12 Cork start-ups to keep an eye on in 2020

Cork is bustling with start-up potential, where ambitious local entrepreneurs view the world as their oyster. Here as 12 to watch in 2020.


Woman in black jacket, with blonde hair, leaning against a wall.

Dr Fiona Edwards Murphy, ApisProtect. Image: Jill Cotter

Founded by Dr Fiona Edwards Murphy (above), the ApisProtect technology functions as a kind of early warning system so beekeepers can give at-risk hives immediate attention and improve bee health. The technology also gives beekeepers actionable insights and alerts to help prevent losses and increase colony productivity. The company last year announced 25 new jobs after raising an investment round led by international venture capital investors Finistere Ventures and Atlantic Bridge Capital along with Radicle Growth, the Yield Lab and Enterprise Ireland

Culture Co-working

Smiling fair-haired man in grey jacket.

The brainchild of Andrew Whitaker and located on the grounds of the former Ford and Dunlop plant in Cork, Culture Co-working is a workplace environment for busy professionals who need to be close to the city but who need to balance their working and personal lives. Whitaker is also considering branching out to other towns and cities, including potentially Thurles and Limerick.


Employmum was created by Karen O’Reilly, a professional accountant with over 20 years experience – when she sought flexible work to fit around her family life, she found that there was no dedicated service for people seeking flexible work or to help companies with their flexible work strategy. Employmum is about finding the perfect solutions for employers and employees, matching employers with flexible roles to high calibre candidates seeking flexibility.

Pundit Arena

Pundit Arena is a revenue-generating sports media website powered by the fans as well as established journalists. The ‘pundits’ write about sports topics and publish on the platform. Pundit Arena was founded by Ross O’Dwyer and Richard Barrett in 2013 and has raised €750,000 so far.

Republic of Work

Self-described as the “home of business in Cork”, Republic of Work is an innovation centre, events space, co-working and flexible working hub in the centre of Cork. The brainchild of DC Cahalane, Republic of Work is based on Cork’s South Mall and is home to a vibrant community of start-ups and scale-ups.


Scrapinghub which enables businesses to extract data from the web, was founded by Shane Evans. The business now employs 180 staff – mostly remote workers in 20 countries. Originally the head of engineering at Lastminute.com, Evans has built Scrapinghub into a business with more than 2,000 customers that supports 1m developers and that has revenues in excess of $12m.


TeachKloud is a Cork-based cloud edtech management platform that allows preschool managers to work smart and cut time spent on administration to improve the quality of teaching delivered by all staff. The company recently announced a €750,000 investment. The company was founded by Wendy Eke and plans to address a market estimated to be worth €215bn by 2025.


Two men in tuxedos holding awards.

Teamwork.com is a web-based project and groupware management tools platform helping managers, staff and clients work together online. Teamwork was founded by Daniel Mackey and Peter Coppinger (pictured above) in 2007 and is one of Cork’s biggest indigenous tech success stories. It is now $31m a year software business employing 244 people (180 or so of them in Cork), recently opened new offices in Belfast and in 2018 was named EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year. The company even has plans to build its own Apple spaceship-style campus in Cork.


Founded in Cork in 2017 by Conor Lyden, Trustap is a transaction platform specifically designed to protect users from being scammed when buying from strangers whether online or offline, essentially enabling users to “transact with peace of mind.”


dark-haired woman in cream jacket with arms folded.

WeddingDates provides web-based software and online marketing to wedding venues and suppliers across Ireland and the UK. Set up by Ciara Crossan in 2008, WeddingDates assists top wedding venues & suppliers increase their wedding revenue by filling their unsold inventory. They have won countless awards over their 11 years in business, most notably the “Innovative Business Of The Year” Award at the 2019 All Ireland Business Summit.


Man in blue t-shirt beside man in vest.

Workvivo co-founder John Goulding with Xoom co-founder Eric Yuang.

Workvivo has designed an internal communications platform based on the way people are familiar with interacting outside of the workplace, and brought that into a business context. Co-founded by John Goulding and Joe Lennon in 2017, Workvivo recently raised €500,000 in a funding round led by Zoom founder Eric Yuan.


Yooni’s mission is to get the right student to the right course. It does so by using artificial intelligence and aims to reduce the high drop-out level from college courses. The company was founded in 2018 by Nathan Mayes and Darragh Lucey and plans to launch nationwide this year to all 180,000 senior cycle students in Ireland.

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 29 January, 2020