Ireland-UK, EIT Health Ireland-UK

Six Ireland-UK start-ups selected for EIT Health Catapult 2023-24 semi-finals

12th September 2023

In an exciting development for the healthtech start-up scene across Ireland-UK, six high-potential start-ups have been selected as semi-finalists in the EIT Health Catapult 2023-24 competition. They will join 24 other European companies to undergo mentorship and training with experienced entrepreneurs and experts.

Each year, the unique Catapult pitching competition showcases Europe’s most promising life science and healthtech start-ups to leading investors. To date the programme has supported over 300 companies, many of which have closed investment rounds to the value of millions of euro after participating. Twenty percent of this year’s 30 European semi-finalists are based in Ireland and the UK.

Meet the six Ireland-UK Catapult semi-finalists 

Life sciences

CELEX Oncology (UK) focuses on treating aggressive, invasive and metastatic cancer forms by turning aggressive cancer into a benign state, allowing patients to live with the disease.

Celtic Biotech (Ireland) is developing novel candidate therapies for treating solid cancers and pain in humans.


Digistain (UK) is developing a risk profiling test for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, providing oncologists with decision-making data in just 15 minutes.

Exhalation Technology (UK) is providing unique technology to revolutionise respiratory health.

Plio Surgical (Ireland) is creating a minimally invasive implant to tackle one of the most dreaded complications of colon cancer surgery – leakage following tumour removal.

Xtremedy Medical (Ireland) aims reduce the suffering of patients and speed up recovery from chronic infections. They have developed a novel surgical device that uses pulsed field ablation to target microbial contaminants in wound margins while protecting the host tissue.

The start-ups will now receive mentorship, tailored to each start-up’s individual needs to strengthen and optimise their business plans and pitches.

Previous EIT Health Catapult successes 

In 2022, Cambridge-based SolasCure won first prize in Catapult’s biotech category. SolasCure is pioneering a ground-breaking solution to treat chronic wounds. The start-up went on to secure a substantial Series B funding round to the value of €12 million.

Ireland’s Luminate Medical, another standout from the 2022 competition, won the ‘Alex Casta Audience Award’ at the EIT Health Catapult finals. As part of the award, the start-up’s logo was displayed on the Nasdaq Tower in New York’s iconic Times Square. This year Luminate Medical was one of four Irish start-ups to win funding through Horizon Europe’s European Innovation Council Accelerator.

MediSieve, a UK-based start-up that has developed magnetic blood filtration, a revolutionary platform therapy that enables the physical removal of specific substances from the bloodstream of patients, won second prize in the Biotech category during the Catapult 2022-23 finals.

What happens at the EIT Health Catapult semi-finals? 

During the semi-finals, ten start-ups from life sciences and twenty from healthtech will present their solutions to a public audience of healthcare professionals, industry experts, and investors.

The top nine start-ups (three from life sciences and six from healthtech) will be selected and invited to pitch during the finals at Bits & Pretzels HealthTech in Munich on 5-6 June 2024.

Finalists will go head-to-head for their share of the €60,000 cash prize as well as for the Catapult industry in-kind prizes worth over €800,000. They will also compete for the “Alex Casta Audience Award” which offers a chance for the company logo to be displayed on New York’s Nasdaq Tower.

To learn more about EIT Health Catapult and other open opportunities at EIT Health, meet the EIT Health Ireland-UK team in person at today’s Smart Health Summit 2023. Contact us to set up a meeting or visit our exhibitor booth.

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