Meet the (really diverse) Startups taking part in Galway’s Startlab

When you think of the Irish “tech scene” it can be tempting to instantly just think of Dublin. After all, it’s where the… unicorns (barf)… have their European offices, it’s full of world class incubators and accelerators and it has had some pretty notable exits and acquisitions in the last while.

However, if you take a look there’s actually quite a lot going on outside the Pale and it probably doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Take a short train ride and you can quickly get immersed in a whole new scene, and I’ve always said that getting out of Dublin is something we should all do more on both a business and pleasure front. Deciding to take my own advice, that’s exactly what I did last week.

I took the 2 hour rail trip to the West coast and in between rambling around the (rather lovely) city of Galway, I had a look at one of the great startup initiatives springing up all along the Wild Atlantic Way, Startlab in Galway.

Startlab (A Bank of Ireland initiative) have only just officially opened their doors, and their first cohort of 8 startups really are a diverse bunch, check them out below:

(All photos by me, especially chosen for character/embarrassment factor)


I challenged the guys to tell me what they are all about in a tweet, they pretty much nailed it.


As did Gerry from WoofAdvisor

Blue Drop Medical

Bluedrop Medical are a early stage Medtech startup with the goal of “Reducing the cost of Diabetic Foot Ulcers” through smart hardware


MintTek are helping hardware producers greatly speed up the prototyping process by creating “a scalable web-based platform to enable developers to access global manufacturers quickly, cost effectively and confidentially.”

Howling Hamster

A games development startup, Howling Hamster previously described themselves as “Howling Hamster is 3 guys squashed into a nephew’s dining room trying to make a game. Basically we’re living the dream.” — which is still mostly accurate, but they’ve been upgraded from a dining room, to a very lavish startup space with couches aplenty.

Couture Intel

Couture Intel is aiming to be a luxury-good shopper’s best friend with their luxury goods comparison site.
“ is essentially a price and currency comparison site. We are TripAdvisor meets Skyscanner meets GoCompare”


I’ve known Cian (pictured) and Scott (back in Dublin or as Cian would call it… “The Far East” (which I love)) for a long time. I’d definitely give them the classification of “Grossly underrated Irish startup”. What do they do? 
Birdleaf turns your customers email addresses into rich actionable insights.”

Builder Engine

BuilderEngine are working on a platform which combines cutting edge apps that allow people to build powerful bespoke websites. I think I’m mostly butchering their pitch, so here’s how they’d put it: 
“BuilderEngine Website Builder is instant, free and easy to use. Build advanced & innovating websites with eCommerce, Bookings, Services and more.

So there you have it, 8 startups that are all on a very interesting 6 month journey out of Startlab, Galway. If you want to find out more about the programme head on over here to find out more.

PS: If you liked this post, you might like my tweets, so click here to follow me

PPS: Check out my visit to the startup scene in St. John’s, Canada over here

PPPS: Here’s a lovely photo of Galway for you