The blue blood of the horseshoe crab is incredibly precious, because it is the essential component in a simple test for bacterial contamination. A pint of the blood can go for $30,000, and almost everyone that has ever had an injection has been protected because of it. However, the crabs are a threatened species, and there is not a satisfactory synthetic alternative. Until now…Sothic BioScience came out of the Cork IndieBio Accellerator  – an accelerator program run specifically for advanced biotech, backed by SOS Ventures. To quote Cathal Garvey Director of the program: “with the imminent extinction of this critical medical resource, the work of Sothic Bioscience couldn’t be more important to human health.”


The legal industry has no APIs and there is no reliable alert system for legal information. Vizlegal solves this, and was founded by Gavin Sheridan, whose last exit was Storyful (with Mark Little – acquired by News Corp for €18m).  One of those rare individuals equally at home with journalism and programming speak, Gavin found a taste for law whilst taking public bodies to the Irish Supreme Court with their objections to his access to information requests. Taking a Storyful approach into the legal world was a logical step.


This is the classic story of one remarkable developer making a product that outperforms a product made by a large corporate team. Building your own high performance, .NET in-memory database is not a task to be taken lightly, but after three years of development, John Sullivan of Inmemory.net, has recently started taking on customers, including at least one Fortune 500. Offering improved performance at a fraction of the price of Enterprise class databases, there is significant disruptive potential.

And last, but not least, with a declared self interest, but still doing interesting things …


A strong social media presence is an essential but resource intensive activity.  ZenLikeFocus differentiate themselves by being a low cost hands free service to grow your social network,  and who use smart network analysis to target relevant accounts using data from multiple sources. “Social Media growth is often haphazard in large companies, and smaller startups are often so product focused that they neglect the daily nurture of their social networks that generates growth. ZenLikeFocus solves both of these problems”.


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or @SimonCocking

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!