SiriusXT CEO Wins Enterprise Ireland’s Inaugural Founder of the Year Award

Tony McEnroe, CEO of SiriusXT (, a University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out company, has won Enterprise Ireland’s inaugural High Potential Start-up (HPSU) Founder of the Year Award which is supported by Grant Thornton.

As the overall winner the company received a prize valued at €15,000 provided by Grant Thornton to further support the development of the company. 

SiriusXT was co-founded in 2015 by Dr Kenneth Fahy, Dr Fergal O’Reilly and Dr Paul Sheridan and Tony McEnroe. The company was established following 8 years of research in UCD’s School of Physics developing technology that underpins a novel soft x-ray tomography (SXT) bench-top microscope. This microscope, the SXT100, is now being commercialised by SiriusXT.

The SXT100 is the only high throughput, lab-based solution, for imaging subcellular structures. The microscopes’ high resolution imaging modality is capable of quantitatively imaging the subcellular organisation of whole hydrated cells, up to 15μm thick at resolutions up to 40 nm, in their native state, with very little preparation and without the use of stains or other contrast enhancing agents.

SiriusXT was one of nine start-up companies selected for the Founder of the Year Award with each of the shortlisted companies being nominated by their founder peers. Liz Fulham, SalesOptimize and Eoin O’Broin, Solar AdTek, were also recognised and received runner-up awards.

The Founder of the Year Award forms an important element of the HPSU Founders Forum. The objective of the Forum, created by Enterprise Ireland in 2015, is to provide a platform for founders to help founders succeed internationally and scale faster.

Kevin Sherry, Executive Director, Global Business Development said, “The Enterprise Ireland Founder of the Year Award forms an important part of the HPSU Founders Forum, providing a platform to acknowledge and celebrate the commitment that entrepreneurs and start-ups have made to build world class companies of the future. The main objective of the Forum is to provide a platform for founders to help founders succeed internationally and scale faster.

“Tony McEnroe, CEO of SiriusXT exemplifies a founder with a clear pathway to building international scale and with the potential to become a world leader in his field. The future looks bright for Irish start-ups and we congratulate Tony and wish all the nominees shortlisted here today the very best for the future.”

On receiving the Award Tony McEnroe, CEO, SiriusXT said, “It is a great honour to have won Enterprise Ireland’s inaugural Founder of the Year Award. This Award is a testament to the world-class research which was carried out over many years by my three fellow co-founders, Dr Kenneth Fahy, Dr Fergal O’Reilly and Dr Paul Sheridan, as well as a dedicated team of researchers, within the Spectroscopy Group in UCD’s School of Physics.”

“This research has resulted in the development of technology that underpins our novel soft x-ray tomography (SXT) bench-top microscope which is now being commercialised by SiriusXT.”

He added, “Our SXT-100 microscope, which we plan to launch onto the market in 2018, will be the first commercial lab-scale SXT microscope of its kind in the world. It will allow researchers to illuminate whole single cells or tissue samples and produce 3D images that cannot be produced in any other way.”

Kevin Foley, Partner, Grant Thornton said, “Grant Thornton are delighted to sponsor the Enterprise Ireland Founder of Year Awards 2017. The quality of the participants is a true reflection of the talented entrepreneurs we currently have across all sectors in Ireland.”

“The awards are an excellent way of recognising the talent that is being nurtured and developed with the support of Enterprise Ireland’s HPSU Founders Forum programme. We look forward to working with Tony and SiriusXT to recognise the full potential of a very worthy winner.”

SiriusXT, a NovaUCD client company, which currently employs a staff of 14, has to date raised €5 million in funding. This includes a €3 million Horizon2020 SME Instrument Phase 2 Grant.

The company has spent the last 12 months building its first prototype SXT-100 microscope. The company plans to begin pilot testing of the microscope, in a small number of research centres, from January 2018 with a view to launching into the market later in 2018.

The judging panel of the 2017 Founder of the Year Award included; John Purdy, CEO,  Ergo, Kevin Foley, Grant Thornton, Colin Goulding, Google Customer Experience and Joe Healy, Divisional Manager, HPSU, Enterprise Ireland.

The other companies nominated for the award were;, Feedpods, Future Ticketing, Hub Controls, Immersive VR Education and TVadSync.