Tech start-ups vie for Bolton Trust / PwC Innovation awards

15 April, 2019

The final of the 2019 Bolton Trust/PwC Innovation Awards, that will see three promising tech start-ups pitching for a prize of €10,000, will take place on Wednesday, 1 May at PwC’s Spencer Dock headquarters.

The finalists, all recent graduates of the New Frontiers Programme at Technological University Dublin and IADT Dún Laoghaire, will aim to convince the judging panel that their venture represents the strongest potential for global expansion and return-on-investment. 

The shortlisted finalists are: Keith Curley, Gladcloud, an AI-based location marketing platform;  Shane O’Sullivan, Glimpse, who has developed performance software for digital advertising and Patrick Liddy, Utility AR, who has developed augmented reality solutions for industry.

Pictured are (l-r): Patrick Liddy, UtiltyAR; Keith Curley, Gladcloud; Joe Tynan, PwC Head of Tax; John Lauder, Chairman, Bolton Trust and Shane O'Sullivan, Glimpse.

Revealing the finalists for the 2019 Awards, John Lauder, Chairman of the Bolton Trust, said: “Our awards aim to help highly innovative start-ups along the sometimes difficult road to securing investment.  Combined, our three finalists this year are seeking in the region of €3.5 million, and I am very glad to report that our three most recent winners have raised €4 million since their success in the awards.”

Feargal O’Rourke, Managing Partner, PwC, said: “Our 2019 global CEO survey highlighted that 85% of CEOs believe that Artificial Intelligence will significantly change the way business is done in the next few years.  The 2019 finalists have identified the opportunities that artificial intelligence, and other technologies, can bring to business and this is at the core of their innovations. Technology and innovation is also at the core of PwC’s strategy to be the most technology-enabled professional services firm in Ireland.  We are delighted to support Irish entrepreneurs through these Awards and wish all of the candidates every success.”

At the awards evening in May, the three finalists will pitch to an invited audience and a panel of judges including Debbie Rennick of ACT Venture Capital, Mary Lambkin-Coyle, Professor of Marketing at the UCD School of Business and Charlie Taylor, business journalist with The Irish Times.

The Bolton Trust Awards are open to teams who have completed Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers Programme at Technological University Dublin’s three campuses (Blanchardstown, City & Tallaght) and at IADT Dún Laoghaire. Since 2012, no fewer than 377 teams have completed the programme, which offers a package of finance, training and workspace. These teams, including companies like Hub Controls, Cortechs and Artomatix, have gone on to raise in excess of €40m of investment and generate in the region of 1,000 jobs. Previous winners of the Bolton Trust Innovation Awards have included Checkventory, YourSmileDirect and Kinesense.

Since 2012, the programme has offered a support package of finance, training and workspace to over 300 start-ups, which have gone on to secure more than €40m in equity investment and create over 1,000 jobs.


Keith Curley, Gladcloud

Gladcloud has developed an AI-based location marketing platform that empowers brands (beverages, food delivery, table-booking, cosmetics), franchises (retail, automotive) and wholesalers to transform their thousands of merchant partners (restaurants, bars, salons, franchisees, dealerships) into digital brand ambassadors at scale.

The SaaS platform enables the marketing teams of major brands to create & distribute data-driven content and advertising at scale, unique to each merchant. At a local level, merchant partners have access to a dashboard that helps them better manage social media and online reviews. Gladcloud is already being employed in multiple territories by Diageo, Heineken and UberEats and has multiple engagements for further paid trials.

Keith Curley is a Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer, with over ten years’ international experience across the digital advertising sector. His Co-Founder and CTO, Tony Burke was previously Director of Microsoft’s International Internet Strategy team and has over thirty years’ experience within R&D and New Product Development.


Shane O’Sullivan, Glimpse

Glimpse have developed an ad-tech offering called Consensys which analyses the demographic profile of visitors as they walk past digital advertising displays. Consensys uses this information to display advertisements specifically targeted at the dominant demographic profile of viewers at that point in time. Consensys also measures the number of people who looked at an advertisement and for how long, offering advertisers and media owners a radically enhanced level of performance information. Consensys integrates seamlessly with any advertising screen and Content Management System.

Shane O’Sullivan studied Computer Science at Maynooth University before going on to work with Amazon Web Services. Co-founder Oran Mulvey recently graduated from UCD Michael Smurfit Business School with a 1st Class Honours in MSc Marketing in Practice.

Patrick Liddy, UtilityAR

When engineer and successful entrepreneur Patrick Liddy first encountered Augmented Reality (AR) Smart Glasses, he was convinced that the technology would change how industry gets work done. In 2017, he founded his second start-up, UtilityAR, developing Augmented Reality solutions for utilities, industry and other organisations who manage large portfolios of physical assets. The company now boasts local and multinational clients in the Data Centre, Pharma and Utility sectors.

Patrick is a qualified Electrical Engineer BEng, CEM, MIEI from UCD, and holds a Diploma in New Business Development from DIT. With his first start-up, Activation Energy, he brought innovation to the electricity market by creating Ireland’s first energy efficiency DSU (Demand Side Unit) working with large energy users. Following acquisition by Nasdaq-listed EnerNOC in 2014, he led the company to become the largest Demand Response company in both Ireland and the UK.


About PwC
At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 158 countries with over 250,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see for further details.

© 2019 PwC. All rights reserved

Contact us

Joe Tynan

Partner, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 6399

Johanna Dehaene

Corporate Communications, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 6547

Follow PwC Ireland