If you own an innovative SME, you can apply for very generous EU funding.
Innovative Irish SMEs can apply for EU funding of up to € 2.5 million (€5 million for health projects) to finance their “innovation activities”.
The money is from the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument.
Click here to apply.
19 Irish SMEs have landed the windfall
Three Dublin-based SMEs recently landed the available grant money.
Artomatix Limited. Project: ArtomatixSuite – A 3D content generation solution for digital artists.
Nuritas Ltd. Project: PeptiEUForce – PeptiEUForce: a game-changing ingredient for the pre-diabetic population.
SiriusXT Ltd. Project: SMILE – Synchrotron Miniaturization enabling innovative laboratory equipment in soft x-ray tomography.
This brings the total to 19 Irish firms who have received this cash windfall.
Apply for the next round of cash
If you think you have what it takes, you can apply now. The next cut-off for the SME instrument is 13 October 2016.
“The Horizon 2020 SME Instrument helps high-potential SMEs develop ground breaking ideas that are ready to face global markets,” says the EC.
In two years, since the instruments were launched, 19,320 proposals have been received and funded 1,443 projects for a total amount of €527 million.
READ: There are 80 government grants and supports for Irish SMEs.
This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/horizon-2020-eu-grant-money/ on
Before you start a business from home, you should consider a few important things.
A suitable home businesses
There is a wide range of businesses that you could run from the comfort of your own home. Here are seven examples:
Service business: This could utilise some of the equipment or materials you already have in your home. For example, you could use your car to start a delivery service. You could become a franchisee of a service company as well. You could fix things like bikes.
Desk-bound business: As long as you have a home computer and a decent broadband connection, it is quite possible to work from home. Your choices range from website design, IT support, and copywriting, among many others.
Consulting: If you have a lot of experience in a certain field, why not set yourself up as a consultant? The choices here are endless.
Trade: It is quite feasible for you to operate as a tradesman from home. Most of your work may be in different locations, so your base doesn’t have to be an office. Just make sure you have good transport options.
Fitness: Many personal trainers operate from their homes. Yoga and pilates businesses are also options to consider.
Childcare: Many childcare centres start at the home. If your house is big enough to accommodate infants, then it is certainly a business option to consider, but you need to be conscious of building your reputation. Also refer to the ‘regulations’ section for more information.
Food: It is realistic to operate a food business from your home, or indeed a food stall at farmers’ markets. See the ‘regulations’ section for more details.
Pros and cons of a home-based business
Establishing a business from home has a number of advantages, but also comes with disadvantages.
Save on costs: It is far cheaper to start a business from home, as
This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/start-a-home-business/ on
Can Co-Farm change the relationship between the farmer and the food retailer? Tommy Heffernan says farmers are adopting to digital solutions to save time, and to make money.
Tommy Heffernan isn’t what you’d call a typical Irish vet. As well as running a practice in Avondale, Co. Wicklow, he has co-launched Co-Farm, a networking website for farmers that he hopes will revolutionise the way they do business.
“Farmers are flocking towards social media,” says Heffernan. “Smartphones have changed everything. Sites like DoneDeal have made it quick and easy to find what you’re looking for. Previously, farmers would have to take a day away from the farm and visit various dealers. Now they just take out their phone and have instant access to a massive marketplace.”
Does this mean the stereotype of the traditional farmer being reluctant to change with the times and adapt new technologies is becoming redundant?
“Farmers will adapt to change where there’s an incentive, and in the case of going online, it comes down to two things; saving time and money”
A new frontier
Heffernan’s business partner Geoff Dooley is a farmer from Limerick. As is the case with many ideas, the light bulb moment came to the pair over a pint.
“We discussed the overload of technical information farmers have to try and digest from multiple sources, and the confusion this leads to,” explains Heffernan.
“We thought – wouldn’t it be great if there was a site where different stakeholders in the industry could log on, connect and get information direct from each other? That’s where the idea started.”
From there the idea grew from a kind of a LinkedIn for farmers to a full online food platform, linking not just farmers and agri-service providers, but also bringing together farm producers and consumers.
“We want to do for farming what AirBnB did for property rentals –
This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/co-farm-irish-food-farming/ on
Award winning entrepreneur Ray Rogers talks about starting and growing a successful company. ‘Too many business owners are great at their business but still fail because they don’t know how to keep their books organised.’
Surf Accounts is a cloud-based accounts and CRM system aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. You can access and update your accounts anytime, anywhere and on any device and working with your accountant becomes a seamless and real-time event.
There are some standout achievements for us to date. Surf Accounts was named Bank of Ireland Startup of the Year 2016. We have also won the ALPHA competition for Startups two years in a row, representing Ireland at the Collision Conference in Las Vegas and New Orleans.
And we have been awarded “ICAEW Accredited Software” status, one of only seven online financial products to have been accredited by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
There have been low moments. We once made a start on the product and realised after months of work that the look and feel would not fly so we went back to the drawing board, a large amount of cost and time we could have done without.
How do I cope with setbacks?
Dig deep and get things back on track. The creation of product, project or business will be bedevilled by delays, so expect them, try to anticipate as many as you can, and then you are only dealing with left-field stuff. Generally, left field stuff can be sorted.
“I am not a risk taker. Where something does have risk associated with it, I prefer it to be a risk that is within my control. ”
If I were to start again?
I’d get a great team from the outset and then get investment early into the project. We had to do it all on our own but sometimes
This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/surf-accounts-ray-rogers/ on
If your business idea has been slammed or rejected, take solace from the fact that many world-changing ideas were dismissed as non-runners.
1: “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get market share.”
The launch of the iPhone by Steve Jobs (pictured) signalled the dawn of a new era for mobile communications – the age of the smartphone. The iPhone, however, had some strong and influential critics before its release. One of its most famous detractors was the Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer. In 2007, Ballmer was adamant that there would be no place for an iPhone and stated, “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidised item.” Apple currently has the second largest market share in the smartphone industry with 14% and is currently valued at over $700 billion.
2: “The potential world market for copy machines is 5,000 at most.”
While it’s understandable to harbour doubt over certain ideas, how could anyone doubt the potential for a photocopier? “The potential world market for copy machines is 5,000 at most”. In 1979, IBM gave this piece of advice to the eventual founders of Xerox. They were of the opinion that there would be no demand for it and that they should avoid bringing one to market. The photocopier, as you know, is the cornerstone of any functioning office. In 2014, Xerox had revenues of almost $20 billion. It’s safe to assume that the world market for photocopiers is more than 5,000.
3: “The telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a form of communication.”
We often forget that there was a time before smartphones, and the ordinary landline telephone was the primary form of communication (apart from talking face-to-face of course). The man responsible for inventing the telephone was Alexander
This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/business-ideas-predictions/ on
Crowdfunding in Ireland may sound like a new trend. In fact, it has been around for centuries.
Crowdfunding is a traditional way for small businesses to raise money. In the past, crowdfunding was called the cooperative movement. Collective groups, such as community or interest-based groups, pooled subscribed funds to develop new ideas, products and distribution channels.
Today, it is by definition, “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.”
The Internet simply made crowdfunding available for more businesses and more investors.
What are some of the top crowdfunding sites?
There are crowdfunding platforms particular to the Irish market including: FundIt; SeedUps; iCrowdFund; iDonate.ie; and MoneyCrowd.
What are the risks?
According to Matheson, there is no legislation or regulations in Ireland specifically dealing with crowdfunding. It’s an unregulated industry.
What is the state of crowdfunding in Ireland and Europe?
The Current State of Crowdfunding, a new report by CrowdfundingHub, shows that in almost all European countries volumes are rising quickly, but large differences between countries remain.
“We are happy to see that more countries are now adopting legislations for the industry, and we expect crowdfunding volumes to increase even further in the coming years,” says Ronald Kleverlaan, CEO of CrowdfundingHub.
The UK has the most mature alternative finance industry when it comes to volume as well as the ecosystem.
In the United Kingdom, more than 10% of businesses are funded through alternative investment and this percentage is growing.
“Equity-based crowdfunding for SMEs has tremendous potential in Ireland, but the Central Bank needs to be supportive of the process,” says Paddy Coyne of iDonate.ie.
READ MORE: Simple ways to finance your business.
This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/crowdfunding-in-ireland/ on
If you want to know how to raise money and speak the language of investors, David Coallier is the guy to listen to.
Coallier, a self-made tech entrepreneur, is from Canada but now lives in Cork. He was the guest speaker at Startup Grind in Dublin on July 21, hosted by Google.
At the event, Coallier spoke openly and honestly about his entrepreneurial career to date, his many failures and his few significant successes. He also spoke frankly about how he talks to investors and why he is never afraid to turn an investor down if he doesn’t feel they are the right fit.
Speak the language of investors
As an angel investor himself (he invested in two successful Irish tech startups, Intercom and Trustev) he knows how to “speak the language of investors”.
He launched his latest company, Barricade.io, in October 2014 and within a few weeks had managed to raise €1.2 million from angels and venture capital funds.
Barricade.io, based in Cork where Coallier lives with his wife and daughter, is an early warning system that can tell businesses their platforms are about to be hacked. The product is aimed at SMEs around the globe. “The goal is to allow SMEs have online security at an affordable price. Barricade.io detects attacks and then tells users how to defend themselves.”
The company has the potential to become a significant global player as we move into the age of the Internet of Things.
‘Without passion you will fail’
The most important thing a founder should have is passion. “Without passion, you will struggle and ultimately fail,” says Coallier. “If I don’t see the passion in the founder and the team, I won’t invest,” he says.
Coallier also spoke openly about the mental strains founders and entrepreneurs experience when they launch new products and companies. “Sports stars have psychologists and mental strength coaches on
This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/david-coallier-startup-grind/ on
Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm. But its more than just a game; it could be a tool to drive sales for your small business.
Most savvy business owners know the value of Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat to promote their services, but they may know of the phenomenon that is Pokémon Go.
Since its launch on July 7, the virtual reality gaming app has already overtaken the likes of Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat in terms of daily usage by people. Nintendo’s share price has skyrocketed accordingly. The craze has taken hold in Ireland since its recent launch. But what relevance is any of this to Irish SMEs, and what benefits could a video gaming app possibly bring to your small business? The answer lies in the nature of your company, and your willingness to engage with the world of Pokestops and Pikachus.
What is Pokémon Go?
Pokémon Go is a free to play ‘augmented reality’ video game that iPhone and Android users can download onto their phones. It is also highly addictive. What sets Pokémon Go apart from other video games is that is uses the real world as its backdrop; users move through ordinary streets, parks, shops and so forth on the hunt for Pokémon – digital creatures visible only through the user’s smartphone. Pokémon Go players are out roaming the streets interacting with the outside world, and clever retailers are beginning to attract the players to their stores.
It’s important to understand that the game features two types of fixed locations; Pokestops (where players stock up on virtual supplies like potions) and Pokémon Gyms (where players battle their Pokémon against one another). These locations are often shops, coffee shops, and casual restaurants. Even if a business isn’t a designated Pokestop, there is probably one nearby and the players passing by this business on their way
This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/pokemon-lures-in-ireland/ on
Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm. But its more than just a game; it could be a tool to drive sales for your small business.
Most savvy business owners are probably aware by now of the benefits of using the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat to promote their services, but they may not have considered yet how to take advantage of the phenomenon that is Pokémon Go.
Since its launch on July 7, the virtual reality gaming app has already overtaken the likes of Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat in terms of daily usage by consumers and Nintendo’s share price has skyrocketed accordingly. The craze has taken hold in Ireland since its official launch here last weekend, and seems set to only grow in popularity. But what relevance is any of this to Irish SMEs, and what benefits could a video gaming app possibly bring to your business? The answer lies in the nature of your company, and your willingness to engage with the world of Pokestops and Pikachus.
What is Pokémon Go?
Pokémon Go is a free to play ‘augmented reality’ video game that iPhone and Android users can download onto their phones and is seemingly highly addictive. What sets Pokémon Go apart from other video games is that is uses the real world as its backdrop; users move through ordinary streets, parks, shops and so forth on the hunt for Pokémon- digital creatures visible only through the user’s smartphone. Where previously videogame addicts have been locked up in their rooms, with Pokémon Go players are out roaming the streets interacting with the outside world, and clever business people are finding ways to sell them their products.
It’s important to understand that the game features two types fixed locations; Pokestops (where players stock up on virtual supplies like potions) and Pokémon
This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/how-to-use-pokemon-go-for-business/ on
Irish farmers face many challenges and some opportunities. The Department of Agriculture has published its annual review and outlook for the rest of 2016.
The main Irish farming sectors will face many challenges for the rest of the year along with some opportunities. Below is a snapshot of what is covered in a full forecast published by the Department of Agriculture.
While this year will remain challenging for dairy farmers, the Department predicts, “the medium term outlook for dairy markets continues to be very bright, with growing global demand among fast-growing developing countries”.
More protein-focused diets are also expected to support prices in the years ahead.
For the rest of 2016, an EU oversupply of milk will continue to put pressure on milk prices.
Following price rises in the first half of 2016, the second half of the year is predicted to be harder for beef producer prices. On the export side, shipments to Spain and Italy are showing signs of recovery.
RELATED: Irish farmers can save money by banking online.
Sheep meat production in the EU is set to remain stable. New Zealand and Australian exports will tighten. The forecast is for an increase in global prices, suggests the Department.
The future of the pig sector remains challenging due to many factors. Rising feed and energy costs and threats from African swine fever are not helping matters. Indications are there will be a reduction in supply across the EU for the rest of 2016, says the Department.
The poultry sector remains stable and will continue to be solid for the rest of the year. However, rising feed prices will influence how much poultry farmers produce.
There will be a bigger EU harvest this year with a slight decrease in worldwide production.
Irish mushrooms are under pressure from Polish mushrooms in the key UK market. While the mushroom sector continues
This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/farming-in-ireland-2016/ on