SiriusXT sees way to Seedcorn Investor Readiness award

Dr Kenneth Fahy and Tony McEnroe, SiriusXT

26 November 2015

SiriusXT, a University College Dublin spin-out, has been named best early stage company in Ireland, at the final of the 2015 InterTradeIreland All-Island Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition held last night at Clontarf Castle.

In addition to the award, SiriusXT won a cash prize of €50,000.

Now in its 13th year, the Seedcorn competition is the island’s biggest business competition for new start and early stage companies and is aimed at companies with a new funding requirement. It has an overall cash prize fund of €280,000, and does not involve taking any equity stake.

SiriusXT, co-founded by Dr Kenneth Fahy, Dr Fergal O’Reilly and Dr Paul Sheridan, as a spin-out from the UCD School of Physics, has spent eight years developing the technology for its soft x-ray microscope called SXT.

SXT is the first soft x-ray microscope of its kind in the world; it is a benchtop system that allows researchers to produce images in their own labs. Their product takes a powerful laser to make a little fireball as hot as the centre of the sun and about a tenth of the width of a human hair in diameter. This fireball produces a kind of light that allows them to illuminate single cells or tissue samples and produce beautiful 3D images of cells that cannot be produced any other way.

The images reveal in unprecedented detail the inner workings of life, drugs and disease on a cellular scale. The light sources that have been used to pioneer the technique are the size of a football stadium and cost over €250 million. Their light source will fit on a small table, and will let disease and drug researchers see changes in cells with a tool they can easily fit into their microscopy labs.

Tony McEnroe, CEO, SiriusXT, said: “We are delighted to win the best early stage company award. Entering the competition has been very rewarding for us. The investors on the judging panel acknowledge that they ‘got’ the value proposition when this was presented and we have learned that it is not just the best technology that makes the best business proposition, but the best complete solution for the target customer’s problem.”

At the event Ocean Survivor, founded by Kieran Normoyle, which is based at the University of Limerick, was crowned overall winner of this year’s competition and won a cash prize of €100,000.

Ocean Survivor manufactures a range of safety equipment aimed primarily at the off-shore oil industry. It is currently developing a simple to use technology that mitigates the effects of hypothermia, while promoting comfort and mental well-being in a survival situation.

TechCentral Reporters

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