Business and Leadership Ltd.

Access to finance and skilled talent are the key challenges facing Irish entrepreneurs, according to the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) Entrepreneurship Barometer. These findings stemmed from the collective feedback gathered from 350 of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs, all of whom are previous EY EOY finalists. “It is vital for Government, industry and academia to understand the specific challenges facing entrepreneurs and collaborate to solve problems, address legislative and cultural barriers to success, and together shape the future of entrepreneurship in Ireland,” said partner-in-charge of EY EOY Frank O’Keeffe on the release of the EOY Entrepreneurship Barometer. Talent and funding emerged neck and neck as the main challenges facing Ireland’s…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Irish company Instant Opinion’s QnA product, which offers a private and secure way to capture event interaction in real-time, has gone international with contracts secured for the Canadian government, the NUI Maynooth Innovation Value Institute (IVI) Spring Summit in New York and the forthcoming International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (CIETT) World Employment Conference in Brussels. CEO Aidan Kenny said that reaction to QnA in the global conference sector has been hugely positive. “Using QnA does away with the need for roving mikes, putting your hand up to ask a question and the potential legal problems posed by using a Twitter wall for feedback and comments,” he explained. The QnA…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Tony Staunton of Propertygate, Kevin Ryan of Pura Light and Tim Schmidt of Simply Connected are to compete for the title of ‘Best investment proposal 2014’ and a €10,000 prize at the Docklands Innovation Park Enterprise Awards. All participants on the Enterprise Ireland-funded Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) Hothouse New Frontiers programme (past or present), the finalists will pitch their investment proposals and be questioned by a panel of judges on their business plans on 6 March. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Dublin, Propertygate is designed for large-scale asset managers who require a single platform to provide instant transparency of their portfolio. In July 2013, the company won the…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

As the innovation and technology transfer office for Dublin Institute of Technology, DIT Hothouse has been involved as a key partner with the IBM Global Entrepreneur Partner programme since its launch in 2010, according to Bernadette O’Reilly, who is the innovation centre manager there. A graduate of the New Frontiers programme at the centre, Irish start-up Profitero won the global SmartCamp finals in 2012. The three co-founders of Profitero – Volodymyr Pigrukh, Dmitry Vysotski and Kanstantsin Chernysh – grew their business idea while working at Google, IBM and Microsoft in Dublin, respectively, before entering DIT Hothouse. Their company has pioneered pricing intelligence software targeted at retailers and manufacturers. Following IBM’s…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) brand VIP plans to open four new stores in the next four weeks in Ireland – one in Co Cork, two in Dublin and one in Co Meath – as well as create up to 15 jobs this year. An e-cigarette is a battery-powered device which simulates tobacco smoking. It generally uses a heating element that vaporises a liquid solution. Joe Dunne introduced the VIP brand to the Irish market in October 2012, initially opening a store in the Jervis Centre in Dublin and then expanding into Stephen’s Green Centre. It’s now the leading electronic cigarette brand in the country, in 22 locations nationwide, with seven stores…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Enterprise Board is looking for ten internationally focused start-ups to take part in its next ‘Hi-Start’ programme. The programme assists ambitious early stage growth focused companies to identify and build the foundations required to secure investment together with Enterprise Ireland high potential start-up support if applicable. Running from March to October, it involves seven workshops each designed to contribute a key component to the development of the investor-ready business plan. A related mentoring session will follow each training module to assist the participant with the specific outcomes required. The training and mentoring will be delivered by business development consultant John McMahon of Forum 21. The applicants must…

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'Champions' sought to drive the creation of start-up communities around Ireland

Start-up Ireland has launched a national call for ‘start-up champions’ in each of Ireland’s cities who would lead start-up initiatives. A key part of the role of these start-up champions will be to help get the basic tools of successful start-up communities in place. These include a digest of relevant events, an infographic of start-up resources in the area, networking opportunities, a monthly showcase for start-ups and a Startup Weekend every six to 12 months. Start-up Ireland is a not-for-profit grassroots organization providing an independent focal point for the Irish startup community regionally, nationally and internationally with the objective of increasing the number of Irish startups that start and scale…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

In planning for the year ahead, the focus for many small and medium-sized businesses will be to leverage success, achieve profitability and maximise and capitalise upon business opportunities, writes Maura Quinn. To ensure competitiveness and to remain resilient, it is vital that your business is operating efficiently and effectively, that there is a clear path to realising your business strategy and that you are delivering for your customers. Below are five areas to focus on to develop your business in 2014 and beyond. Bring your strategic plans to life Far too many business plans end up on the shelf, with little attention given to them from one year to the…

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Paul Rawlins, founder of Celtic Rider

Thirty five companies across seven categories have been announced as finalists in the SFA National Small Business Awards 2014. Some companies, such as The Pallet Network, Clevamma, Timbertrove, Ryan’s Cleaning and Celtic Rider Motorcycle Rental have been finalists or winners before, but most of the finalists are newcomers. They include Laois Sawmills in Co Laois and Spectac International in Co Louth in the Manufacturing Category; Bfree Foods and Urban Picnic both from Dublin in the Food & Drink category and Monaghan Music & Piano Centre and The Blessington Bookstore in the Outstanding Small Business category. Five emerging new businesses, under two years in business, will also be recognised at the…

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Business and Leadership Ltd.

Four start-ups drawn from Ireland north and south have been selected to pitch at Northern Ireland’s newest entrepreneurial support network. Friday Night Mashup is a regular event series created to connect and empower entrepreneurs to go out and take on the world. CanDo3D, Komodo and Pirate Dashboard from the North and Sian’s Plan from the Republic of Ireland will demo at the event on Friday, 29 November at the Titanic Docks and Pumphouse in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. Over 150 leading figures in tech, business, investment, and media from Belfast, Dublin, and Derry will attend the event, which aims to provide a platform for new talent and act as a launch…

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