Irish software firm SalesPulse has launched an app called ‘Rollcall’, which allows teachers to record absenteeism on their smartphones. Developing dedicated software for primary schools since it was founded in Kilkenny 10 years ago, SalesPulse’s Primary Schools Administration System is now in place in over 300 schools across Ireland. This system tracks school attendance, returns to the Department of Education, bulk mails and texts to parents, parents’ contact details, school accounts and payments from students among other services. SalesPulse recently upgraded this software to a secure cloud based system allowing school principals, teachers and school secretaries to access the system from the classroom, the office or remotely. The new ‘Rollcall’…

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InterTradeIreland is making a further €1.5m in funding available for businesses in 2013 through the Innova programme for North/South collaborative innovation partnerships to develop new products, process or service development. To date, InterTradeIreland has released over €8m directly to companies North and South to commercialise existing partnerships. Significant outputs to date include development of treatments for cancer, the development of a heart monitoring device and the development of a compost raw material. The Innova programme in particular is looking for collaborative partnership projects in the following sectors: life and health sciences, polymers and plastics, agri-food, advanced engineering and advanced materials, telecoms, ICT and environmental. Partners can work in the same sector or come from different…

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Sonya and Simon Fitzpatrick, co-founders of UrParts.com

Irish brother and sister Sonya and Simon Fitzpatrick have started an online business called UrParts.com, which aims to revolutionise the spare parts industry for construction, agricultural and commercial truck industries. According to Sonya Fitzpatrick, what makes UrParts.com unique is that a buyer submits one enquiry which will be received by multiple suppliers and is completely free. “Unlike other spare part sites that make buyers contact many suppliers separately, with UrParts.com the buyer does the work once and then sits back and waits for suppliers to respond directly to them by email or phone,” she said. The Fitzpatricks came up with the concept having learned from the 40 years’ experience in the…

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The Baby Bay Market branches out from Leinster

Buy, Sell, and Recycle Your “Baby Stuff” Update: The website has been down for some time and Ms. O’Rourke has not responded to our requests for an update on the website’s status. For the past six months, The Baby Bay Market has been running in various locations around Dublin, and founder Mandy O’Rourke is now bringing it to Sligo. The idea behind The Baby Bay Market is to allow parents to buy, sell and recycle their baby stuff in a safe and fun environment. O’Rourke,  a female entrepreneur , also runs BabyBay, where parents can trade their baby stuff online. She has just re-launched the site so parents can now post their unwanted…

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Flowers.ie sees spike in overseas sales for Christmas

Irish owned online flower delivery service Flowers.ie has reported a 33pc increase in sales from customers living in Canada, Australia and the US compared to the 2011 Christmas period. The website has experienced a steady increase in sales from customers living outside of Ireland since 2007. Martin O’Gara, Flowers.ie general manager attributed the sales spike to Irish emigrants now living abroad ordering gifts of Christmas floral bouquets for family and friends here at home. “While this is a good news story for Flowers.ie it is also a sad reflection of the large numbers of Irish people now living abroad, more than likely due to the difficult economic situation here at…

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Irish surface technology company Enbio has secured a €500,000 contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). The contract will enable the company to optimise a proprietary surface treatment for use as a ‘sunscreen’ to better protect satellites as they travel in space. The contract will also allow Enbio to establish its first manufacturing facility at its headquarters at NovaUCD. The contract was secured with support from Enterprise Ireland, the co-ordinating body for ESA in Ireland. In its new manufacturing facility Enbio will use its patented technology platform, CoBlast, to produce unique ‘black’ surfaces, which it will then deploy on critical internal and external surfaces of satellites. Called ‘SolarBlack(s)’, these surfaces…

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Irish start-up Conker has won the National Digital Research Centre’s Lift Off competition, which will give it access to a €40,000 investment fund. Conker aims to help game developers to earn more from free-to-play titles. It increases revenue for free-to-play game developers by tracking and analysing the behaviour of successful players who have purchased items and using that information to influence the behaviour of other players. Conker pitched against 14 other start-ups in a competition which was held in front of an audience of investors and mentors as well as a judging panel. Tempity , An online platform which directly connects recruitment agencies with available temps, took second place and access to…

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AJ Noonan is new chairman of the Small Firms Association AJ Noonan, managing director, Rhonellen Group

Managing director of healthcare company Rhonellen Group AJ Noonan has been elected as the new chairman of the Small Firms Association (SFA). Based in Dublin, Rhonellen Group is involved in the provision and management of healthcare infrastructure. It is currently working with the HSE in relation to its Health Strategy 2001 which outlined plans to provide primary care centres throughout Ireland. Noonan was educated at the College of Commerce Rathmines. He has been self-employed since 1990, initially in recruitment and laterally in development. He has been a National Council member of the SFA for over 10 years and has played an active role in promoting the association in that time.…

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Ann O'Brien, MD of Kent Stainless, winner of the Exporter of the Year 2012 with Colin Lawlor and Minister

The increased focus recently on female entrepreneurship is a natural evolution and the time is right to create the environment where more women have the confidence to set up and run their own businesses, according to David Thomas managing director, Corporate Banking Division, Ulster Bank. “There are already some great models in various fields and we are now at the point in the US where the split is nearly 50:50 in terms of men and women opening businesses,” he said. “Europe is nothing like as good as this. In Ireland, the ratio is around three to one with start-ups and two to one for men and women running businesses. So…

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The National Business Expo, partnered by Grant Thornton and Bank of Ireland, will take place on Friday 8 March and Saturday 9 March 2013 in the RDS. Last year some 2,200 Irish people started their own business each month and this Expo is designed to support Irish entrepreneurs in accelerating their companies. It will feature practical advice with a strong emphasis on start-ups, small-to-medium business and those looking to export, and will have four main business centres – one focused on finance; professional advice; business support and business services. Speaking in relation to the event, Miriam O’Connor, National Business Expo , said: “As a start-up ourselves we have experienced first-hand the challenges new…

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