DIT students to represent Ireland at global competition in Hong Kong

Conor Bennett, Stephen Tyrrell, Henry Daly, and Darren Bratten

Four product design students from Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) are to represent Ireland in a global business competition taking place in Hong Kong. They are heading with 30 other teams from 16 countries in the ‘Global Student Challenge’ competition, which includes students from India, China, Canada, Australia, Vietnam, the US and the UK. The DIT students were selected on the basis of their business plan for an image processing unit, called ‘Strata Vision,’ used in clean rooms when factory staff are putting on protective clothing. The unit, linked to scanning devices and external servers, can help prevent contamination within the pharmaceutical, medical device, semi-conductor and food manufacturing industries. By…

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SolveMyLegal.com aims to help people to ‘shop around’ for solicitors

A team of legal, accounting and IT professionals has come up with a new free online service, SolveMyLegal.com, designed to help consumers find the most suitable solicitor to meet their legal needs. Founder and CEO of the project David Reilly is a practising solicitor with over 15 years’ experience working in the UK and Ireland. He is now running his own commercial law practice, Reilly & Co in Clonakilty in West Cork. “Shopping around for the best solicitor at the best price is something that is becoming more the norm, but it is difficult and time consuming,” he said. “With our unique service we believe we can drastically improve consumers’…

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HealthXL global event in Dublin features seven revolutionary start-ups

Seven healthcare start-ups from around the world pitched next generation technologies with the aim of securing investment at the HealthXL Dublin Global Gathering Investor Day in Trinity Biomedical Building in Dublin yesterday. The entrepreneurs came from Finland, the US, Australia, Ghana, Canada and Ireland and pitched to angel investors including Silicon Valley Banks and Delta Partners as well as HealthXL mentors and the start-up community. The two start-ups from Ireland were Sense of Skin, a technology-enabled programme to help people with sensitive skin to avoid unsuitable health and beauty products and Nutritics, a tracking and analysis programme for diet and nutrition. As part of the event, HealthXL announced Silicon Valley Bank…

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37 researchers complete UCD commercialisation bootcamp

UCD commercialisation bootcamp

Thirty-seven researchers have just completed a new five-week commercialisation bootcamp designed to strengthen the pipeline of commercial opportunities arising from UCD and National College of Art and Design (NCAD) research programmes. Devised and delivered by the staff of UCD’s office of the vice-president for innovation, the programme was held in the university’s centre for new ventures and entrepreneurs, NovaUCD. The objective of the bootcamp, which will run twice a year, is to equip academic researchers, staff and postgraduate research students with the knowledge, skills and understanding of the commercialisation process. On completion, it is intended that participants will have developed a solid awareness of what it takes to build a…

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European Investment Bank to provide €200m for Irish SMEs with AIB

European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to work with AIB in providing €200m for investment by small and medium companies across Ireland. This represents the latest EIB support for SMEs in Ireland since an earlier lending programme intermediated by AIB in 2011. The SME initiative, the largest ever engagement by the EIB to support Irish small business, was signed at AIB headquarters in Dublin, today by AIB chief executive David Duffy and EIB president Werner Hoyer. The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD also participated. “Today’s announcement that the EIB along with AIB will provide an additional €200m for SMEs in Ireland is a major boost…

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Small business sentiment improving – SFA survey

Avine McNally

Small business sentiment in Ireland is improving, with four out of 10 small firms rating their business as ‘good’ or ‘very good’ over the next three months, according to a new survey. In the Spring Business Sentiment Survey from the Small Firms Association (SFA), 30pc of respondents rate the current overall business environment as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’, a drop of 20pc when compared to 12 months ago.  Some 23pc of respondent companies rate the overall business environment to be either ‘very good’ or ‘good’. Nearly four in ten companies (39pc) rate their own business currently as ‘very good’ or ‘good’.  While 20pc rate it currently as ‘poor’ or ‘very…

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Fibreglass headstone invented in Co Clare a first for Europe

Fibreglass headstone invented in Co Clare a first for Europe

Co Clare company New Age Memorials founder Barry Spearman has come up with a new product concept – fiberglass headstones – which he says is a first in Western Europe. “These fibreglass headstones offer many advantages over traditional stone headstones: they are maintenance free, as unlike stone, they are not porous and thus discourage the growth of algae and other discolourants. “They are strong but light and can be installed immediately. In fact they can be installed by anyone without special tools, and uniquely, they can be repaired if vandalised or damaged. All of this means major savings for the consumer.” The idea came about two years when Spearman was…

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Reform Pilates launches apps for busy mothers

Reform Pilates launches apps for busy mothers

Anna Frankland of Reform Pilates in south Dublin has created ‘Postnatal Pilates by Reform Apps’, a number of short workouts that will help build self-esteem and increase energy levels for new mothers. Speaking about the launch of the new products Frankland said: “I know many of our clients take 15 minutes and lie beside the baby’s cot while they are going to sleep in order to have some ‘me’ time.  This isn’t about mums getting bikini-ready; it is about re-building body confidence and re-gaining a strong body to copy with the physical demands of looking after a baby.” In total there are three apps: the first is recommended for those…

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Phantom founder launches new radio station

Phantom founder launches new radio station

Simon Maher, the founder of Phantom FM, is launching a new radio station, 8Radio.com, at midnight this evening. The station has a licence to broadcast on FM in Dublin, Cork and Limerick for 15 weekends until 7 July, and online every day. The frequencies are 106.7 in Cork, 105.5 in Limerick and 94.3 in Dublin. Maher set Phantom 105.2 up as a pirate station in 1996. The station won a licence for an alternative rock station for Dublin in 2004 and, following a legal challenge, went live on 31 October 2006. Maher left his position as general manager in 2011 after Denis O’Brien’s Communicorp bought a 30pc stake in the…

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Closing Date for Entrepreneur of the Year Entries

Frank O'Keeffe, Partner in Charge of the EoY Programme pictured with sponsors Liam Kavanagh, Irish Times, Terri O'Donnell, Invest NI and Tom Hayes, Enterprise Ireland

The closing date for nominations for the 2013 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year is this coming Sunday, 31 March. Frank O’Keeffe, Ernst & Young’s partner-in-charge of the programme, said that this year it wanted entrepreneurs from across the island of Ireland to “truly test their horizons”. “Even in these most challenging times, entrepreneurs are constantly looking for opportunities to grow through innovation and technology, and it is their unparalleled vision and capacity to adapt to the ever-changing global business environment that continues to drive economic recovery, create jobs for the region and boost investor and consumer confidence going forward.” Following the announcement of the 24 finalists from across…

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