Fionn Lahart and Christoph Hennersperger, founders of Irish medical technology company OneProjects, were named best emerging entrepreneurs at the annual EY Entrepreneur of the Year (EoY) on Wednesday evening.
The venture-backed medical device company specialises in high-resolution cardiac imaging technology and is developing a catheter-based sensor device for use on patients who have received treatment for arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation (AFib), a heart condition that affects more than 38 million people around the world.
In his speech, Mr Hennersperger said the award was a tribute to the hard work of OneProject’s teams in Ireland and Munich, Germany.
Thanking his family, Mr Lahart said it was a privilege to be nominated and to join the EoY alumni network.
Speaking in Austin, Texas in September, where he was attending the annual EoY executive retreat, Mr Lahart explained that one of the main issues with AFib treatments is that every second patient has to come back “two, three or four times” for repeat procedures.
“Doctors cannot see what is going on,” said Mr Hennersperger, “because these treatments are performed endovascular, so they have a small catheter going up to the heart and the treatment is locally in the heart. But you cannot see directly what’s going on. That’s a big problem.”
So far, the Dublin and Munich-based company, which employs 50 full-time staff, has raised €26 million in funding from investors to develop its technology, incorporating data science and machine learning to give clinicians a 360-degree, high-resolution imagery of the beating heart.
The theme of this year’s awards, which took place this evening in the Powerscourt Hotel in Co Wicklow, was “changemakers”.
Social entrepreneur Mary Davis, chief executive of Special Olympics International, received a special recognition award at the event.
Other winners on the night included Martin McKay, founder of ed-tech company Texthelp, who won in the overall EoY category and also best international entrepreneur; Kieran Cusack and Tom O’Connor, founders of construction company Conack, who won established entrepreneurs of the year; and Stephen Nolan, chief executive and founder of food data business Nutritics, who took the inaugural sustainability award at the ceremony.
The other finalists in the emerging category were Alan Carson, Cloudsmith; Allan Beechinor and Niamh Parker, Altada; Caroline Dunlea, Core Optimisation; Evelyn Kelly, Orphan Drug Consulting; Helen Cahill, InvoiceFair; John Harkin, Alchemy Technology Solutions and Stephen Nolan, Nutritics.