Dublin 9th October 2015; Colm Lyon, Realex Payments’ founder was honoured with the Irish Internet Association’s (IIA) 2015 Overall Net Visionary Winner at the IIA Dot ie Net Visionary Awards.
In addition 17 other winners in other categories were announced following a stringent process involving judges and a public vote. The awards now in their 17th year took place in the RDS’s main Concert Hall with over 300 attendees comprised of a wide variety or sectors from technology to Agriculture.
The awards are possible with the support of the IEDR, who have been the headline sponsors for the past five years and will host the ICANN 2015 Global Conference being held in Dublin on the week of October 19th.
“The IIA membership represents over 40,000 people working in technology nationwide. It is the largest, non-profit and independent voice with the singular focus of technology in Ireland. As a non-profit, the proceeds from these awards all go back to the community to provide these supports. The categories are reviewed each year by the IIA and reflect a real understanding for the changing nature of the technology industry and the innovation it has brought to Education, Healthcare, Finance, Agriculture and Food,” said Joan Mulvihill, CEO IIA. “We wanted to show the pace and breadth of innovation across Irish industry and to show how technology is the catalyst for this. Technology is not just an industry vertical. It is for all industries, all sectors. We predict we will see the next generation of Net Visionaries come from sectors completely unrelated to the traditechnology in the coming years.”
Inaugural IIA Hall of Fame
At the awards ceremony, the IIA also launched its Hall of Fame to recognise their long history and internet visionaries whose contribution to the Irish technology community over the last two decades enabled Ireland to establish its global reputation. Every year, new names will be inducted into the Hall of Fame that the judging panel believes reflects the vision and contribution ethos of these first 10 Net Visionaries.
|The First Ten Inductees To The IIA Hall Of Fame:|
|Colm Lyon – founder of Realex Payments – founder of Fire Financial Services. Winner of IIA Overall Net Visionary 2015. Colm is a role model entrepreneur for non-venture backed scaled international businesses, a voice for the industry and outstanding chair of the IIA for many years.||Colm Grealy – Adforce – one of the founders of the IIA, the founder of iol.ie, online.ie, irishabroad.com. He is currently the CEO of Adforce which he has expanded to the US and works with over 800 neswpapers across the state of New York.|
|Ray Nolan – Entrepreneur, Investor, winner of Overall Net Visionary award 2006 with HostelWorld. Following the sale of HostelWorld, Ray has invested in many other Irish tech start-ups including most recently of note, Storyful, as well as continuing to build web-based brands, launching XSellco and Ultimate Rugby.||Michele Neylon – founder of Blacknight, Ireland’s largest domain registrar and hosting provider. Winner of the 2013 Overall Net Visionary Award for his outstanding contribution to the industry in Ireland but also his international presence as the Chair of the ICANN Registrar Stakeholder Group and the Eurid Registrar Advisor Board.|
|Pat Phelan – Entrepreneur, winner of Overall Net Visionary in 2008 with Maxroam and ‘One to Watch’ start-up category winner with Trustev in 2013. Pat is a serial entrepreneur and mentor to many, international tech companies. He is a well-known advocate for technology start-ups and a mentor for many national and international start-up programmes.||Ann O’Dea and Darren McAuliffe – Founders of Silicon Republic – reporting on technology in Ireland since the start and amongst the greatest champions of Irish Tech success. Founders of InspireFest that attracted 1300 delegates in June 2015, a conference boasting 75% remarkable woman speakers, turning the tables on international tech events.|
|Jerry Kennelly – Entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Tweak, revolutionising access to high quality design for SMBs. Winner of Overall Net Visionary Award in 2011, Jerry was previously founder of Stockbyte which he sold to Getty Images. He is also founder of Junior Entrepreneur Programme and Young Entrepreneur Programme for primary and secondary schoolkids, with over 20,000 combined alumni.||Fergal O’Byrne – former IIA CEO –Fergal transformed a voluntary organisation into a viable, sustainable trade association, grew the membership and created a platform for the industry to have a voice. He was an early investor in Sonru and subsequent CEO. He serves on the board of the IEDR as well as having served on IGOpeope, WINC, giftsdirect.ie and CCD.|
|Eamon Leonard – founder, angel investor and community organiser. Winner of the Overall Net Visionary Award in 2012, founder of Orchestra which he subsequently sold to EngineYard. Although now working on his new start-up, Cohort, Eamon continues to support the sector as a community organiser and voice for the industry.||Brian Caulfield – Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist Partner at Draper Esprit – a key spokesman for the industry with government on key entrepreneur/investment related issues. He is the founder of a number of successful technology businesses, Exceptis Technologies and Similarity Systems. He sits on a number of boards (Movidius, DataHug) and is currently the Chariman of the Irish Venture Capital Association.|
“David Curtin, CEO of IE Domain Registry Limited commented: “The IE Domain Registry is delighted to be the headline sponsor for this year’s Dot ie Net Visionary Awards. Now in its 17th year, the standard of the shortlisted businesses for the Awards continues to increase annually. The level of innovation, originality and creativity bodes well for the future of the Irish technology community. For the winners, it is a wonderful accolade to be recognised by their peers in the Internet community, as being the ‘best of the best.”
Mulvihill concluded, “How delighted we are to be able to honour Colm Lyon in this way. Notwithstanding his incredible success as an entrepreneur, his contribution as the chair of the IIA for many years is immeasurable. Its people like Colm, like those inducted to the Hall of Fame that make you see what it means to have a real community. It’s the support and generosity of these 10 that makes Ireland such a great place to be and we are very proud of the fact that the IIA has been part of the journey for so many of them.”
- Best Website – joyous to look at and splendid to use – Sponsored by Blacknight WINNER – IDEA – Bloom in the Park
- Best Web Development Agency – Sponsored by Microsoft – WINNER –CKSK
- Best Cloud Service for SMEs – Sponsored by PSG Plus – WINNER – Magnet Networks
- Best Mobile Application – indispensable to its user – Sponsored by Register 365 WINNER – Qstream Ltd
- Best International Scaling Irish Business – Sponsored by Silicon Valley Bank – WINNER – Meetingsbooker.com
- Best Start-Up – the one to watch for 2016 – Sponsored by Arekibo – WINNER – Webdoctor
- Best Ecommerce Execution by a Retailer – Sponsored by AIB Merchant Services – WINNER – Life Style Sports
- Best International Newcomer–“Welcome to the neighbourhood” Sponsored by The Digital Hub – WINNER – Udemy.com
- Best Social Media Campaign – Sponsored by Eir – Yes Equality: The Campaign for Civil Marriage Equality
- Best Brand Marketing – Sponsored by Irish Times Training – WINNER – CKSK For Coors Light Great Rocky Mountain gaming app
- Best Use of Video for Digital Marketing – Sponsored by Magnet – WINNER – Javelin for Aviva / Focus Ireland – Cub Reporter campaign
- Best Use of Technology for Social Good – Sponsored by Electric Ireland – WINNER – Turn2me.org
- Best Innovation for Financial Service – Sponsored by Telecity – WINNER – Juggle
- Best Innovation for Health – Sponsored by BDO – WINNER – Restored Hearing
- Best Innovation for Agri/Food Sector – Sponsored by Dimension Data / Alcaltel Lucent – WINNER – Herdwatch
- Best Innovation for Education Services – Sponsored by PWC – WINNER – PIXELSOUP
- Best in Universal Design – Supported by the National Disability Authority – WINNER – Arekibo For Electric Ireland
The IIA in partnership with Irish Times Training are delighted to launch a brand new Diploma course in e-Commerce Management.
This Course covers everything you need to know to run a successful ecommerce business. Click here for more information.
Module 1: Planning your e-Commerce Customer Proposition
Lecturer: Ronan O’Brien of Zatori – The Costume Shop
Module 2: Business Planning
Lecturer: Fionan Dunne of CFO Services
Module 3: Effective Website Design
Lecturer: Gareth Dunlop of Fathom
Module 4: Driving Customer Traffic – PPC, SEO, Affiliate Marketing and E-Mail Marketing, Deals Management
Lecturer: Ronan O’Brien of Zatori
Module 5: Transaction Management
Lecturer: Bob Curran of Buy4Now
Module 6: eCommerce Customer Services: CRM – Relationships and Returns
Lecturer: Bob Curran of Buy4Now
Module 7: eCommerce Customer Services: Deliveries and Deadlines
Lecturer: Rory O’Connor of Scurri.com
Module 8: International e-Commerce: Translations & Transactions
Lecturer: Mark Rodgers of Cipherion Translations
Module 9: Metrics / Analytics
Lecturer : David Murphy of Amplify
Module 10: Content – Images and Copy
Lecturer: Fiona Ashe of FlasheForward Communications
Module 11: Mobile Commerce
Lecturer: Sian Gray, Mobile Marketing specialist (Nokia)
FREE Module : Breakfast Briefing Managing Customer Information: Your Legal Obligations as an eCommerce Manager from Gary Davies, Assistant Data Protection Commissioner
If you’ve got customer information on file you will need to know in what form and for how long you can store it. You will also need to know for what you may use it. You will need to be fully aware of your obligations as a retailer vis a vis Trading Standards etc.. This module is painful but necessary!
Dublin City University Business School – free digital marketing mini-conference in the Gallery Theatre in the Helix.
Tomorrow DCU Business School with the DCU LINK Research Centre’s Techspectations Initiative is holding a free digital marketing mini-conference in the Gallery Theatre in the Helix. Techspectations Summer Hospitality & Tourism Digital Marketing Summit is supported by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association of Ireland.
The Summer Summit programme is designed to introduce Irish hospitality professionals to SEO tools and resources, Pay Per Click advertising, Social Media Marketing and more. To coincide with President Obama’s visit to Ireland and #irlday, their theme will focus on marketing Ireland, Irish food and hospitality however the content will have general applicability.
All the details can be found on the Techspectations website.
Enda Flynn, who organised it, tells me they are livestreaming MIX 11 this Wednesday and it sounds like it could be at least as interesting and twice as much fun! If you are developing and are device agnostic I would totally recommend that you pop along to hear about the cool things that are being done with Microsoft devices and interfaces. Okay I’ll shut up now because I’m beginning to not know what I’m talking about. Over to Enda:
Microsoft, Developers, UX, Web, Pizza, Beer, Surface, Slates, Prizes.
MIX is a gathering of developers, designers, UX experts and business professionals creating the most innovative and profitable consumer sites on the web. The conference takes place in Las Vegas, but will be streamed live online http://live.visitmix.com. Join developer peers for Dublin’s MIX 11 live stream gathering, hosted in Microsoft’s Sandyford office.
Once the keynote concludes, you should have pizza and beer in your hands and you’ll be invited to put questions to the local development team, as well as getting up close and personal with some interesting touch devices – including a Microsoft Surface. [Me: this is sooooo cool!] Alternatively you can always network or play Kinect
There’ll be great prizes on offer for both in-person & virtual attendees. #MIX11IE is the hashtag to join Twitter conversation.
When: 4.30pm – 9pm, 12th April 2011
Location: Microsoft Atrium Building (Building 3) auditorium, Sandyford Industrial Estate, Carmanhall Road, Dublin 18.
Wednesday evening’s Meetball was a grand evening of networking. As one Meetballer put it:
As well as Alan’s demo about Toddle we were also told about YourLocal.ie by Emer Jameson. All Irish businesses are entitled to a free listing on YourLocal.ie – make sure yours is correct and up to date today. (And based on Des Martin’s blog post yesterday local search gets more important for business everyday.) Gary Mullan from Prosperity also talked to us about the importance about keeping the digitally skilled in Ireland.
If you would like to get along to the very next one on May 25th please register online (don’t worry I’ll remind you closer to May 25th!). Give me a holler on email@example.com or 01 5424154 if you would like to demo your company’s products or services.
In advance of his training course next week for the IIA, Des Martin of Local Search Marketing has written this blog post to impress upon us how important local search is for all businesses. If you think your business could benefit from learning more register now for Targeting Local Customers Online. This is a morning course taking place on March 30th and is keenly priced at €200 for non-members and €100 for members.
According to the Kelsey Group, ‘74 percent of internet users perform local searches’.
What is a local search? When you enter a location specific keyword you are performing a ‘local search’. For example searching for ‘dublin pizza’ above. Many of you will have noticed that these local searches now trigger a map in search engine results from Google (Map highlighted in red above. Click on the image for a larger version.).
Note: Search queries with ‘local intent’ also appear. i.e. restaurant, pizza, butcher – by themselves can trigger the map results to appear.
This map and results are generally placed at the top of the search results. More recently Google have begun to blend the local map listings with what were traditionally the organic results (free listings). This can be seen in searches like ‘accountant dublin’ below. The local ranking factors are playing a big part in these blended results (we have highlighted the map and local listing in red).
Google return local and mobile search results based on a different set of criteria to the traditional search results (SERPs). Effectively they use a different algorithm. Small and Local businesses can now compete for prime positions at the top of the search results without spending the large sums of money that were previously required. The key is to focus your efforts in the right areas by building up your company profile across the web. Local Search has been growing in importance for the last few years. It’s time to sit up and take notice.
Why have local searches become so important?
There are several reasons. One of the main reasons is the rise of the smart phone. There are now an estimated 1 million iPhone and Android devices in the Irish market. These people are no longer confined to their PC to perform internet searches. These people actively search for products and services daily while on the move. What’s more these people may be very close to your physical location.
When someone searches for a ‘cork restaurant’ on their smart phone, there is a very good chance that this person is close to the centre of Cork and is likely to have lunch/ dinner in the next hour or two. If your restaurant is in position on the search results, you have a decent chance of converting that searcher to a customer; if not you are ignoring a major segment of the Irish market.
What’s more, mobile searches last considerably less than their PC equivalent. So that person will make up their mind in a short space of time and may find many existing websites awkward to navigate on a mobile phone.
This is where the local listing (Google Places) comes into its own. See mobile screen shot:
Example of a local search conducted on an iphone above.
The mobile searcher is presented with Google Places page information. With the Place page you get information relevant for decision making, this being: map location, directions, click to call phone number. All of this is available in Google without ever having to enter the business website. This is hugely beneficial for mobile searchers. With one further click they can see reviews, street view images of the location and often additional images supplied by the business owner as demonstrated in the screenshots below:
Any Irish business in the retail/ hospitality trade needs to feature prominently for local searches that relate to their products and services. If you don’t feature, you are losing customers.
People searching for local business online are further along in the purchase cycle, the cost of converting each consumer is lower and the return on investment is higher. Targeting these searchers produces real results for local and multi-store retailers.
This is where Local Search becomes an essential part of your online strategy
- Google Places listings are the tip of the Local Search Iceberg. They demonstrate what you can achieve by targeting local search results with Google Places. One million smart phone searchers in Ireland alone.
- Local Optimisation. Local Search can also be applied to onpage optimisation for websites, including designing website alternatives for mobile searchers. Google presents different results for mobile searchers. They rank these results partially based on how well the page will render on the type of phone that submitted the query. For more detail on mobile SEO, here is a great article by Cindy Krum < . This means having a mobile version of your website increasingly important.
- Local pay per click. Targeting local keywords reduces the level of competition and the bid price paid for local keywords in PPC programs like Adwords. Local keywords are more targeted and result in a higher click through rate which will in turn help with your Adwords quality score.
- Local Social Media. Lots going on in this space at present. Facebook recently launched their check in service Facebook Places in Ireland. Facebook Deals is due to follow hot on the heels of Places. This will allow business owners to target local consumers with ‘deal’ based offerings. This promises to be a great promotional tool for local business.
In addition business owners can reward and attract local consumers using existing social media like ‘FourSquare’ and local focused blogging.
- Group Buying websites like citydeal.ie (Groupon) have exploded in the past few months. Increasingly local consumers are finding out about ‘local deals’ through these websites. Local Business owners need to adopt a group buying strategy to maximize their return when running group deal promotions. Pay attention to building a relationship with the consumer and gain repeat business rather than be left one time consumer and ultimately a loss.
Begin your local search campaign today:
A local search campaign uses an integrated strategy involving
- Google places listings,
- pay per click advertising,
- search engine optimisation
- and social media
to convert local leads into new customers. An additional area that is fast becoming important for local business is Group Buying websites. These can be a great promotional tool, but you need to factor in the total cost and how to maximize the return on investment.
About the Author:
Des Martin is the director of Local Search Marketing who specialise in local search strategy. Their client list includes sole traders, SMEs, franchises and multi location retailers. Des will be presenting a series of training courses run by the IIA in the coming months.
This is the second of the presentations from “8 More Ways to Sell Even More Stuff”, the IIA Conference for Online Retailers that took place in the Burlington at the beginning of the month. Please excuse the slow pace of releasing them – we’ll get there!
In this audio you will hear Conor O’Neill, CEO of Loudervoice, talking about how customer reviews can add credibility to your business and ultimately boost your sales.
C’mon he looks like James Bond: how could you not want to listen to a man as dapper as that!
|This event was sponsored by:|
Last week the IIA organised the second in a series of events for online retailers “8 More Ways to Sell Even More Stuff“. I plonked my digital audio recorder on the podium to capture the presentations to share them with you. You can also download the presentations from the Resources section of the IIA website (membership required).
This case study is presented by Darren Grant of OrganicSupermarket.ie who kicks off telling us that he opened The Organic Supermarket in Blackrock the day that the recession officially started. Their business plan was as he says, “A Celtic Tiger business plan” and so he had to think of another way to grow his company that didn’t require credit from the bank that wasn’t forthcoming. He looked to the internet to grow his catchment from 4.5k in the South Dublin area to potentially 4.5m across Ireland.
|This event was sponsored by:|
The latest issue of State of the Net is now available online. This is produced in conjunction with Amas and if you are in business in Ireland you should read it. Hard copies are available: just contact the IIA HQ!
This issue covers how Irish Marketers Use Digital, Children Online, Broadband Growth, Businesses Online, Trust Online, and Online Banking.
I’m all about online business at the moment (when am I not?!) but most especially online retail. If you’ve had your head stuck in the sand in the last few weeks you may not be aware that we are holding a conference for online retailers on Thursday, “8 More Ways to Sell Even More Stuff“.
So the reminder of the Information Society Statistics, Enterprise Statistics 2010 from the Central Statistics Office that only 23% of Irish Businesses surveyed are selling online made me gasp for two reasons:
- It’s shocking low.
- That’s a helluvan opportunity
If so few businesses are selling online that means there is space for many more especially in niche markets. Our two case studies at our event on Thursday for example, Garrendenny Lane and OrganicSupermarket.ie are cases in point. Both are niche in their own way and revel in it! I’m looking forward to hearing all about their online business (and how they mix it up with their offline businesses) on Thursday. I hope you can make it along too!
We are no shortage of all shades of busy here in IIA HQ and plan to keep it this way in 2011. Darren, who looks after our events & training, has just sold out the third intake of the IIA Diploma in Digital Marketing in association with Irish Times Training.
Meanwhile I’ve been having some great chats, catching up with members on the phone, reminding them to renew their membership for 2011 (I’m a bit of a stuck record on this every January!) and to tell them about our Meetball Networking event on January 26th 2011 at The Tower Bar, The Church, corner of Mary St/ Jervis St., Dublin 1.
This free business networking event is for IIA Members and non-members so if you’re not a member of the IIA it’s a perfect opportunity to come along and find out all about the association.
We already have a rake of registrations including our two new board members, David Kerr of Bonkers.ie and Jermain Williams of Dialogue. So come along and meet them, other board members and working group members too. Register for free online now.
We are using EventElephant, an IIA Member Company, for these registrations and so far I’m very impressed with this online event organisation service. Apart from the easy to use site, two offline aspects of this that I think are slick are
- the ability to download attendee badges for print and
- if you have a barcode scanner you can use this to register attendees; they even link to a number of recommended scanners.
A number of IIA members have also bravely volunteered to demo at Meetball:
There are two demo slots left so if you think your company could do with a boost or if you have a new service or product offering get in touch with me, Roseanne, at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01 5424154 or Skype me at clogher.
Or pop your question in the Meebo chat box on the right and I’ll IM you back – thanks!
Register online for Meetball and we’ll see you there!