Ulster Bank Fraud Seminar Reaches Omagh

Continuing with the Ahead for Business Programme and trying to help businesses get ahead in Tyrone, Ulster Bank held their latest Fraud Awareness Seminar in Silver Birch Hotel, Omagh. The objective of the seminar is to help businesses keep themselves safe, by understanding the threats from fraud and what measures they can take to counteract these risks.

Ulster Bank Fraud Seminar

Shauna Burns, Head of Mid Ulster & Fermanagh Business centre welcomed 50 local business people to the business suite of the hotel and introduced the first speaker Margaret Hunter, RBS Security & Resilience. Margaret gave an overview of trends that the bank are experiencing and discussed hints and tips on cheque and invoice fraud. Michelle Garrigan, Head of On line Operations was the second speaker and gave the audience a great feel for the sophistication of fraudsters and what the banks golden security rules are regarding bankline. With some surprising statistics for the audience:

  • 1m people are affected daily by cybercrime
  • 170,000 identities stolen each year
  • Online fraud costs the UK economy £27bn each year

Fight Against Fraud

After a series of questions and answers, Shauna Burns closed the seminar and recommended that everyone shared the information of the day to business colleagues, family and friend to help “the fight against fraud”.

The local business team who were also in attendance received very positive feedback from the audience who appreciated the event being held in Omagh;

  • “great speakers, good content and good length”
  • “Definitely something I need to consider more in my own business”
  • “Can we arrange another for all local solicitors?”
  • “excellent event, very informative & worthwhile”

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Ulster Bank helps STEM sector

The Northern Ireland Executive’s has recognised that the future success of the Northern Ireland economy will require increased numbers of skilled workers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) qualifications. A STEM business group was set up in 2013 to examine how businesses can inspire young people, male and female to consider careers in these sectors and help address the gender balance. The group comprises of companies and education centres such as QUB, UUJ, Norbrook, Schrader Electronics, All State, Citibank.

The STEM Sector

Karen Lawther and Shauna Burns from Ulster Bank were invited to speak at the Belfast STEM Employers Equality Networking in Malone House on 10th June, to discuss the topic of networking and how Ulster Bank uses its internal network, Women In Touch and its external network, BusinessWomenCan to help address the gender balance in the business community.

Shauna Burns, Ulster Bank’s Head of Mid Ulster and Fermanagh Business Centre told the members about Business Women Can which is a network to encourage and support female entrepreneurs. Karen Lawther, Ulster Bank’s Head of Markets NI spoke about Women in Touch which Ellvena Graham started in 2010. This network was featured as a good practice case study in the STEM Business subgroup’s report Addressing Gender Balance-Reaping the Gender Dividend in STEM. The aim of this internal network is to support women in managerial roles to network, share experiences, learn from each other and realise their potential.

The WIT network offers Ulster Bank employees the opportunity to develop and advance their careers, becoming involved in activities that challenge and inspire them.

Participants then discussed the benefits of networks and the speakers kindly shared their expertise in answering members’ questions.

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Sun Life Enterprise & Innovation Awards

Sun Life Financial has worked alongside Waterford Institute of Technology to promote enterprise and innovation among Computing students and this was never more evident than at the fourth annual Sun Life Enterprise & Innovation Awards.

Two outstanding students picked up the annual awards. The Innovation Award for a project that demonstrated uniqueness went to Sophie Renshaw from Charleville, Co Cork for her project ‘Deploying Openstack on Small Scale Architecture’.

The Enterprise Award for a project that demonstrated commercial potential went to Samuel Haycock from Clonmel, Co Tipperary for his QRLang project, allowing for complete games to be coded into a QR code.

Competition for the two awards was fierce with 20 projects submitted from a pool of final year honours undergraduate projects. Ten finalists invited to showcase their projects at an exhibition at Sun Life’s newly refurbished office in Waterford.

Following the exhibition, David Healy, Senior Vice President Client and Technology Services, SLF, United States, presented Sophie and Samuel each with a prize of €1,000.

Commenting at the ceremony, David Healy said, “The level of innovation and application of technology I have seen here today is outstanding and it’s only through innovation and idea generation that the global economy will continue to grow. It is really important for Sun Life to maintain and develop our links w  ith colleges such as WIT. I would like to congratulate WIT for the quality of students and projects we have seen here today and reiterate our commitment to nurture this type of innovation at the Institute. I’m looking forward to being part of this event again next year.”

Professor Willie Donnelly, President of WIT and founder of the globally renowned ICT research centre TSSG congratulated Sun Life on its courageous decision to set up in Waterford 16 years ago which has had immeasurable benefits for the city and the wider south east.

Prof Donnelly went on to say that “the institute and Sun Life have forged a deep relationship founded on strong synergies and mutual goals. Our two organisations have collaborated on multiple levels over the years at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. The Masters in Communications developed collectively by WIT and Sun Life defines the industry-academic collaboration at the heart of what a technological university is about. At the centre of the programme is the concept of academic responsiveness building on the institute’s excellence in teaching and research to deliver regional economic impact.”

Karen Burns, General Manager Sun Life Waterford remarked on the standard and quality of the projects as ‘outstanding’.

Outside of these awards, Sun Life has a long standing relationship with the institute with 60% of the workforce having studied on undergraduate or postgraduate courses at some point in their career.

The successful finalists were: Samuel Haycock, Sophie Renshaw, Tony Finn, Stephen Long, Jamie Hegarty, David Ryan, Jamie Moore, Daniel Treyvaud, Eamonn Ryan and Seán Bray.

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Calling all Innovators & Entrepreneurs, we need your help & your green VOTE !!

As with any Irish technology company, we all suffer unique challenges when growing business internationally. As a country we have a small population so we struggle when trying to make as much noise as our International competitors. Even places we assume are tiny states such as Haiti & Togo have twice and three times our population.

Hence we need your help…

One of our company’s, Surface Power HONE which has developed a revolutionary “daylight” powered Nano-heat engine technology is short-listed (final 18 was judged by experts) for the 2Degrees Champions Award –  “Innovation of the Year” which is the world’s leading collaboration platform and service for sustainable business with over 46,500 members from 177 countries. https://www.2degreesnetwork.com/

Surface Power HONE has nearly 7,000 installations of this patented technology over 8 countries to date and it has been kept fairly secretive until recently. The technology was field tested in the West of Ireland & New Zealand as the daylight levels are some of the lowest in the OECD. In short, it replaces the use of oil and gas for heating and cooling with free daylight. Have a look at LIVE customers on our website such as the UK National Health Service running their hospital’s central heating on free “daylight” (sounds mad but true !!)

The next phase of the 2Degrees “Innovation of the Year Awards” is a voting stage which will reduce the final 18 to 5 for the big awards ceremony and we need your help and your vote. 

Although already in the short-list of 18, we are the only Irish Technology company in this shortlist and are up against huge players such as Nestle, General Motors & B&Q.

You can vote for us by clicking the link below to get us into the final 5 and we thank you in advance for that vote. Be sure to tweet it afterwards using the link so we can personally send you a thank you tweet. Go raibh maith agat as do chabhair.

Best Regards, John Quinn, CEO. (Twitter – @johnquinn_irl )

Read our story and VOTE from below.


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Event: Cork Regional Briefing for the Startup Gathering 2015

Startup Ireland & Cork innovates invites you to attend a briefing session & discussion forum on the Startup Gathering 2015 #SG2015 – Start, Scale, Succeed from Ireland.


Mission of this event is to make Ireland a global startup hub by 2020 by maximising Ireland’s entrepreneurial talent pipeline and the clusters that accelerate them.


Vision of the Startup Gathering 2015 is that international scale up companies choose the cities of Ireland as their location of choice based on the industry strengths present in each city and to have the information, contacts and supports to accelerate their plans. These scale-ups will in turn have positive spill-over benefits to indigenous startups.


The 2015 Startup Gathering is an inaugural national expo showcasing Ireland’s startup sector both nationally and internationally across five industries in five cities during five days from October 5th – 10th next. To hear more about what is proposed and to get involved please join us on 27 April. Please RSVP to hello@corkinnovates.com

Date: Monday 27 April
Time: 3.00 pm – 5.30 pm
Location: Convention Centre, Silver Springs Moran Hotel, Cork
Room: Tara Suite
Access: Enter the main hotel entrance, take the road on the left and follow the road to the back of the hotel right to the front door of the Convention Centre.
Parking: Available behind the centreThe Startup Ireland Partnership is not-for-profit alliance of key public and private sector stakeholders dedicated to the goal of making Ireland a global startup hub by 2020.

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