Cresco Innovation has just celebrated the first anniversary of the opening of our office in Galway, Ireland – and what a hugely-successful and profitable year it has been for some of our clients.

Since we set up a permanent base at the Business Innovation Centre, at the National University of Ireland Galway, Cresco has raised more than €10million of investment for Irish SMEs.

During the past 12 months, Cresco has won two major grants alone for one Galway-based company specialising in medical devices, bringing in €2.5m from a Phase Two project, and then €3m from a Fast Track to Innovation campaign.

Cresco also won €3m, through an EU Horizon 2020 grant, for another medical technology start-up in Galway, enabling that company to use the funds to further commercialise their technology and increase headcount.

And just last week, Cresco secured another €2.5m for a bio-sciences company in Ballina.

Cresco has also won separate grants of €50,000 each for two more Irish companies.

One is for Galway company Animated Language Learning (ALL), who have devised a cutting-edge speech and language learning program for children with autism.

This justifies decision to open office

And the second one is for Clonmel-based OmniSpirant, who are developing an inhaled gene therapy platform based on regenerative stem cell exosomes – their patent-pending, surface-engineered and bioengineered stem cell exosomes will initially be used to develop a first in class regenerative gene therapy for cystic fibrosis.

The grants are crucial to the success of these companies as it allows them to develop their innovative technology and get it to market.

Cresco Innovation CEO Jo Derbyshire said: “We’ve enjoyed untold success since opening our office in Galway, fully justifying our decision to have a presence in Ireland.

“At a time when there’s plenty of negative news around, we’re delighted to have had a significant amount of success and helped enable these companies to dramatically increase their own success.

“There’s a real cluster of healthcare and med-tech projects all around the west coast of Ireland. They’re all innovative companies, really agile and fast-moving – some were formed less than a year ago but already they’re raising millions, which is partly due to the BioInnovate programme, which is run by NUI Galway and is recognised as a global centre for medical technology.

“But they needed an extra bit of help to get over the line, and that’s where we were able to work our own little bit of magic. Their overall odds of securing funding by going it alone is around 3% – but we’re able to get that up to around 25%.

“It will also lever in additional venture funding to these projects, which is the whole point of the scheme.”

Ireland is central to Cresco’s future growth

Cresco moved to Galway with an already strong history of collaboration with Irish companies, having raised more than €5m in recent years, and we were keen to establish firm roots at NUI Galway and create further new opportunities for clients.

The new office saw the creation of a new post, with Michelle Cooney named Head of Cresco Innovation Ireland and being based permanently at the Business Innovation Centre.

Ireland will be central to Cresco’s future growth and development, and Jo is delighted with the success of the first 12 months.

“Irish companies are performing really well right now, among the very best anywhere,” she added. “They get a lot of help from Enterprise Ireland, who are really proactive and give them a lot of hands-on help to get them ready.

“Ireland is definitely doing very well on the European scene and we see a big part of our future being Cresco Ireland.

“We’re really pleased how it’s gone since we opened the Galway office. We’ve recruited Michelle, and with her in place we want to do so much more in the next 12 months – we want to recruit more people and grow our business considerably.”