PlayerTek – sports performance science for everyone

PlayerTek is one of Ireland’s leading firms in the sports science sector. Co-founder Ronan Mac Ruairi reveals how PlayerTek started and grew into a market leader.
How did you get into this business?
My background is in physics and I landed my first job in data and analytics. I moved to IBM and spent a few wonderful years working there and much to my parent’s dismay, I left the company to join a startup called Web Factory in the early 90s. It was a time when very few people used the internet and we saw ourselves as innovators. We even invented our own version of Facebook which was called PaddyNet and at this point the term social media was unheard of. We then sold it to Horizon in 2000 and I spent the next decade working in academia (in computer science). I then moved into the sports science field as I felt there was a gap in the market which I could fill.
“We’re able to answer all the questions coaches ask.”
Is the sports science sector big in Ireland?
It’s a big market in relation to our population. We’re a country that’s sports-mad and by that I mean the level of participation, not just fan engagement. The GAA is one of the major drivers in that because they are able to get communities all across Ireland to back their local teams from grassroots level up.
“It’s an easy-to-use system for coaches who don’t have deep sports science experience.”
What is PlayerTek?
We’ve developed a small physical device which weighs about 50 grams and it’s placed on your back when you play football. It has a high-precision GPS tracker. It can track you down to within 30cm of your location so it’s incredibly accurate and we try to do that ten times per second. This will then

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/improve-your-performance-with-playertek/ on thinkbusiness

The rise of Green Saffron

In 2004, Arun Kapil left the UK music industry to start a new life in Ireland. He started his business by selling spice sachets at a farmers’ market and now has plans for global expansion.
Arun Kapil grew up in Lincolnshire an always had a love for cooking, instilled by his Hindu father and Yorkshire mother. Following a friend’s recommendation, he enrolled on a 12-week course at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, Co. Cork. He arrived in Ireland with little money but within just two years began producing sachets of fresh spice, sourced directly through his cousins in India, to sell at his market stall in Mahon Point Farmer’s Market in Cork City.
His company, Green Saffron, founded in 2007 and located in Midleton, Co. Cork now enjoys sales of almost one million euro a year, spread across the retail, ingredient and commodity markets.
Here he tells the story behind his brand’s success and outlines plans to help shake-up and disrupt the spice market, by selling into a continent, with probably one of the biggest markets for spices and herbs in the world.
“I never had a business plan until 2012. It helped us raise €500,000 in funding.”

Stepping into the spice trade
Working in the kitchen at Ballymaloe, I had a real hankering for spices, and I suppose to some extent, I missed my dad’s home cooking, along with the home-food culture of the UK.
I felt that the spices were, and to some extent still are, under a bushel. Not everyone understands the need for spices to be really fresh and vibrant, to really appreciate just how beautifully fragrant and delicious they can be. I suppose that’s why I called my Dad with an initial order to get a 15Kg package of spice sent over from my cousins in India.
The brilliant thing about farmers’

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/the-rise-of-green-saffron/ on
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My tax bill is due, and I need help

If you don’t have the money to pay your tax bill, what are your options? Also, what expenses can you claim back against tax?
If your tax bill is due and you don’t have the cash flow to pay it, you are not alone.
This is an issue that affects thousands of small business owners and sole traders around the country each year.
The annual tax bill, however, doesn’t have to cause you sleepless nights.
“You can pay off the loan as quickly as you want without paying additional fees.”
One of the best and most affordable solutions is to take out a small business loan with competitive interest rates and no prepayment penalties. This allows you to pay off the loan as quickly as you want without paying additional fees.
You can quickly apply for the loan here.

Related Resource

What expenses can I claim back each year? 
You are allowed to claim against expenses that are directly related to the running of the business. These include: 

Purchase of goods for resale
Wages, rent, rates, repairs, lighting and heating 
Running costs of cars, vans or machinery used in the business
Accountancy fees
Interest paid on any money borrowed to finance the business 
Lease payments on vehicles or machinery used in the business

What can I not claim back? 
Section 81(2) Tax Consolidation Act 1997 (TCA 1997) lists expenses specifically disallowed. Some of which are:

Capital items purchased.
Expenses for domestic or private use e.g. apportionment of dwelling house expenses if working from home.
Entertainment costs (any lunches with clients, coffees, etc.)
Any interest paid to Revenue for late filing.
All food and subsistence paid by a self-employed person.

Rule of thumb – any expenditure incurred which is not wholly and exclusively incurred for business activity is disallowed.
 

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/my-tax-bill-is-due-and-i-need-help/ on
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Do you want to work from home?

The rise of remote working in Ireland goes way deeper than just allowing people to work at home for a couple of days a week. The Grow Remote conference will explain more. 
Do you want to learn more about remote working in Ireland and its benefits? The Grow Remote conference will take place in Tralee on September 28. 
Remote working brings tangible benefits to rural communities, towns and villages. It allows people to chose to work and live in areas often forgotten by Ireland’s centralised economy.
Over 200,000 people also work remotely in Ireland and this number is set to grow as the various economic and social repercussions of Ireland’s Dublin-centric economy start to bite hard.
Grow Remote is a voluntary organisation to support remote workers and their employers and to encourage more remote working opportunities in Ireland. 
“The full-day conference will highlight the benefits of remote working, not just for businesses, but for workers and the communities they live in.”
Grow Remote
Grow Remote’s stated aim is to increase employment in rural Ireland by building a tighter community and ecosystem around smart working (home, remote, blended, and flexible).
Grow Remote says it was set up to champion companies that offer remote working and encourage others to do so; connect remote workers to each other and create more opportunities; and, enable town groups to discover remote working companies and link them to their community.
“Tralee is going to be the first town in Ireland to host the ‘Grow Remote’ conference on September 28.”
The conference
Are you a remote worker? Does your business employ people who work remotely? Do you want to learn more about the benefits of remote working?
Tralee is going to be the first town in Ireland to host the ‘Grow Remote’ conference on September 28.
The full-day conference will highlight the benefits of remote working, not just for businesses, but

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/grow-remote-conference-tralee-remote-working-ireland/ on
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Judging the National Enterprise Town Awards 2018

What’s it like to be a judge of the Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards? Maurice Healy, Director of Corporate Banking, Bank of Ireland, describes his experience as a judge of the 2018 competition.
The search is on to find Ireland’s most enterprising towns and villages. The judging of the awards is taking place in towns and villages across Ireland.
What is the Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards?
The National Enterprise Town Awards, organised by Bank of Ireland, is now in its third year.
The competition promotes enterprise by bringing business and community groups together, in towns and villages across Ireland, to showcase the spirit of enterprise in their local area.
90 towns have entered, all were nominated by their local county or town councils and local enterprise office.
“I came away from three long days energised by the passion of the people I met and the inspirational communities where they live and work.”

Pictured are (l-r): Maurice Healy Bank of Ireland, Director Corporate Banking; Judge, Trudi Ryan, Manager, Bank of Ireland Bagenalstown; and John Murphy B.E.A.M. Bagenalstown in the BEAM gardens.Photo by Karl McDonough.

My experience as a judge
As part of Corporate Banking’s support of the ‘Wear Your County Colours’ initiative and living our value of ‘One group one team,’ eight Corporate Banking colleagues will join judging panels across Ireland to find Ireland’s most enterprising town of 2018.
Inspired by David Walsh, CEO of Netwatch (a Corporate Banking customer), who is passionate about his adopted county, I went along to see Co. Carlow for myself.
The privilege of judging
I had the privilege of being a judge for three days meeting groups of volunteers, businesses and local government agencies, who are working hard to make their community a better place to work, live, play, be educated, and to raise a family.
So, what were some of the highlights I experienced

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/judging-the-national-enterprise-town-awards-2018/ on
thinkbusiness

Gym+Coffee – how to build a clothing brand

Gym+Coffee co-founder Diarmuid McSweeney talks to ThinkBusiness about brand building, retailing and startup life.

What is Gym+Coffee?
Gym+Coffee is a new Irish clothing and lifestyle brand. We launched in January 2017, and we’re focused on the growing “athleisure” market with a range of hoodies, t-shirts, tanks, leggings, hats, and accessories.
I guess Gym+Coffee was born out of two main things. There’s a growing lifestyle shift in Ireland. People just don’t want to hang out in pubs and bars as much, and are looking for active things to do at the weekends. And, coffee shops are becoming the new places to meet and socialise.
“We have to focus on our priorities.”
How are you different than other clothing companies?
I guess we didn’t want to just be a clothing company, we didn’t just want to be activeclothing.com. For us, it was about growing a brand to encourage this active lifestyle, so we’ve built our brand around the idea to ‘Make life richer’ and are focusing on developing a community around this.
I mean don’t get us wrong, we sell great clothing, so we’re not trying to hide from that, but we’re not focused on trying to pretend we’re Nike and that our clothing has been technically invented to improve your performance.
“The big surprise is how emotionally attached you get to everything.”
Where did the name come from?
[Laughs], the name’s a bit weird and people ask us about it. The simple reason is that we wanted to tell our target audience precisely who they are. If you are interested in being active, going to the gym, throwing on a hoodie and going meeting friends for coffee after then you hopefully should be involved in our brand and clothing.
“It does take a great deal of self-discipline to run a startup.”
What’s the dream? Who do you compare yourself to?
We are big dreamers. For

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/gym-and-coffee-building-a-brand/ on
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€750,000 funding for startups

€750,000 in funding will be made available for startups in Enterprise Ireland’s final Competitive Start Fund of 2018.
Up to €50,000 in equity funding will be given to 15 innovative startups.
The fund is open to all industries with a focus on manufacturing, life sciences, and renewables sectors.
The fund is designed to help businesses advance critical technical and commercial milestones.
“This is the eighth and final CSF funding round of this year,” says Joe Healy, divisional manager, high potential startups, Enterprise Ireland. “The CSF provides an initial critical fuel injection to help launch early-stage startups and bring innovative business ideas to an international market.”
Who should apply?
Early-stage projects that can demonstrate that:

the product or service has reached a minimum viable product stage, at a minimum, live in beta;
the product or service has demonstratable customer validation with (trial and/or paying) customers;
there is a fully articulated proposition addressing an apparent gap in the market with market research conducted with customers/potential customers;
proper channels to international markets have been identified.

This CSF is open for applications on Tuesday, 18th September and will close on Tuesday, 2nd October.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/funding-for-startups-in-ireland/ on thinkbusiness

Diary of a student entrepreneur, Vol 5

In the fifth and final diary entry, our student entrepreneurs talk about their experiences taking part in Trinity’s Launchbox – the highs, the lows and the valuable life lessons. 

Cian Fogarty, Greener Globe
The past three months LaunchBox have been a rollercoaster with many challenges and successes. Our main problem when coming into the programme was to get the product our on to shelves in stores. It’s tough to make that transition from having the product manufactured and ready to sell to actually having it in a store. However we’re delighted to say we have overcome that challenge, and you will all be able to buy an Aquacica shower head in shops very soon. This has been a significant success for Greener Globe.
When we came into LaunchBox, we had our minds set on the retailer market, whereas we now have plans in motion to access many other avenues which have significantly expanded our business.
From everything we do at Greener Globe we try to learn from it, whether it be a success or failure. At the beginning of the summer, we were spending lots of time ‘cold messaging’ people. We would scrape through LinkedIn, find everyone of interest and drop them a friendly message. We soon learned that no matter how nice your message is, the reply rate won’t be high. It was in LaunchBox that we learned the power of a ‘warm introduction’.
“Startup life will stand to you.”
Over the coming three months we have big plans. We have recently secured a new deal to roll out Aquacica, and we are also participating in the Climate KIC Accelerator programme. The next three months will probably be the biggest for Greener Globe. But then that tends to be right every three months. 
I would advise everyone to think about getting involved with or founding a

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/diary-of-a-student-entrepreneur-vol-5/ on thinkbusiness

Pointy – a startup success story

Pointy is an Irish invention that makes it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for in local stores all around the world.
In Dublin alone 15% of all stores use Pointy. The company is one of Ireland’s tech success stories, serving 7,000 stores across all 50 states in the US. The founders recently raised $12m to help accelerate their growth.
Here we talk to Mark Cummins, CEO and co-founder of Pointy about his career to date including his first startup, what it was like working for Google and why he left the search giant to start another business. 
We also ask him how to approach investors and raise money. 

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/mark-cummins-pointy-talks-to-stephen-conmy-thinkbusiness/ on
thinkbusiness

Judging the National Enterprise Town Awards 2018

The judging for the Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards for 2018 has started. Here is a list of the 92 towns, villages and city areas to be visited by the judges, and the dates and times the judging starts. 

County/City
Town Name
Date
9AM
2PM

Kilkenny
Kilkenny City
20/08/2018
x
 

Kilkenny
Piltown
20/08/2018
 
x

Kilkenny
Graiguenamanagh
21/08/2018
x
 

Kilkenny
Castlecomer
21/08/2018
 
x

Carlow
Ballon
22/08/2018
 
x

Carlow
Clonegal
23/08/2018
x
 

Carlow
Carlow
23/08/2018
 
x

Monaghan
Carrickmacross
23/08/2018
 
x

Carlow
Myshall
24/08/2018
x
 

Carlow
Bagnalstown
24/08/2018
 
x

Monaghan
Monaghan Town
24/08/2018
x
 

Monaghan
Clones
24/08/2018
 
x

Cork City
Ballymacoda
28/08/2018
x
 

Cork City
Midleton
28/08/2018
 
x

Dublin North
Balbriggan
28/08/2018
x
 

Dublin North
Skerries
28/08/2018
 
x

Cork City
Ballincollig
29/08/2018
x
 

Dublin North
Howth
29/08/2018
x
 

Dublin North
Mulhuddart
29/08/2018
 
x

Louth
Dundalk
29/08/2018
 
x

Louth
Blackrock
30/08/2018
x
 

Louth
Dunleer
30/08/2018
 
x

Longford
Lanesboro
04/09/2018
x
 

Westmeath
Mullingar
03/09/2018
 
x

Leitrim
Ballinamore
04/09/2018
x
 

Leitrim
Mohill
04/09/2018
 
x

Longford
Longford Town
05/10/2018
11am
 

Longford
Ballymahon
04/09/2018
 
x

Westmeath
Athlone
04/09/2018
x
 

Westmeath
Moate
04/09/2018
 
x

Offaly
Tullamore
05/09/2018
x
 

Offaly
Kilcormac
05/09/2018
 
x

Waterford
Kilmacthomas
07/09/2018
 
x

Mayo
Claremorris
10/09/2018
x
 

Mayo
Ballina
10/09/2018
 
x

Tipperary
Nenagh
10/09/2018
x
 

Tipperary
Thurles
10/09/2018
 
x

Clare
Shannon
11/09/2018
x
 

Clare
Scarriff/Tuamgreaney
11/09/2018
 
x

Mayo
Westport
11/09/2018
x
 

Mayo
Castlebar
11/09/2018
 
x

Tipperary
Clonmel
11/09/2018
x
 

Tipperary
Cashel
11/09/2018
 
x

Clare
Ennistymon
12/09/2018
x
 

Clare
Ennis
12/09/2018
 
x

Tipperary
Cloughjordan
12/09/2018
x
 

Dublin South
Clondalkin
14/09/2018
x
 

Dublin South
Tallaght
14/09/2018
 
x

Meath
Kells
17/09/2018
x
 

Meath
Trim
17/09/2018
 
x

Kildare
Kildare town
18/09/2018
x
 

Kildare
Sallins
18/09/2018
 
x

Laois
Mountmellick
20/09/2018
11am
 

Roscommon
Roscommon Town
20/09/2018
x
 

Roscommon
Elphin
20/09/2018
 
x

Sligo
Enniscrone
20/09/2018
 
x

Galway City
Galway City
21/09/2018
x
 

Sligo
Sligo Town
21/09/2018
x
 

Sligo
Cranmore Urban
21/09/2018
 
x

Cork County
Ballydehob
24/09/2018
x (11am)
 

Donegal
Buncrana
24/09/2018
x
 

Donegal
Letterkenny
24/09/2018
 
x

Cork County
Clonakilty
25/09/2018
x
 

Cork County
Kinsale
25/09/2018
 
x

Donegal
Dungloe
25/09/2018
x
 

Donegal
Donegal Town
25/09/2018
 
x

Wicklow
Arklow
25/09/2018
x
 

Wicklow
Bray
25/09/2018
 
x

Cork County
Mitchelstown
26/09/2018
x
 

Cork County
Mallow
26/09/2018
 
x

Galway County
Ballygar
26/09/2018
x
 

Galway County
Kinvara
26/09/2018
 
x

Wicklow
Roundwood
26/09/2018
x
 

Wicklow
Wicklow
26/09/2018
 
x

Galway County
Athenry
27/09/2018
x
 

Galway County
Connemara Carna
27/09/2018
 
x

Limerick
Newcastlewest
27/09/2018
 
x

Limerick
Adare
28/09/2018
x
 

Limerick
South Regeneration/Limerick City
28/09/2018
 
x

Kerry
Kenmare
01/10/2018
 
x

Wexford
Bree
01/10/2018
x
 

Wexford
Wexford
01/10/2018
 
x

Kerry
Ballybunion
02/10/2018
x
 

Kerry
Castleisland
02/10/2018
 
x

Wexford
New Ross
02/10/2018
x
 

Wexford
Gorey
02/10/2018
 
x

Dublin City
Liberties
04/10/2018
x
 

Dublin City
Drumcondra
04/10/2018
 
x

Dublin South
Dalkey
04/10/2018
x
 

Dublin South
Dunlaoghaire
04/10/2018
 
x

Dublin South
Sandyford
03/10/2018
 
x

 
For full details of the Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town awards please read the FAQs and the answers. 
 
There is a total prize fund of €157,000.
 
The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony taking place at The Lyrath Hotel, Kilkenny on November 28, 2018.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/judging-schedule-for-the-national-enterprise-town-awards-2018/ on
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