Every year, Google runs their now famous Adopt a Startup program. Startups from around Ireland and further afield are mentored by Google but also compete for a range of prizes, including Google Ads credit worth €10,000 and hot desking for three months at Dogpatch Labs. Over the past few years, some of my own personal favourite Irish startups have passed through the program, including Bamboo and Invizbox. Google has just announced the new intake of startups for 2018 and here’s who I’m excited to learn more about.
FlexiWage: For People Who Can’t Be Trusted With Their Own Money
By “people”, I, of course, mean me. FlexiWage is one of those ideas where you just think to yourself “well, duh! Why have we been doing this the wrong way for so long?”
Right, first thing’s first. You won’t be able to sign up and use FlexiWage yourself but you can pressure the hell out of your employer and beg them to adopt it. FlexiWage hands over the power of payday to the employee. We’re all used to jobs saying you’ll be paid on a certain date, the last day of the month or upon a full red moon rising on the Sabbath. Regardless of when you get paid, it just doesn’t seem to come at the right time. You know? Like, when you really need money!
FlexiWage lets employees dictate how their monthly wage is given to them. For example, you can have 50% delivered in week one to pay the bills and to do the “big shop”. Then you can have 16%(ish) paid out for the remaining three weeks to be spent on pints and the likes.
For the employee, the benefits are clear but there is also a geansaí load of reasons employers should be excited by this system too. This is a unique selling point to attract talent with and when used right, will lead to a happier workforce. It’s not the sexiest thing I’ve ever written about, but I can see employees, and as a result, employers, loving FlexiWage.
Nasal Medical: Snoring Aid and Flight Air Filter
Genuinely, I don’t snore. At least, I’m pretty sure I don’t snore, but loads of people do. It’s normal, but it can be annoying. Nasal Medical is a Dublin-based company who has successfully engineered a small device, designed to combat snoring. Cool huh?
As awesome as that is though, my eye was caught by something else they make. I travel a fair bit and I’ve always noticed that I seem to get sick after a flight. Years ago, when smoking was permitted on flights, fresh air was regularly pumped in to replace the tobacco filled air. With smoking bans came a lessened need to regularly purge air and as a result, more frequently recycled air circulated the cabin. It’s not much of a reach to then assumed this dirtier air could lead to flying being bad for your health.
Nasal Medical has also designed a special filter for just this scenario. Their Travel Filter is proven to block 98% of particle matter above 2.5 microns in size getting in through the nose. Now, I don’t really know what that means but it sure does sound like this thing is going to be a must-have for frequent fliers.
StoryTracks: Real Guided Tours Powered by Your Location
This appeals to me as a historian, and Irish man and as someone who enjoys a good yarn down the pub. StoryTracks provides you with access to authentic insights into an area through stories told by those who know the area best. When you attend a museum or a gallary, it’s common to pick up an audio guide which walks you around and explains what’s on show. StoryTracks is just like this, but instead of being a commissioned piece of work, it’s full of stories told by regular people.
“So what?” says you.
Living memory is one of the most beautiful things on the planet, but every single day that passes we lose the living memories of people who pass away. StoryTracks makes capturing the stories and yarns of these people, who’ve witnessed historic events or lived in historically significant areas, much easier. In fact, anyone can provide a story relating to an area so I would encourage you to sit down with your parents and grandparents, ask them what stories to they have to tell and get them involved in the StoryTracks project.
The Google Adopt a Startup program is now underway for 2018, with thirty startups vying to become the top dog in the eyes of Google. These are just my favourite three from the list, but there’s plenty more brilliance on show within this years line-up. Check them out at your leisure and bask in the glory of Ireland’s startup scene.
The 2018 Google Adopt a Startup Program Participants