The Irish Times and InterTradeIreland invite indigenous and international companies, small, medium or large, and who are operating throughout the island of Ireland, to promote their service, product or operational innovations by entering The Irish Times InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards, which will be held in March 2012.
Winners in each category will be chosen by an independent panel of judges from a shortlist of 3 finalists. Special recognition will be given to the company with the best North/South collaboration project. In addition, an overall ‘Innovation of the Year’ winner will be drawn from the category winners.
Category Winners will receive:
- A €10,000 communications package in Innovation Magazine
- An iPad with a one year subscription to The Irish Times
The ‘Innovation of the Year’ will win a unique and high profile communications package worth in excess of €150,000 comprising of advertising promotion in the Innovation Magazine and The Irish Times, plus:
• UCD Smurfit School will provide a scholarship for an Executive Education programme commencing in 2012*
• Business legal advice from Byrne Wallace
• A state of the art laptop with a one year subscription to The Irish Times ePaper
(*T&Cs apply – visit www.irishtimes.com/innovation)
The seminar, organised by the Patents Office, is for small business-owners, entrepreneurs, inventors and startup companies in Galway and surrounding counties.
Speakers include experts from the public and private sectors and local entrepreneurs.
Minister Sherlock said: ‘This seminar presents a great learning opportunity for small business-owners, entrepreneurs, inventors and startup companies who want to scale their businesses or turn their ideas into functioning enterprises.’
‘It is not generally known that over 80% of new inventions are derived from previous inventions, so during the seminar information will be provided as to where details of previous inventions can be sourced.
‘The seminar will outline all the government supports available from incubation to commercialisation.
‘It will examine how to convert an idea into a business opportunity, due diligence in setting up a business, an insight into what are patents, trade marks and industrial designs and how they should be managed.‘
‘Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and now more than ever they need every support they can to start and grow’, Minister Sherlock concluded
Admission to the seminars is free but pre-registration with the Patents Office is required.
There will be an opportunity to meet and talk to the speakers throughout the day and after the seminar from 4pm to 4.30pm.
You can register for the Galway seminar by email at email@example.com or phone 056-7720118.
He has asked public sector organisations to build stronger relationships with the Government’s job creation agency, Enterprise Ireland, to improve their procurement practices and get a better grasp of the indigenous enterprise landscape.
Enterprise Ireland is now working closely with targeted public contracting authorities nationally and at local government level where the agency has secured executive buy-in from procurement managers in boosting the participation of small businesses in tender opportunities.
The agency has already connected over 70 of its client firms with public bodies developing a number of programmes that will improve service delivery.
The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), for example, is developing a number of technology-led solutions which will help improve passenger experiences as they transit through terminals.
The DAA is engaging with a number of Enterprise Ireland high-potential technology firms as part of that process.
Meanwhile, a cluster of Enterprise Ireland clients are engaged around opportunities for the design, build and management of infrastructure supporting the ESB’s rollout of electric cars.
Minister O’Keeffe said it was vital that small Irish businesses were fully aware of public sector procurement opportunities.
‘It is important that public sector organisations develop relationships with Enterprise Ireland so that they have a strong knowledge of the indigenous enterprise landscape.
‘Public sector organisations should be aware of the economic impact their procurement spend can have on small Irish businesses and, in particular, the implications for job creation in local communities.
‘Irish firms themselves should be given every help to fully engage with the public procurement process so that they can pitch successfully for business opportunities,’ said Minister O’Keeffe.
The chief executive of Enterprise Ireland, Frank Ryan, said many of the agency’s client companies have innovative solutions that can bring value and efficiencies to public sector bodies.
‘We are delighted to work with contracting authorities that are taking positive actions in engaging with Irish small and medium-sized enterprises for increased tender participation.
‘Winning reference sites in Ireland is of great importance to our client companies, both in terms of the value of the contracts won and as they seek to internationalise their solutions for export growth.
‘We welcome the opportunities which these current engagements are giving and look forward to their conversion into business wins’, he said.
Ireland’s National Pension Reserve Fund [NPRF] invests $50 million in Venture Capital through Innovation Fund Ireland
The National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) today announces a $50 million investment in Polaris Venture Partners. The investment is being made through Innovation Fund Ireland, a Government initiative to attract leading international venture capital fund managers to Ireland.
Polaris is a leading US venture capital firm. The firm will be increasing its focus on Ireland and Europe, providing a local and active source of venture capital from a leading international investment firm. Polaris will also be working with the IDA, Ireland’s inward investment agency, to identify opportunities within its network to bring fast-growing venture-backed companies to Ireland as a point of entry into Europe.
As part of the announcement, Polaris has confirmed that it has chosen to open the company’s first Dogpatch Labs facility outside of the United States in Dublin in support of Innovation Fund Ireland. Dogpatch Labs typically house 30 to 50 entrepreneurs working on new technology and life science related businesses at early stages of development. Polaris has had significant success with its existing Dogpatch Labs facilities in San Francisco, Cambridge (Massachusetts) and New York, where there is a fresh intake of entrepreneurs and start-ups every six months. Polaris expects to have similar success in attracting high quality entrepreneurs from across Europe to Dogpatch Labs Dublin. For more information go to http://dogpatchlabs.com
Terry McGuire, Managing Partner Polaris, said: “Dogpatch Labs has been highly successful in establishing hubs of entrepreneurial activity in the U.S. We are excited to be taking that model to Ireland, which has already attracted the likes of Google, Facebook and LinkedIn, and are hopeful that, in partnership with Innovation Fund Ireland, Dogpatch Dublin will emerge as a key hub for entrepreneurs across Europe.”
Speaking today, Paul Carty, Chairman of the NPRF said: “This investment, which forms part of our commitment to Innovation Fund Ireland, is a strong commercial opportunity for the NPRF and the establishment of a Dogpatch Labs in Dublin creates an important new catalyst for entrepreneurship in Ireland.”
About the NPRF
The National Pensions Reserve Fund was established in 2001 to meet as much as possible of the costs of Ireland’s social welfare and public service pensions from 2025 until at least 2055. The NPRF is controlled by the NPRF Commission, which has a statutory commercial investment mandate, and is currently invested globally across a diversified range of asset classes including quoted equities, bonds, property, private equity and commodities. The NPRF also has investments in Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks plc, made at the direction of the Minister for Finance in order to recapitalise these institutions. Recently it was announced that the NPRF will be required to contribute up to €10 billion to the EU-IMF programme of Financial Support for Ireland. Subsequently the NPRF Commission has reaffirmed its commitment of €125 million in total to Innovation Fund Ireland. The NPRF’s value at end September 2010 was €24.5 billion.
About Innovation Fund Ireland
Innovation Fund Ireland is a €500 million Irish Government initiative designed to attract leading international venture capital fund managers to Ireland.
Innovation Fund Ireland funding comprises three elements. The first is Exchequer funding of €125 million, which will be managed by Enterprise Ireland. The second allows the NPRF to invest a similar amount providing its commercial investment criteria are met. The balance will be raised privately by participating venture capital managers. For more information go to http://www.innovationfundireland.com
Polaris Venture Partners is a partnership of experienced investors, operating executives and entrepreneurs. The firm’s mission is to identify, invest in and partner with seed, early stage, and middle-market businesses with exceptional promise and help them grow into market-leading companies. Polaris invests in businesses across a number of markets including technology, digital media, consumer, enertech and life sciences. Polaris-backed successes in life sciences include: Adimab, Adnexus (sold to BMS), Advanced Inhalation Research (sold to Alkermes), Alimera (ALIM), Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY), Asthmatx (sold to Boston Scientific) Glycofi (sold to Merck), Momenta Pharmaceuticals (MNTA) and Ironwood (IRWD). Polaris-backed successes in technology and consumer include: Akamai Technologies (AKAM), Allaire, Art.com, Athlete’s Performance, Automattic (WordPress), e-Rewards, LogMeIn (LOGM), LegalZoom, LivingProof, MarkMonitor, Powersoft, Solidworks, TechTarget (TTGT) and Quantcast. For more on the firm, its mission and its portfolio companies: http://polarisventures.com.
About Dogpatch Labs
Dogpatch Labs was created by Polaris Venture Partners to connect entrepreneurs and help founders conceive and launch startups. Dogpatch Labs has three locations in Cambridge, MA, New York, NY and San Francisco, CA and will open its fourth location in Dublin, Ireland in the first quarter of 2011. Dogpatch labs offer desk space, bandwidth, coffee and lunch to aspiring entrepreneurs but are much more than physical spaces. The Labs collectively are a community of like minded entrepreneurs who share a spirit of “open source entrepreneurship,” the idea that, particularly at the very earliest of stages, we all benefit by fostering connection points between and amongst entrepreneurs and startups. Whether it is sharing space, sharing ideas, sharing referrals, networking, or just hanging out, the members all thrive on the flow of ideas, people and relationships. So, in addition to a workspace, they also use the lab frequently as a meeting place — for lunch talks, workshops, conferences, symposia etc. For more information go to http://dogpatchlabs.com
You may or may not have heard of Google Wave. You may or may not think it’s the next big thing. One thing is for sure – it’s no use if you have no-one to communicate with on your wave! So I have a limited number of invitations to Google Wave and would like you to have one! I have set up a Google Wave for IIA Members and would love to add you in there too if you are a member.
If you would like an invitation email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email me your Wave address and I will add you to the IIA Wave.
Neville Hobson originally gave me an invite so props to him. He also recommended this great guide which I have been dipping into now and then. Brian Greene also recommended this guide and his company (IIA Member Company Doop Design) have also created a repository of Wave and other cloud resources over at Wavelinks.ie. Add it to your RSS reader and never miss a trick!
If you have seen an innovative use of Wave please share in the comments below. I wrote an article about Google Wave for my monthly column in Beo! where I wondered how this proposed email killer was going to kill the technology that is the first port of call for most. I keep forgetting about Wave because unlike all the other social media I use there is no pull via email. I would also love a way of using it on my iPhone which is another way in which I get sucked into using new apps.
Similarly the fact that there is no easy way to currently share Waves (I know, I know it’s beta!) makes it difficult to draw others’ attention to their use. See above the convuluted (and email based!) manner in which I had to ask you to join me on the IIA Wave. A link would be so much more graceful.
Personally I really liked this example (see vid below) of how to use Wave. Very pertinent to many of us working on our online offerings!
Panel discussion at 2pm "Taking the rough with the smooth – trading through difficult times" featuring the following panel of entrepreneurs:
Kevin Traynor – CEO www.sonicacademy.com
Kevin is the founder of Sonic Academy which he set up in Belfast in 2004 as a training facility for DJs and music technology enthusiasts, which has since become the premier facility of its kind in Ireland. A former drummer with one of Ireland’s most successful bands The Divine Comedy, it wasn’t long before he dumped the drums in favour of decks and began DJ’ing and promoting club nights between London and Belfast. Since then he has notched up appearances in Holland, France, Italy and Australia and played alongside some of the worlds’ best DJs from James Zabiela to Adam Freeland and DJ Dexter to Tiefschwarz.
Kevin was awarded the Prince’s Trust Young Achiever of the Year Award in 2005 for his work in setting up Sonic Academy. He also sits on the board of Disability Action Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Employers Group of Creative & Cultural Skills (the Sector Skills Council for the Creative and Cultural Industries).
Colm Lyons – CEO RealexPayments.com
Colm Lyon is Founder and Managing Director of Realex Payments. He is highly regarded as one of the foremost innovation leaders in the online payment processing business. His career has spanned almost twenty five years in payment related businesses, starting with fourteen years in the financial service sector.
Colm founded Realex Payments in 2000 and since then the business has grown rapidly to a position of inspired leadership in the online payment processing business. The payment exchange concept, which he conceived has proven to be the market winning approach in that it offers a strategic solution which addresses the core issues. Today Realex Payments process in excess of €6bn for 3,000 businesses.
Colm is a regular industry speaker. In 2005 he was acclaimed and rewarded for his leadership when he was a finalist of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. As an industry figure he was Director and Chairman of the Irish Internet Association for over four years – during which time the association significantly enhanced its position. He was invited (2008) by Enterprise Ireland to participate in the Steering Group to devise the strategy for the Irish Software Sector. In 2009 he lead the development of the Internet Growth Alliance (www.alliance.ie) with Ray Nolan and Dylan Collins which is working with Enterprise Ireland to develop a new support structure program for Irish Internet businesses. He is a graduate of University College Dublin with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Management Science Degree.
Jerry Kennelly – Founder & former CEO of Stockbyte and Stockdisc – sold to Getty Images for over €110 Million.
As well as establishing and selling his highly successful stock images business, Jerry has been honoured by the Deloitte Fast 50 Awards and was named the Ernst & Young Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005. Jerry has been instrumental in the launch and roll out of the very successful Young Entrepreneur Programme which is aimed at fostering an entrepreneurship culture among second and third level students. He has spearheaded the programme since the concept was first mooted in 2006 with the Institute and Kerry Technology Park. Jerry is also central to the development of the recently launched Endeavour Programme.
Asheesh Dewan – Founder of Jaipur Restaurants and co-founder of Segala
Asheesh Dewan is the founder of Jaipur Indian restaurants, which employ over 100 people. With six restaurants in his group in Ireland, the most recent one being Ananda in Dundrum shopping centre, Asheesh is also the proprietor of Benares in London, one of the first Indian restaurants in the UK to be awarded a Michelin star. In March 2009, Asheesh was awarded the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Award and last year was named Permanent TSB Ethnic Entrepreneur of the Year 2008. He is also a co-founder of Segala, an IT company which specialises in web accessibility and mobile web standards compliance certification.
See who’s attending here
See the speakers schedule here
The Irish Internet Association’s Annual Congress will take place on 21-22 May, 2009 in the Crowne Plaza Conference Hotel, Dublin. The annual Net Visionary Awards will also be held on the first night of the conference. This premier event will be attended by over 400 industry professionals.
The audience last year comprised senior managers, decision makers and key industry personnel and the event was a complete sell-out. 38% of delegates at last year’s Congress in Croke Park were C- or Director level. (Watch a video review of last year’s event)
The IIA Congress is unique in that it provides excellent content in an educational and networking environment. Previous keynote speakers come from companies such as Bebo, eBay, Microsoft, Dell, Google, Yahoo, Aer Lingus and Jupiter Research. The format of this 2-day event includes plenary sessions, breakout sessions, clinics and ample networking opportunities.
Fergal O’Byrne, IIA CEO, speaking about this year’s theme, commented, "The IIA holds a strong conviction that when times are tough, the internet offers solutions for a broad variety of enterprises. The focus this year will be the potential of the internet to allow businesses to market their products and services, protect and profit from their resources and leverage the latest internet innovations to maximise the opportunities available."
Nominations for this year’s Net Visionary Awards will open mid-February followed by the creation of shortlists created by judges chosen from the Irish Internet sector and culminating in a public online vote. Last year’s awards saw the largest number of nominations and votes than any year previously and the IIA hope that running the two events at the same time will facilitate more companies attending both of these events.
The IIA is currently seeking expressions of interest from amongst its members for the many speaker and sponsorship opportunities that an event like this affords.
More information and updates: www.iia.ie/congress09/
I mentioned QR Codes in a previous post and lo! as is often the way three virtual buses come along together and I found this post from Prosperity about the various uses being made of QR codes in entertainment and media in Japan in particular.
Typing out loud here, I could see them working very well for making content from our events available to mobile phone users attending those events. For example the QR Code on the right should bring the user to the Events page on the IIA website. I have a QR reader installed in my phone (Nokia E51), having read about it back at the beginning of summer. I suspect it’s a poor reader but so far I have not convinced it to read any QR codes that I have since happened upon! I must find a better one me thinks. I’ll keep you posted on my success or otherwise. I’d love to hear about any innovative uses people have found for the codes.
A guest post from Chris Byrne in Sensorpro about a new way to serve feedback surveys at conferences.
For the Irish Internet Association (IIA) Word of Mouse conference, we needed a slick way to get attendee feedback. As a survey vendor, it’s a simple task to deploy a survey with all the bells and whistles you would expect, like via email, popup, link, twitter post or embedded in a blog – but on this occasion we wanted something a little different. We wanted audience reaction in real-time without the expense and hassle of gizmos. So how about Bluetooth then? After all, many in the audience had a gizmo already – a Bluetooth enabled mobile phone (or cell phone, if you prefer!) Thanks to a snappy response from Shane at Mobanode we had our survey deployed on his Bluetooth box in minutes. As soon as we hit the “fire” button, the survey was deployed to 23 phones with just 1 rejection – not a shabby response rate! Roseanne from IIA was live twittering – so she had the twitter world peeking over her shoulder. Not only did this method garner dynamic feedback from the immediate audience – but also picked up twitter eavesdroppers with the browser link. If you want to try event feedback that is different, is relevant and a gizmo that actually works – then try this.