Judges announced for KPMG Global Tech Innovator Competition

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13th May 2022

Chris McClelland, one of Northern Ireland’s best-known entrepreneurs, has joined the judging panel for the local round of KPMG’s second annual Global Tech Innovator competition.  The founding partner of pre-seed fund Broadstone will be part a six-strong panel judging the all-island competition, with the winner going on to represent the island of Ireland competing with 22 other countries and jurisdictions in the global final during Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal in November. The competition is open to applications from tech start-ups in both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland until 16th May 2022.

The judges

Anne Sheehan joined Microsoft Ireland as general manager in October 2021, taking responsibility for the sales, marketing, and services business across the island of Ireland – with a particular focus on delivering business transformation with Microsoft’s customers and partners within the public and private sectors. Prior to joining Microsoft, Anne was Enterprise Director at Vodafone UK. Anne is passionate about partnering with Irish organisations to work together towards an innovative and progressive digital world.

Tommy Kelly is the founder and CEO of eShopWorld (ESW), the global direct to consumer ecommerce partner chosen by the world leading brands to power their international expansion. ESW is an award-winning global technology company employing more than 600 people. Brands using ESW’s solutions and services can seamlessly extend their online offering into international markets and provide a best in class domestic-equivalent shopping experience to their customers.

Elaine Coughlan is a co-founder and managing partner of Atlantic Bridge, a global technology fund. Atlantic Bridge is headquartered in Ireland with a portfolio of over 80 technology companies across sectors including cyber security, semiconductors, software, and life sciences. She was a co-founder of Glonav, a GPS software and semiconductor company acquired by NXP.  Elaine has 30 years of experience in the technology industry as a founder, executive and investor. She is a Board member of Enterprise Ireland and a member of the investment committee of British Patient Capital and has been named one of Europe’s Top 50 Inspiring Women in Technology.

Chris McClelland is a founding partner at Broadstone, Ireland’s first dedicated pre-seed fund. As a founder, Chris created one of the first mobile app development agencies responsible for shipping the first mobile apps for eighty companies, including Mailchimp and Eharmony, to over 11 million users. Chris is best known for Brewbot which was backed by some of Silicon Valley’s best-known entrepreneurs. Most recently Chris was Managing Director of IgniteNI designing and leading 8 programmes supporting 111 companies, including Cloudsmith, Overwatch, MedAll, Machinery Partner and Eolas Medical.

Seamus Hand is the managing partner of KPMG Ireland and is a member of KPMG’s Global and EMA boards. Seamus was first elected as managing partner in 2019 and was recently re-elected for a second term.  Seamus has led KPMG in Ireland to record growth in 2021, continuing its position as the number

one professional services firm in Ireland. The firm has committed to significant investment in digital platforms to support collaboration and innovation while also facilitating the latest emerging ways of working.

“We have secured a fantastic panel of judges, made up of some of the best investors, entrepreneurs, leaders and advisors, to choose the island of Ireland’s leading tech innovator of 2022,” Johnny Hanna, Partner-in-Charge of KPMG in Northern Ireland, said.

“Last year’s success for Belfast-based CattleEye shows our local tech entrepreneurs are competing with the best in the world and we look forward to hearing about the innovation, motivation and ideas driving this year’s crop of entrants.”

The competition

Competition entrants will be shortlisted and invited to pitch their innovations and present their growth ambitions to the judging panel. The competition is open to tech entrepreneurs and start-ups businesses which are pure technology, tech-enabled, tech-led, or tech-driven. The overall winner in Ireland will progress to the Global Tech Innovator final during Web Summit, with the prize including travel and accommodation to Lisbon, tickets to Web Summit as part of KPMG’s delegation, an exhibition stand for 1 day, and access to exclusive networking events and mentoring opportunities.

The competition is open to all technology and tech enabled companies which have operated for 5 years or less, have generated revenue between USD $1m-10m (or have raised at least $500,000 in equity financing) and are registered and based in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. Applicants must have innovative, proven technologies, robust business models, the ability to demonstrate traction in their activities and the potential to scale up. Applications must be submitted by 16th May 2022.

Applications are now open for the competition at www.kpmg.ie/GTI.