Pavanu is the StartUp to watch in 2017!



30 Irish tech start-ups to watch in 2017


The Irish start-up ecosystem is gaining pace and more and more start-ups are entering the fray. Here is our selection of 30 to keep an eye on in 2017.


Ireland has a thriving start-up community that is getting stronger every year.

We selected this year’s crop of ones to watch on the basis of recent achievements such as funding as well as industry recognition and most importantly, technological relevance.

The 30 start-ups that follow straddle the whole gamut of technology including wearables, internet of things (IoT), mobility, robotics, e-commerce, cleantech, apps, hardware and data management, to name just a few.

Pavanu Mobility develops technologies such as robots to survey footpaths and pedestrian areas, and has just completed the StartPlanetNI accelerator. “The data and reports generated can be used by authorities to rebuild and repair pedestrian areas to ensure accessibility, such as wheelchair access and safety for everybody, regardless of age, ability and circumstances,” said Pavanu’s CEO Natalia Shiel. “Our objective is to disrupt the way pedestrian areas are built, repaired and maintained.”

Pavanu Mobility develops technologies such as robots to survey footpaths and pedestrian areas, and has just completed the StartPlanetNI accelerator.

“The data and reports generated can be used by authorities to rebuild and repair pedestrian areas to ensure accessibility, such as wheelchair access and safety for everybody, regardless of age, ability and circumstances,” said Pavanu’s CEO Natalia Shiel.

“Our objective is to disrupt the way pedestrian areas are built, repaired and maintained.”


Check out our technology that can help the National Disability Authority and our local authorities.

Pavanu has created amazing new technology that can bring highly accurate information
about accessibility and safety in pedestrian areas, footpaths and sidewalks of our towns and cities.

By utilizing PASIV (Pedestrian Areas Survey Inspection Vehicle) we gather data that shows the severity of a problem, location of the problem and records photographic evidence of the problem. By doing this we are capable of creating maps that show the access and safety health of an area.

Millions of euros are spent every year on claims for trips/falls. Hundreds of lives are affected by injuries that occur as a result of these trips and falls and thousands of wheelchair users are subject to vibrations and impacts as a result of problems on our footpaths.

Damaged Footpath detected by pavanu

Damaged Footpath detected by pavanu

In fact Patricia Byron Chief Executive of the injuries board in a press release is quoted as saying:

“We can see again from the findings that slips, trips and falls remain the main cause of public liability accidents, with very few complex, high value claims. I encourage all those with responsibility for public areas to invest in basic prevention. On the basis of our claims analysis, it is clear that by simply maintaining public pathways/floor surfaces and by carefully securing loose goods, furniture etc, many of these claims could be avoided or minimized. Prevention must become the key.”


work completed using pavanu's data

work completed using pavanu's data

 Pavanu’s ground fixing technology can help with this prevention.

While NDA, the National Disability Authority is working to create great awareness about “walkability” in our towns, please see if you can benefit from this report:

Can you hear me?

Hello my fellow, accessibility and safety pioneers!

My name is Natalia, and I am CEO of Pavanu Mobility. I'm delighted to be part of this project that will change the world to a better place to live in!

My journey started with falling head over heels for a man, who happened to be a wheelchair user (mountain bike accident, paralysed from the chest down).

Ten years on and we are still together and still going strong. But of course, our journey is like any other - ups and downs, rights and lefts, the only thing that’s consistent is our strong will to keep going and overcome the obstacles life puts in our way!

If you are a wheelchair user or you are with someone that uses a wheelchair, you can easily recognise the obstacles on every single journey you take.

For example, there are moments where we simply can’t be part of an event, only because there is a step too high for a wheelchair user to get over. No go here.

Another one - no wheelchair accessible bathroom, no go here either, for understandable reasons.

Obstacles are everywhere. Only this year Noel, my partner, fell from the wheelchair twice.  A grown man, on the side-walk, in the middle of the day and the middle of the street, had to be picked up and put back into the wheelchair. Why? Because road workers didn't fill a gap in the footpath after an installation, hence the front wheels of the wheelchair got caught and Noel was thrown from his wheelchair.

Sound familiar to anyone?

These problems are only familiar to people who have to face them on a daily basis.

Awareness of accessibility and safety matters to all of us... There are parents with buggies, there are elderly and there is simply you and I that use pedestrian areas, footpaths, and side-walks.  

Many millions of individuals are simply not aware that these problems exist!

We are here to start to voice these problems.

At Pavanu Mobility, we want to change the ways pedestrian areas were built, maintained and repaired.

By highlighting everyday issues that wheelchair users have to face day after day and day after that, we will bring awareness that will produce actual changes while ensuring accessibility and safety for everyone.


My next blog is going to be about what we are doing to change this and how we can find the way for this problem to be heard!

With Love,

Natalia ☺

Forming the Idea

In the last post I spoke about the issue I was facing with regards the choice between diabetes or chronic pain. It lead me to come up with a solution to the problem as I felt that even when you are motivated to change things the barriers in your way can be the reasons you don’t succeed. We all face barriers but when those barriers are something that you cannot do anything about it leads to frustration, they aren't excuses they are genuinely something that prevents you from doing what needs to be done. For myself as a wheelchair user there was no way I could go out and fix every issue that was preventing me from managing in the built environment. Every journey became an obstacle course that requires the utmost planning to be able to manage. Things that would be a minor inconvenience to most became an absolute danger to me.

When it rains most people look outside and think I need to wear my coat or bring an umbrella or in the instance of exercise wear some waterproofs. When it rains, when it even drizzles a wheelchair becomes a device that is very difficult to control. The push rims become wet and slippery, your hands get soaked and so control of the chair becomes very dangerous. When you know this is the case you begin to plan your journey to take into account any uphill that you might not be able to push the chair up but also any downhill’s you may not be able to control the chair going down. Add to this kerbs that are too high, rough footpaths, debris etc. and the risk factor of doing the exercise I needed to do was becoming even more of a monster. These issues are the ones I faced and I'm sure speaking to anyone with a disability will tell you of many more but the fact was that I had to go and do the exercise to help manage the diabetes. I began to think, if I'm motivated and I find it difficult what’s it like for people who struggle to be motivated, what about people who feel that its too dangerous or cannot deal with the pain. There had to be a solution.


I began using an app on my phone called mytracks. It’s a pretty basic app that Google made for recording your tracks. What I noticed was the increases and decreases in speed based on obstacles I faced. The same routes taken by someone able bodied did not show any signs of difference in speed as the obstacles were not relevant or simply didn't exist for them. Being able to see where a wheelchair user could go I though would be incredibly useful for other wheelchair users so I began to map more of my tracks. Very quickly it became apparent that I used certain routes entirely based on knowing that I could manage. It revealed massive black spots of where I could not go. It showed how inaccessible where I lived was. The benefit would be that others with mobility difficulties would know where they could or couldn't go based on these maps which was great but it still didn't fix the bigger problem of access and safety where they couldn't go.

Damned if you do and Damned if you don't

Hi everybody


My name is Noel Joyce, I am a product designer and a wheelchair user. As a disabled person having to deal with the difficulties in the built environment I was faced with a decision about a year ago that would lead to the idea that is Pavanu. I had been told that I had type 2 Diabetes that had occurred as a result of poor diet, lack of exercise and being overweight. My doctor told me I would have to take medication to manage the condition, which I felt was the wrong way to go. I asked could I manage it without medication and was told yes, you can even reverse the symptoms, all I had to do was lose weight, change diet and exercise. Sounds easy!


Me fat.


While the change diet part was difficult it mostly came down to yes or yes choices. Yes eat the sugary, fatty thing and be sick or yes eat the foods that are good for you and don’t be sick it was the exercise that was the problem. Its not that the exercise itself was the problem, it was more the conditions under which I could exercise. On my first journeys wheeling my chair to get some exercise I began to feel chronic pain in my back and shoulders. I thought it was muscle pain having not exercised in a while but it was actually the amounts of impacts and vibrations I was feeling through my body culminating in the pain. I faced a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation, I could succumb to diabetes and not do the exercise or I could do the exercise and suffer chronic pain. I thought that there had to be a way to solve the problem and that’s when I got to work….