Dublin’s Invent Showcase: Celebrating Irish Tech & Innovation

Nine inventors, nine ideas. The Big Read, sponsored by Vodafone.

Nine consumer products imagined, designed, and created in Ireland, soon to launch on a global scale. Spanning AgTech to MedTech, musical instruments to kitchen appliances, these products not only highlight the wealth of ingenuity, innovation, and design talent on offer in this country, together, they form the ID2015-supported Invent Showcase, currently on display at Dogpatch Labs in Dublin’s iconic CHQ building.

The brainchild of Michael Cusack Clyne, a Dublin-based digital innovator and product manager, the Invent Showcase is a celebration of Irish inventors, reinventors and their inventions.

The project came into being following a call out by Irish Design 2015 for ideas that celebrated Irish design. Having recently participated in two hardware hackathons — an experience he describes as being “richly rewarding in the opportunities it offers for collaboration, product development, and meeting with mentors” — Clyne was keen to draw attention to the surge in consumer led smart products being imagined, designed, and created in Ireland.

He submitted an application and received funding to make his vision a reality.

Clyne then set about selecting a series of products that he felt were not only feats of creative and design brilliance, but representative of modern-day hardware innovation in Ireland, too.

The items and inventions that made the cut are as follows:

• Drop (iPad-connected smart cooking scales)
• MooCall Sensor (hardware that attaches to the mother cow and alerts the farmer when she is about to give birth)
• Res Med S+ (a smart sleep monitoring device)
• Scriba Stylus (a squeezable digital pen that offers a wider range of freedom and movement when drawing)
• PatchBlocks (programmable modular mini-synths)
• Sound Bounce (responsive hearing protection that offers times more protection than standard headsets)
• Expressive Midi Guitar System (plug and play digital sounds via a real customisable guitar)
• Sugru (mouldable glue that turns into rubber for DIY fixes)
• LumaFit (cardio heart rate monitor and workout session analysis tool)

Invent_Showcase_at_DogpatchLabs-Dublin-Globe

The products are at various stages on the journey to market. Most have received support from Enterprise Ireland, with investment from PCH and VC funding from the likes of SoS Ventures, Delta Partners and Kernel Capital helping many on their way. Crowdfunding has also played an important role in helping several of the startups get their projects off the ground: Scriba Stylus connected with fans through Kickstarter, while Drop ran a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign by leveraging their social following.

Since its launch at the September 2015 Career Zoo event at Dublin’s Convention Centre, the Invent Showcase has been on the move, taking up residence at the Bank of Ireland’s Startup Workbench for a time before making its way back across the Liffey to its current home in Dogpatch Labs.

Here, passersby can stop and check out the nine inventions, each one housed in its own perspex case and mounted on individual pillars that bring the products close to eye-level.

Career Zoo Picture Conor McCabe Photography. Invent Showcase Founder Michael Cusack Clyne

“I wanted to display these creations like beautiful pieces of jewelry,” says Clyne. “I wanted people to engage, and connect with them.”

Why? Because he believes we’re on the cusp of something big. “The last 30 years have seen Ireland develop a tradition in IT manufacturing,” he says, “but now that hardware innovation is coming into the consumer space — that’s where it becomes very exciting.”

Michael hopes that by shining a light on and celebrating that which is imagined and invented in Ireland, the project will “inspire more people to consider a career in product design and development.”

“Ireland is about so much more than music, folklore, and poetry. With our creativity, imagination and design talent, there is no reason why we can’t become global players in hardware innovation, too.”

As part of his continued efforts to highlight and celebrate Irish creativity, reinventors and their inventions, Michael and the Invent Showcase team will be hosting Dublin’s first Invent Fest on the evening of Thursday, February 4th. The inaugural event will take place in Dogpatch Labs, and brings together some of Ireland’s leading contemporary new wave of startup inventors, product designers, reinventors, crowdfunders, guerrilla marketeers and investors. PR guru and tech community connector-extraordinaire Paul Hayes will also be speaking.

Invent Fest is an opportunity for members of the tech community as well as the general public to meet with some of the inventors whose products feature in the Invent Showcase and hear their stories of how they took their inventions from initial creation to global sales. In addition, all proceeds from the event, supported by RTE and Dogpatch Labs and run in conjunction with 100 Minds, will go directly to ISPCC Childline.

For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit InventFest.org.

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