Love & Robots has been announced as the winner of the 2014 ESB Spark of Genius Award, one of the most prestigious awards for Irish start-ups at the Web Summit.
Now in its fifth year, the ESB Spark of Genius Award is recognized as Ireland’s most prominent start-up competition with past winners including SmartThings, recently acquired by Samsung for a reported $200 million, Viddyad and Datahug.
Love & Robots, formally known as FabAllThings, is an interactive design platform that connects customers with personalized 3D printed products. By collaborating with a community of designers (love), and by using 3d printing (robots), they create beautifully-crafted, customizable, unique, 3D printed and locally-made products for design-lovers everywhere.
Love & Robots began their Spark of Genius journey with 30 other start-ups including consumer sentiment apps, online fashion retailing, social gaming, a hospital communication app and Bitcoin security for banks, all of whom pitched to a judging panel during the preliminary rounds in September.
Beating off stiff competition, Love & Robots made it through to the final round at the 2014 Web Summit, along with TenderScout and Restored Hearing. After an intensive pitching round, Love & Robots was announced as the winner of this year’s ESB Spark of Genius Award, receiving a cash prize of $31,000, plus a fund of services to assist them in the start-up phase.
All three finalists battled it out with unique and engaging business pitches at the grand finale, which played out on the “Builders” Stage at the RDS in front of an audience of thousands of leading international start-ups and technology investors. The final judging panel included Marguerite Sayers, Incoming Managing Director of ESB Networks, Don O'Neill, VP of Engineering, Operations & Infrastructure at TripAdvisor, Aditya Argawal, VP of Engineering at Dropbox, Grainne Barron, Founder of Viddyad, Bill Archer, Managing Director, Business at Eircom and Eamonn Russell, Partner at KPMG.
Emer O’Daly, CEO and co-founder of Love & Robots said, “We are delighted to have won the 2014 ESB Spark of Genius Award. To compete against so many other amazing companies and to be selected as the winner is an amazing feeling. We’ve met some wonderful people during this competition and wish them all the best.”
Speaking today, Sayers of ESB Networks said, “The companies that have pitched here today, and in particular the winners Love & Robots, embody the entrepreneurial spirit that exists in Ireland today, where innovation underpins our economic resilience. ESB is delighted to foster and develop this culture by sponsoring the Spark of Genius competition.’
Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, TripAdvisor's O’Neill commented, “Web Summit is a great celebration of the tech industry and I am delighted to be part of the ESB Spark of Genius Award, a competition that seeks out and champions the very best of Irish tech.”