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
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
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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
thinkbusiness

How to run a boutique hotel in Ireland

John Ryan, the owner of the Pembroke hotel in Kilkenny, delivers a great guide on how to start and run a boutique hotel. 
In 2009, businessman and quantity surveyor, John Ryan took back the reins of his hotel property, the Pembroke Kilkenny, located in the heart of the medieval city of Kilkenny. In the midst of the recession and using an innovative style of management, he outlines how he has helped transform the property into one of the leading boutique hotels in the South East of Ireland.

How are you different?
Boutique doesn’t necessarily mean small, but it is a niche in many respects. It’s somewhere you should find a superior standard of service, where the personal touch and customer service are pronounced and quite tangible. The Pembroke is a hotel that listens intently to its customers, because really listening to feedback, whether positive or negative, provides excellent learning and insight.
“I decided to take back direct control of the hotel.”
Building the hotel
The property had been a garage-site, formerly known as Stakelums, which had been vacant for many years – and I could see that the location had significant potential for a quality hotel from the first-hand experience, project-managing a large number of hotels across the country. In 2004, I was fortunate to end up buying the property, and the Pembroke Kilkenny now stands on the site where the Stakelums garage used to be located.
At that stage, as managing partner, I was heavily involved in professional services within the Nolan Ryan Partnership, one of the leading practices in the country, which we went on to sell in 2005. During this period, I built the hotel and leased it out to a hotel operator. In 2009, during the early stages of the recession, I decided to take back direct control of the hotel because of market

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/pembroke-hotel-kilkenny-john-ryan/ on
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10 habits for highly effective networking

When it comes to creating strong connections, networking is most effective when online and offline activities are combined.
Social postings can help build our profiles, but it can also be difficult to be ‘heard above the noise’ of the millions of daily online posts.
Some years ago I helped build and grow a global online network. To achieve this I used Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and email marketing. However, I discovered when physically launching the network in New York and London, that ‘on the ground’ networking was as important as the online activity.
Each of us has a combination of strong and weak connections within our networks. We all need to work at improving our networking skills. Here are some tips to help nurture your own business network.
Harry, meet Sally
As appropriate, make introductions between your connections. Ideally you should seek the permission of both parties. We all remember those people who made introductions for us which proved beneficial to our businesses.
Pay it forward
Reach out to share information that may help your contacts. It’s good to ‘pay it forward’ and not to be always looking for something for ourselves in return. This attitude has been a key component in the success of Silicon Valley’s start-up ethos.
Give due credit
Engage with your online connections directly (e.g. by congratulating them on new career roles.) This also gives you a chance to update them on your current situation and explore possible synergies that may exist between you.
Ask to get
The old adage is true: if you don’t ask you don’t get. Use the knowledge and influence of your network, by asking for help when you need it. Most people are glad to help, if they can. It is equally good to engage and offer your help to others. After all, what’s the point in building networks if we don’t help

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/10-habits-for-highly-effective-networking/ on
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The startup trying to unearth Ireland’s next sporting superstars

KPOS Sports Management is a startup sports agency set up by four solicitors who believe they can offer athletes unparalleled supports which will help their career progression. Co-founder Stephen Kirwan talks to ThinkBusiness about his vision.
What is KPOS Sports Management?
KPOS Sports Management is a one-stop shop for financial, commercial and legal solutions for individual athletes and sports clubs. We provide financial advice to young athletes who want to play professional sports and we also work with clubs in those areas on an advisory basis.
Why was the company started?
There are four directors on the board and we are all fully qualified solicitors and we feel spotted a gap in the legal market in terms of offering advice on sports law. We’re all really passionate about sport, particularly Irish sport, and when we did the market research we believed there was a void that needed to be filled. There are some really good negotiators out there who deal solely with contracts, but there are very few people who can deal with that along with sorting out visas, financial advice and source commercial deals all under the one roof. By offering all these services together, we can keep our overheads down and not have to outsource different things. So we found that our competitors in the market offer a much narrower product. Also we Brexit coming up, we believe it’s going to offer a fantastic opportunity for Irish athletes.
Is it difficult getting athletes in Ireland on board with what you are trying to do?
The Irish sports market is somewhat stagnant at the moment. When you break it down, there are hundreds of kids moving over to the UK every year to play sports. So we see the UK as one of our primary markets, along with the rest of the continent and the US.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/the-startup-trying-to-unearth-irelands-next-sporting-superstars/ on
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A Fitbit for farm animals

Richard Hobson set out to build an inexpensive tag to monitor the key performance indicators of farm animals, for the one billion people, who rely on livestock, for their livelihood around the world. 
In 2015, Hobson travelled from Dublin to Eagle Labs in Cambridge to access funds and developed an initial prototype. Here he tells the story behind his ‘Fitbit for farm animals’ vision and the groundwork in opening up new global markets for tagging and tracking, from cashmere goats in China to wild stock conservation of rhino and buffalo in South Africa.
How are you different for the other monitors on the market?
We offer a smart device that helps you to monitor farm profitability, and because of its intelligent design, we don’t need to charge the earth for it. It’s also the world’s first tag that can be used on any animal, making it both flexible and cost-effective. Herdsy’s primary target market is the (non-dairy) dry stock farm which is most in need of affordable digitisation, as current ag-tech is proving too expensive and too complicated for the needs of these farmers.
Herdsy is a unique technology as it only requires a small number of tags (from two to four tags, depending on herd size) to extrapolate the health of an entire herd, radically cutting down the cost of ag-tech, which means that it’s 95% as good as tagging every animal but 98% cheaper. The first Herdsy collar combines a mix of smart sensors featuring GPS, a 3D-accelerometer, temperature sensors, barometric pressure, heart and pulse monitors and body mass measures.
We aim to help the farmer optimise profitability by using our technology to monitor his herd or flock continuously and provide alerts and updates on lameness, weight gain, location mapping and even informing the farmer if a dog is chasing his sheep.
“We have

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/richard-hobson-herdsy-a-fitbit-for-farm-animals/ on
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CitySwifter signs major UK deal

The Irish data analytics firm CitySwifter has announced a significant partnership with Reading Buses in the UK.
The Reading Buses chief executive officer, Martijn Gilbert, has described the deal as “groundbreaking”.
CitySwifter specialises in helping local bus networks run more efficiently through the use of predictive analytics and big data.
“We’re moving into a new world where the public transport profession is starting to understand the power of its data,” says Gilbert (pictured left).
“The work of CitySwifter is right at the heart of this and is, in my opinion, one of the first credible signs of us being able to do something that will truly help revolutionise bus networks in a digital world.”
The rise of CitySwifter
CitySwifter is a data analytics business on the move. Last year it won a place on the prestigious Intelligent Mobility (IM) accelerator, a partnership between Transport Systems Catapult and Wayra UK. 
As a startup, it was one of the teams selected for Bank of Ireland’s second incubator programme in the Innovation Lab in Galway. The firm has also been chosen to join Bank of Ireland’s New York Innovation Lab programme for 2018.
Making public transport better
Explaining how CitySwifter helps public transport buses run better, CEO, Brian O’Rourke (pictured right) says, “Bus scheduling is an art, but now for the first time, we can combine schedulers’ expert knowledge with advancements in data science and technology.”
O’Rourke says it is now time for public transport vehicles like city buses to take full advantage of the power of data analytics. “This partnership with Reading Buses is a big step toward empowering traditional buses to thrive in a data-driven world.”
For more about CitySwifter go here.
For more about Bank of Ireland’s Innovation Lab in New York, read this.
 

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/cityswifter-expands-in-the-uk-with-major-deal-in-reading/ on
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