Business and Leadership Ltd.

The four category winners have been announced in the Electric Ireland Spark of Genius Competition taking place as part of the Web Summit. Tjobs SA,  Movable Ink , Ovelin  and Social Fortress  were presented with trophies on the main stage at 9am as recognition for being the leaders in their respective categories – Mobile, Social, Consumer and Enterprise. The category winners will now compete in the semi-finals presenting to the judges, led by Chief Judge Jawed Karim co-founder of YouTube , and leading international investors (Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins, Atomico, Accel and many others). The overall Electric Ireland Spark of Genius Winner will be announced at 4.30 today and awarded for a cash prize fund of…

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NDRC Swequity Exchange calls for start-ups and backers

The second iteration of National Digital Research Centre (NDRC) Swequity Exchange is taking applications now. The initiative is building on the strong success of its first one earlier this year. People with clever digital business start-up ideas and people interested in getting involved in developing these start-ups have an opportunity to do just that through the programme. NDRC’s Swequity Exchange will bring people with business ideas together, choose the best ones and match them to a team of qualified voluntary experts. The team will get equity in the business if it successfully kicks off, while the start-ups get experienced advice and support from the beginning. Applications are being taken now…

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UCC spin-out Keelvar raises €750,000 for expansion Pictured: Minister Richard Bruton and Alan Holland

Cork-based Keelvar Systems has secured €750,000 in a funding round led by ACT Venture Capital and with investment from Enterprise Equity and Enterprise Ireland. The UCC spin-out said the funding would be used to increase staff numbers to 18 and expand the company’s innovative procurement optimization service for large-scale government tenders and multinational companies. The investment was made from seed funds supported by AIB, with lead investor ACT sourcing its share from its AIB Start-Up Accelerator Fund and Enterprise Equity investing from the AIB Seed Capital Fund. “Keelvar is a company which has spun out of Government-supported university research, has now obtained funding from the markets, will shortly have created…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Elavon, a wholly owned subsidiary of US Bancorp, has announced the Irish launch of its secure chip and PIN MobileMerchant smartphone card processing system. According to the company, MobileMerchant, which is aimed at small – and particularly mobile – businesses, had a “highly successful” world market launch in the UK in January 2012. The MobileMerchant system transforms mobile devices into payment terminals, allowing businesses to accept card payments quickly and securely anywhere and at any time. The MobileMerchant payment app is paired with a chip and PIN card reader, allowing payments to be processed using BlackBerry or Android smartphones and tablets. “Elavon is excited to extend this innovative and secure…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Following an intense competition, 15 high-potential digital start-ups have been identified from a field of almost 100 applicants for the NDRC Launchpad acceleration programme, which started last week. NDRC Launchpad will culminate in a year-end Liftoff competition for a follow-on investment sourced from venture capitalists and private investors. The National Digital Research Centre (NDRC) is fuelling the Launchpad participants with up to €20,000 in micro-seed investment for each business during the programme, plus a structured programme of hands-on mentoring during the 12 weeks from the NDRC which includes executives with experience in start-ups, multinational companies, venture capital investment, and research. The new Launchpad entrepreneurs have brought a diverse range of innovative ideas to the programme.  They have already…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

The finalists of the Electric Ireland Spark of Genius Competition have been revealed, with the winner to be announced at the Dublin Web Summit on 18 October with a prize fund worth €100,000. The competition, now in its third year, focuses on the most promising high potential startups in Ireland. Some 1,000 entries have been shortlisted to 100, who will be offered an opportunity to pitch to leading international investors, including Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins, Atomico and Accel, industry leaders and startup experts at the Dublin Web Summit in the RDS. Paddy Cosgrave, CEO, Web Summit said “This is the third year of the Electric Ireland Spark of…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Artisan confectionary producer Skelligs Chocolates from Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry has won the Overall Product of the Year at the SHOP trade expo for its chocolate shoe product. Established in 1996, Skelligs was awarded €2,000 of retail support intelligence from awards sponsor, Shelfspace, alongside the prestige of being named as the number one product at SHOP. “For the past year, we have worked tirelessly to ensure our chocolate shoes look exquisite whilst tasting great,” said Colm Healy, proprietor of Skelligs Chocolates.  “We hope that this national recognition will continue to open doors with new customers and will expand our newly rebranded range with existing customers.” A small family-run business, Skelligs opened…

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Paul Rellis, MD, Microsoft Ireland and Marc O'Dwyer, CEO, Big Red Book

Irish accountancy and software company Big Red Book has launched a new cloud-based solution, which will mean the creation of 12 new jobs over the next year. Hosted on Microsoft’s cloud platform Windows Azure, the new solution is called Big Red Cloud. Big Red Book’s services are currently used by over 17,000 SMEs in Ireland and the UK. The new service solution enables customers to move all their accounts data to the cloud with the flexibility of adding unlimited users and free access for their accountant. A recent trial of Big Red Cloud with current Big Red Book subscribers resulted in 36pc of trial participants converting to the cloud within…

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MyBuilder launches survey to find best builders' breakfast Ryan Notz, MyBuilder founder

A café or diner is to be named the home of the ‘Best Builders’ Breakfast in Britain’ in November further to a survey of 63,000 tradesmen launched today. Online venture MyBuilder , which matches reviewed tradesmen with the homeowners who need to hire them, is doing the survey.. It has over 63,000 plumbers, electricians, painters, plasterers and other tradesmen on its books, enabling householders to arrange everything from changing a washer to building an extension online. Nearly 500,000 jobs have been posted on the site since it was founded by US-born stonemason Ryan Notz. Posting a job on the site is free. MyBuilder operates by charging builders, primarily when they get…

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euro

Six companies collapsed each day this month – Vision-net Six Irish companies collapsed each day this month, with more company closures than start-ups so far this year, according to the latest figures from Vision-net, a business and credit risk analyst. Vision-net’s figures, covering the period between 1–28 August, reveal that 165 companies were declared insolvent – down 13pc on the same month last year. Of those, 99 were liquidated, 64 entered receivership, and an examiner was appointed to two companies. A county-by-county breakdown shows that Dublin accounted for 42pc of all insolvencies in August, with Limerick second highest on 14pc and Meath third with 5pc of the total. Cork, Galway and…

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