Trinity students who founded the start-up business Aurius came first at Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition, winning a cash prize of €10,000.
Aurius, founded by Trinity students Paul Allan, Luc Bellintani and Dinnaga Padmaperuma, aims to provide cheap and affordable hearing aids that can be easily paired with a smartphone or tablet, allowing the user to tune the device themselves, eliminating the need for maintenance repairs.
Speaking to Trinity News, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Paul Allan, said: “The Ireland Funds Competition was an incredible process and a great experience that was capped off by the win! The capital gained from the competition will be used to commercialise our product and help us prepare for our full launch.”
According to Allan, typical hearing aids cost, on average, €3,200 per pair, with maintenance costs bringing that price up even further. However, hearing aids designed by Aurius are planned to retail at €550, with the maintenance cost fees completely eliminated.
Allan spoke of the inspiration behind the company: “Having experienced first hand the crushing realisation of a grandparents hearing loss, their inability to hear a conversation over Christmas dinner whilst using the financially ‘suitable’ hearing aids, it triggered the beginning of this venture”.
Allan explained that he met his co-founders at TES (Trinity Entrepreneurial Society). Both Bellintani and Padmaperuma were Ambassadors last year and Allan was the Incubator Manager.
“We have worked hard and long in order to get to where we are in such a short amount of time and things will surely continue this way.”
The company also placed second at the McKinsey Venture Academy and came first in the Trinity Entrepreneurial Society (TES) Dragons Den this year, having begun the company in January 2017. Allan noted that Aurius is also the only Irish start-up to make it to the Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Competition in Singapore this year, and the only Trinity start-up to ever gain entry.