Photo: Arklu’s Ian Harkin (left) and Kaitriona McBride, with Paddy Flynn. (Pic: Shane O’Neill) 13 Jul 2016 | 11.45 am
Donegal company Arkluhas been named the winner of theGoogle Adopt a Startup 2016 spring programme, following a Dragons’ Den-style final held in the Foundry at Google’s EMEA headquarters in Dublin.
Formed in 2012, the company makes dolls that are based on characters who are nine years old and provide positive role models – so no make-up or jewellery, with realistic body proportions and ethnic diversity.
Arklu sells its Lottie dolls through its website into European and US markets, while retailers such as Debenhams and Barnes & Noble also stock the toys.
Each of the eight Adopt a Startup finalists had to present a seven-minute pitch on their business strategies and the results of taking part in the Google programme to a panel of judges that includedPatrick Walsh of Dogpatch Labs and David Grunwald, EMEA head of global partnerships for Google for entrepreneurs.
The winners receive €10,000 in AdWords credit and will become eligible for the Google Cloud Platform for Startup programme, which comes with $20,000 Google Cloud credits.
Speaking at the final, Paddy Flynn, head of Google Ireland’s startup programme, said: “Now in its fourth year, our Adopt a Startup programme is unique to Ireland and it allows us to support the local startup community in a significant way.”
He added, “Arklu was selected by the judges because they made a lot of progress throughout the programme and committed 150% to the process, investing a lot of time and effort to develop their business strategy.”
Mayo’s Truckscience placed second and received €5,000 in AdWords credit for its efforts, while Dublin’s Beutifi.com placed third and accepted a cheque for €3,000 in AdWords credit.
Dogpatch Labs awarded a special prize of Hot Desk membership for six months to Newslinn. The prize, worth €6,000, was open to all 30 participants and asked contenders to submit an application explaining why they would benefit the most from the prize.
Newslinn is an open and free platform that provides new ways for people to communicate easily and safely with journalists all over the world.
Thirty startups were selected to participate in Google’s Adopt a Startup programme, a 90-day initiative that included mentoring sessions with a dedicated Google Ireland support team.