The ThinkBusiness Show – Brian Caulfield

How do you start a business? How do you grow your business? These are the questions we explore on the ThinkBusiness Show.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST.

The ThinkBusiness Show is a business show with a difference.
[SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE HERE.]
Instead of talking about what a business does, we talk to founders and experts about the ‘hows’ of doing business – how to start and how to grow.
The ThinkBusiness Show is an online academy to learn more about starting and running a business. We also discuss the supports available to businesses, raising money, financial well being and how to keep going when difficulties arise. 
“If you are looking for investment keep your business plan short. We see 2,500 plans every year. If it’s a long-winded document, I’m not reading it. And make sure you show me what you are going to do with the money. Make sure there’s an actual plan in your business plan.”
First up
First up is Brian Caulfield. Brian is one of Ireland’s ‘legendary’ venture capital investors (VCs). In his podcast and video, he gives a masterclass, not just in what investors look for but how entrepreneurs should approach their business if they want to land investment. This is really a ‘Startup Masterclass’, a must-listen for anyone with big ambitions to grow with the right investment.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE THINKBUSINESS SHOW. LISTEN, WATCH AND LEARN. 

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/the-thinkbusiness-show-brian-caulfield/ on
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Can Blockchain help the dairy industry?

A valuable application of the Blockchain is its ability to tell the ‘farm to fork’ story in great detail. Here’s how it can help the Irish dairy sector on the global stage. 

Claru is a Cork-based company using Blockchain technology to bring transparency to the food supply chain, specifically within the Irish dairy sector.
Consumers appear more discerning, more willing to pay a premium for healthy, environmentally-friendly and ethically produced food. Transparency is predicted to become the largest differentiator for food brands in the near future.
Claru’s CEO John O’Reilly explains how the Blockchain can benefit the Irish dairy sector.
What’s your value proposition? 
We’re providing transparency to the food supply chain using Blockchain technology. Food and dairy producers can share an end-to-end view of the product’s journey from farm to fork; all in great detail. 
At its simplest what is the Blockchain?
The Blockchain is a distributed digital ledger; it is particularly useful in tracking value as a product moves between independent parties in a supply chain. The data it holds is public and immutable.
“Consumers no longer trust product claims or labelling. ”
Are you fixing a problem? Is the problem urgent?
Yes. Today’s consumer is much more discerning. It’s no longer just about cost or brand; there are factors such as dietary considerations, sustainability, ethical production approach and corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Traditionally the producer would address these concerns with new product labelling, but research shows that consumers no longer trust product claims or labelling. People want access to the product’s data – what field it came from, the name of the farmer. 
In parallel, the food production sector is becoming much more regulated and similar to the pharmaceutical sector regarding tracking and traceability. 
“They are guaranteeing future business and avoiding price wars with lower cost brands.”
Why is using the Blockchain better than existing solutions?
The Blockchain can generate a holistic view of

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/blockchain-food-traceability-irish-dairy/ on thinkbusiness

Ten ambitious teams start Trinity’s LaunchBox 2018

Ten teams of student entrepreneurs teams have started Trinity’s accelerator programme Launchbox, Ireland’s most successful student accelerator programme. They are now seeking investment to grow.
Now in its sixth year, LaunchBox is a place where students can start a business and receive mentorship, funding, and access to alumni and investors.
Since its start in 2013, LaunchBox has helped 50 student ventures. The businesses that continued have created 122 jobs and raised €6.3 million in investment and funding.
“LaunchBox is an opportunity for students to work on their business idea with mentors over the summer. It is a real opportunity for our students to showcase why Trinity is number one in Europe for producing entrepreneurs,” says Fionnuala Healy, CEO Innovation & Entrepreneurship Hub, Trinity College Dublin.
Paul Allen, student founder of BOP (Biological Optical Prevention) and his teammates Ekaterina (Kate) Lait and David Ola (pictured main image) met as members of the Trinity Entrepreneurial Society. They believe their business has enormous potential for identifying, preventing and treating health care-associated infections (HAIs).
“I had family members who passed away due to HAIs, so the idea has been in process for two years. The visual nature of our product is its USP and it makes it more effective,” says Allen. Upon making contact with a surface their product changes colour depending on the pathogens present. This allows medical staff to identify the pathogen, eliminate them and disinfect the area. 
Successful alumni
Successful alumni of LaunchBox include social enterprise Foodcloud, which helps businesses redistribute surplus food to those who need it; Touchtech, a payment processing firm; Artomatix, which develops tools for automating digital media creation; and Equine MediRecord, which digitises the medical records for the multi-billion-euro horse racing industry’s equine stars.
“LaunchBox’s focus on early-stage business development, and on empowering entrepreneurship and collaboration, is hugely important for our communities and through our community programmes

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/trinity-launchbox-2018/ on
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15 Gaelic football entrepreneurs

With the Gaelic football season now in full swing, we take a look at players and former players who took the leap into entrepreneurship.

Shane Curran

Since retiring county football, the Roscommon man has set up flood defence company Global Flood Solutions. The company supplies the rapid response flood defence products such as the Big Bag Flood Defence System for which Curran secured a €2 million export deal.

Enda McNulty

After winning an All-Ireland medal in 2002, Enda established his company Motiv8 in 2005 he then rebranded Motiv8 to McNulty Performance in 2016. Its mission: ‘To inspire, coach and guide individuals and teams to make most of their potential in the sports, business and educational sectors.’ The list of company clients includes Brian O’Driscoll, AIB and Intel.

Kevin Moran

Known for being the only man to win an All-Ireland and an FA cup medal (he won both twice actually, while also being the first player to be sent off in the FA cup too), Kevin Moran was a co-founder of Proactive Sports Management, with clients such as Steve Finnan and John O’Shea. It has since been acquired and rebranded itself as Formation Group PLC and has expanded into the property market.

Philly McMahon

The Ballymun Kickhams man opened his own gym in October 2014. Since then he has gone on to open Fitfood.ie. Fitfood is a healthy meal delivery and fitness company based in Ballymun, Dublin.

Ciaran Lenehan

According to his bio, the former Meath halfback has a first class honours degree in animal science from UCD and completed a research masters in beef cattle nutrition and production systems. He owns and manages a 50-cow suckler to beef herd farm in Skryne, Co Meath. Ciaran also writes for the Irish Farmers Journal.

Donal Vaughan

With his sister Ailish, Donal Vaughan opened Vaughan Shoes in 2006 and went on to acquire an existing footwear retailer, Colleran Footwear. The company has a strong online presence and three stores across Mayo.

Páidí Ó Sé

Amassing an impressive eight All-Ireland medals as a player and a further two as a manager, Páidí originally trained to be a member of An Garda Síochána but went on to open Paidi O’Se’s Pub in Ventry, Co Kerry. Unfortunately, Paidi passed away in December 2012 but the pub is still in operation.

Seán Cavanagh

The three-time All-Ireland winner opened his own accountancy practice in his home village of Moy, Co Tyrone. Sean Cavanagh and Co. assists clients in accounting, audit, tax and advisory.

Darren Hughes

In addition to working on his family’s farm, Darren studied business in Jordanstown, Co Monaghan and following this started a new marketing company D&K Hughes Marketing and branded it as Yellowtom.ie specialising in advertising for local Monaghan companies.

Trevor Giles

Trevor Giles played senior inter-county football with Meath from 1994 to 2005, winning All-Ireland medals in 1996 and 1999. Trevor qualified from UDC with a degree in physiotherapy in 1997 and set up Tara Physiotherapy in his native Tara, Co Meath in 2000.

Paul Galvin

The former teacher enrolled in a fashion buying course in DIT in 2010, where he quickly launched his own website specialising in men’s hair products, before eventually teaming up with Dunnes Stores in 2015 to launch his own ‘Born Mad’ menswear range.

Andy Moran

In an interview Andy once said; “Since I was a young fella, I’ve always had the drive to set up my own business.” He eventually did by setting up Healthquarters.ie – a performance, nutrition and wellness centre in Roscommon.

Michael Murphy

The former Donegal captain who lifted Sam McGuire in 2012 opened his own sporting goods store Michael Murphy Sports and Leisure in Letterkenny. In 2017 Murphy swapped the shop and GAA for Clermont-Ferrand RFC as part of the TV series ‘The Toughest Trade’.

Kevin McManamon

Having graduated from college with a degree in business management and a masters in strategic management in DIT, Kevin went on to co-found his business Fresh Foods Direct in 2009. He finished working there in 2012 and since then he has received another Masters in applied sports and exercise psychology. He has since gone on to create Kev Mc Coaching, a sports psychology consultancy.

Bernard Brogan

Originally qualified as an accountant, Bernard is listed as a director of at least eight companies around Ireland. In the last few years, Bernard has gone into the family business of hotels with himself and his brother Alan purchasing the four-star Pillo Hotel in Ashbourne, Co Meath in 2016. However, more recently the five-time All-Ireland winning full forward has created his own company PepTalk.ie a corporate wellbeing company based in Dublin.

Article by Barry Walsh. 

Related Resource

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/15-gaelic-football-entrepreneurs/ on
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The Irish man connecting four billion people

Mark Roden is the founder of Ding, an Irish business that connects four billion phones around the world. He spoke to Stephen Conmy about mobile payments and the vast emerging global markets.

Mark Roden is in good form. We meet at MoneyConf, in Dublin’s RDS, an event dedicated to the rise of FinTech (financial technology); banking, mobile payments and the future of global finance.

Roden’s is a familiar story to many in Ireland’s business world. He was a dentistry student who left Trinity early and went to work for Denis O’Brien, helping to start Esat. He was also the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014. 

Today he is the majority shareholder of mobile payments company, Ding.

The Dublin-based Ding allows people – mainly from emerging markets – to send ‘value’ to each other in the form of phone credit.

He founded the company in 2006 and now works with over 400 operators worldwide, delivering top-ups to four billion phones.

ding mark roden

Four billion people

“We deliver the ‘energy’ people need to use their phones,” he says. “This is hugely important in the vastly populated emerging economies. If you are in Ghana and I’m in Dublin, I can transfer five dollars in pre-paid credit to your phone. This brings life to your phone, allowing you to communicate and access the mobile web.”

The vast populations of emerging economies in Africa, India and South America are mobile first. They skipped the desktop age.

“This is where Ding offers real value,” says Roden. “Ding isn’t about a cheaper call it’s about empowering people to access their phones and allows them to use the web on their phones.

“The life for people around the world who are not connected is a grim life. What we do is offer a zero barrier way to enable people to get connected.”

What next for Ding?

Now that Ding has ‘laid the railway lines’ the infrastructure is there to add other services like mobile payments.

“This is where I see us going. Ding can act as a mobile distribution network for cash. Obviously, the global potential of this is enormous.”

Roden built his business without investment but says he is now open to investment with the right strategic partner.

“In the next twelve months or so we will look for the right partner. We need to grow much bigger but we don’t just need money, we need an investment partner that shares our vision and can help us bring it to reality.”

What businesses does Roden admire in the mobile payments space?

“Square’s Cash app, led by Jack Dorsey (the Twitter co-founder), is one I really admire,” he says. “Many of our customers share the same demographics.”

STARTUP TIPS FROM MARK RODEN

  1. If you are starting a business it is much better to be good at one thing or ‘deep in a vertical’ rather than try to be all things to all men. Don’t be shallow in a wide market.
  2. A business should only diversify when it has achieved critical mass. For us, that was when we started generating our own cash.
  3. If you are seeking investment, make sure your investor shares your strategic vision. You need a partner, not just a cheque.
  4. If your technology can be understood instinctively by anyone in the world, you are in a position to scale. If there are barriers in the way for people to use your service, you are doomed.
  5. The most important lesson Denis O’Brien taught me was to keep going. Never give up and to have great confidence in what you are about to do. If you put in the effort, what appears to be impossible becomes very possible.

Related Resource

The historical enterprise towns of Ireland.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/mark-roden-ding-interview-with-stephen-conmy/ on
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Foróige entrepreneurship programme in Cork

A network for teaching entrepreneurship programme (NFTE) has been launched for the young people of Cork.
The Foróige NFTE programme in Cork is a youth entrepreneurship programme, which aims to improve the business, academic and life skills of young people.
The programme is currently in operation in ten other counties in Ireland.
“They receive a seed grant to start their business, and engage with entrepreneurs and community leaders.”
“This programme has multiple positive impacts on the young people who take part in it. From business acumen to leadership skills, confidence and better communication, it encourages young people to think big, aim high and most of all believe in their ability to achieve great things,” says Declan O’Leary, Foróige area manager, Cork.

“NFTE is special because it provides the young people involved with so many opportunities. They receive a seed grant to start their business; visit wholesalers; engage with entrepreneurs and community leaders; work with corporate business mentors; sell their products at trade fairs; prepare a business plan and present it to judges at competitions,” says Sandara Kelso-Robb, executive director at basis.point, who provide the funds for the programme.
The Foróige NFTE programme is made possible through the support of basis.point – an initiative of the Irish Funds Industry.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/foroige-entrepreneurship-programme-for-cork/ on thinkbusiness

The official launch of Hatch Lab in Wexford

Eight months after opening its doors to some of the South-East’s brightest entrepreneurs, Hatch Lab officially launches. 
The Hatch Lab is a tech incubator space located in Gorey, Co. Wexford where people can set up their own businesses, experimenting at an early stage whether their concept is viable or not. It’s also designed for IT companies that may be growing who can use the space to continue their growth.
Over 150 people have used Hatch Lab since opening last September with 20 full-time residents and 60 people using hot-desks at the moment. The building has also hosted more than 40 events including the popular Founder Friday evenings where successful entrepreneurs come in and chat with the residents about the trials and tribulations they faced.
Partnered with Bank of Ireland, Hatch Lab came about largely thanks to Tom Enright, CEO on Wexford County Council, who was instrumental in its establishment. He conducted research with Maynooth University which showed that over one thousand people were leaving Gorey every day to work in Dublin in the ICT sector.
“From an entrepreneur’s point of view, setting up a business can be a very lonely road.”
“With Tom’s research, the obvious thing to do was to build an ICT hub for those people commuting up to Dublin,” says John O’Connor, manager of Hatch Lab.
“The Redmonds, who own Amber Springs Hotel next door were looking to build a commercial space and the council backed them with the build and the idea of having it as an incubation space made it attractive as it could pull investors into the area,” adds O’Connor.
MC for the day of the official launch was Noel Davidson from the Entrepreneurs Academy. “From an entrepreneur’s point of view, setting up a business can be a very lonely road. An incubation space like the Hatch Lab is

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/hatch-lab-gorey-startups-incubation-space/ on thinkbusiness

#ThinkWexford

What does County Wexford have to offer startups and what supports are available to entrepreneurs in the Model County? 
 

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/think-wexford-business-supports-grants-in-wexford/ on thinkbusiness

A home share service worth talking about

The rental accommodation crisis in Ireland is growing. All age groups are affected. Saoirse Sheridan’s new business, Elder Home Share, aims to help people who need accommodation and elderly people who want some company and safety.
 

Saoirse Sheridan is on a mission. There’s no other way to describe it. Talking to her one gets the immediate sense that her business model is rooted in social change. Ireland’s housing crisis is taking an enormous toll on people while Ireland’s health system just can’t look after a growing, ageing population – two situations that need creative intervention.
“The idea for Elderhomeshare.ie came from my personal experience,” explains Sheridan.
“Three and a half years ago I was given the notice to move out of my rented accommodation. I found I had nowhere to go. The rents are insane. I started to think about my grandmother. I had taken care of her in her home. We had such a rich and meaningful relationship, right to the end. It was a wonderful experience. So I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I could help another elderly person, living on their own, in exchange for accommodation?”
Sheridan started home sharing with David in April 2016 and celebrated his 98th birthday with him in January 2018. During this time she also began building her business. 
Both sides benefit
“There are many benefits that my business brings. It’s Dublin’s first home share service and provides peace of mind for elderly citizens to live at home by matching them with home share companions,” says Sheridan.
“It’s also alternative home support for the elderly and can work well instead of paying for live-in care at night if the homeowner does not need night time assistance. It’s not a solution to personal care but can reduce the need and expense of other care services.”
The numbers
Anyone with

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/home-sharing-in-dublin-elder-home-share-dublin-saoirse-sheridan/ on
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A home share service worth talking about

The rental accommodation crisis in Ireland is growing. All age groups are affected. Saoirse Sheridan’s new business, Elder Home Share, aims to help people who need accommodation and elderly people who want some company and safety.
 

Saoirse Sheridan is on a mission. There’s no other way to describe it. Talking to her one gets the immediate sense that her business model is rooted in social change. Ireland’s housing crisis is taking an enormous toll on people while Ireland’s health system just can’t look after a growing, ageing population – two situations that need creative intervention.
“The idea for Elderhomeshare.ie came from my personal experience,” explains Sheridan.
“Three and a half years ago I was given the notice to get out of my rented accommodation. I found I had nowhere to go. The rents are insane. I started to think about my grandmother. I had taken care of her in her home. We had such a rich and meaningful relationship, right to the end. It was a wonderful experience. So I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I could help another elderly person, living on their own, in exchange for accommodation?”
Sheridan started home sharing with David in April 2016 and celebrated his 98th birthday with him in January 2018. During this time she also began building her business. 
Both sides benefit
“There are many benefits that my business brings. It’s Dublin’s first home share service and provides peace of mind for elderly citizens to live at home by matching them with home share companions,” says Sheridan.
“It’s also alternative home support for the elderly and can work well instead of paying for live-in care at night if the homeowner does not need night time assistance. It’s not a solution to personal care but can reduce the need and expense of other care services.”
The numbers
Anyone with

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/elder-home-share-dublin-saoirse-sheridan/ on
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