South-East entrepreneurs brim with ambition

While Klearcom won the overall €25,000 prize, the latest crop of Arclabs/NDRC start-ups show the South-East is where it is happening.

Customer care software provider Klearcom won the third and final NDRC at ArcLabs Investor Showcase in Waterford on Friday, seeing off five other businesses to take the €25,000 top prize.

Klearcom helps multinational contact centres prevent and recover faster from contact centre outages that can cost them up to €500,000 per hour, as well as lose them customers.

“ArcLabs is the best place to launch and grow your digital technology business”

Based out of ArcLabs in Waterford IT, Klearcom was founded by Liam Dunne, a serial entrepreneur now on his fourth startup. Dunne was responsible for growing a prior business from €1.5 million to a €9 million turnover. Upon leaving, it was valued at €50 million.

Other companies pitching on the day operate in industries as diverse as HR, research, hate speech and medtech.

Passion and energy

“It wasn’t a straightforward task, choosing this year’s winner,” said Ben Hurley, CEO of NDRC and judge at today’s showcase.

“The businesses all presented a very interesting variety of propositions, with well qualified teams involved. However, for Klearcom, what stood out was the strong experience of the founders. A great passion and energy, with the team’s journey built on experience and a very clear product-market fit,” Hurley said.

NDRC and ArcLabs have been partners for three years, delivering accelerator programmes in the South-East since 2018. This was the first entirely remote programme, due to Covid-19 restrictions across Ireland.

Some of the start-ups that have participated in the programme before include Property Bridges,, Miura and Stackolater.

“Given our co-location with the Telecommunications, Software and Systems Group (TSSG), WIT’s internationally renowned ICT research group, and Enterprise Ireland’s Technology Gateway, ArcLabs is the best place to launch and grow your digital technology business,” said Aisling O’Neill, manager at ArcLabs Research and Innovation Centre.

The judges on the day were ACT Venture Capital General Partner, Debbie Rennick; Finn Murphy who is a Principal at Frontline Ventures; Fred Karlsson – Founder of Done Deal; Ben Hurley, CEO of NDRC; Investment Consultant Niamh Sterling representing HBAN, and Richard Watson – Managing Partner of DBIC Ventures

6 South-East start-ups to watch in 2021


Autoplan helps architects deliver more successful planning applications, faster, by reducing the need for time-consuming, manual and data-oriented tasks behind researching and publishing planning applications.

Heal Air

Heal Air has developed a patent-pending smart infection control technology to help private care homes reduce staff and patient illnesses and related costs. Heal Air kills 99 per cent of all bacteria and viruses.


Kanary helps your platform identify hateful content posted by your users, while safeguarding your brands ability to scale.


Klearcom helps multinational contact centres prevent and recover faster from contact centre outages that can cost them up to $500K per hour & customer churn.


OpinionX is an ‘open-survey’ tool in the research space. Participants not only submit their own written opinions, they also vote on each others’ submissions and can see a real-time report of all the results.


PluAlto’s AI driven employee relations technology, is automating the HR support function, helping Team Leaders and HR respond efficiently to conflict situations and complex HR issues, mitigating risk of conflict escalation and the associated cost of formal processes.

Main image at top: Liam Dunne, CEO of Klearcom, with Aisling O’Neill, manager of Arclabs WIT. Picture: Patrick Browne

By John Kennedy (

Published: 30 November, 2020