Conor O’Loughlin wins IBYE 2018

Conor O’Loughlin, the founder of Glofox, is Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) for 2018.
The winners of the IBYE competition for 2018 have been announced.
The overall winner, Conor O’Loughlin, landed a total investment of €40,000 for his business, Glofox.
Glofox was one of the first startups to secure a place in Bank of Ireland’s startlab New York in 2017.
The business, which allows both gym members and gym owners to access usage, payment and service information, now has over 1,000 customers spread across 23 countries.
O’Loughlin says he is setting up a base in New York as the United States is the company’s primary focus.
“Glofox was one of the first startups to secure a place in Bank of Ireland’s startlab New York in 2017.”
The other IBYE category winners for 2018 are Brendan Boland of Loci Orthopaedics who won Best Business Idea and Alan Hickey of WeBringg who won Best Startup Business.
The IBYE programme is run by the network of Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in Ireland. It received over 1,400 applicants in 2018 with an investment fund of €2 million. 185 entrants to IBYE secured investments of between €3,000 and €15,000 in 2018.
Pictured are (l-r): Conor O’Loughlin and Anthony Kelly, co-founders of Glofox.

This post was originally published here - on

How to grow a dairy farm in a sustainable way

An event is coming to Thurles on April 26 that will be of great interest to dairy farmers.
‘Dairying in Tipperary – opportunities and challenges’ is a free-to-attend event taking place at Mid-Tipp Mart, Thurles on Thursday 26th April at 7:30 pm.
Register now.
There is an optimistic view of dairy farming in Ireland. Many dairy farms are becoming large-scale businesses and need to be treated as such.
This event will examine how to grow a dairy farm in a sustainable way, the finance available to farmers, the opportunities within the sector and the challenges that may arise and how to prepare for them.
Speakers include Patrick Gowing, the specialist dairy advisor with the Teagasc Dairy expansion service; Sean Farrell, head of agriculture with Bank of Ireland; and Jack Kennedy, dairy editor of the Farmer’s Journal.
Optimistic about dairy
“We are seeing more development loan applications from customers looking to grow their dairy farms than from any other farming sector,” says Sean Farrell, head of agriculture, Bank of Ireland.
“Given the relative profitability of dairying, we expect this trend to continue and we want to play a big part in the growth of the sector.
“We see price volatility and weather events as some of the challenges farmers face when they are expanding. We want to encourage farmers to invest time developing a business plan that considers various future scenarios, be that a drop in milk price, or the impact of Brexit. Famers need to know how they can deal with these events.”  
The event is free to attend but registration is required. Register here.
Refreshments will be served.

This post was originally published here - on

Feeding the most expensive beef in the world

Gavin Dunne is a pioneer. He has created a new food from olive ‘waste’ for the Wagyu beef market, the most expensive beef in the world.
Olive oil is a vital component of the Mediterranean diet and perceived by many as a natural health-food product. However, the olive waste stream, produced as a by-product of manufacture, can cause some challenging environmental issues. In 2017, a creative Irish startup devised a way to convert this crop waste into a high-value animal feed, favoured by the €1 billion a year Wagyu beef market. CEO, Gavin Dunne of the Olive Feed Corporation, shares his intriguing, circular economy ambition.
“Waygu beef, supplemented with olive feed is intensely marbled with softer fat.”

Olive-fed beef
I came up with the idea in October 2016, while I was living in Crete, surrounded by millions of olive trees spread across valleys and mountain slopes. However, it was during a business trip to Japan, that I was first introduced to olive-fed beef. It was uniquely being produced in a tiny region, called the Sanuki Region. Some 100 years ago a small number of olive plots were planted there, and one local farmer had been using dried olives, as a supplementary feed for his Sanuki (Waygu) beef cattle. Drying the olives makes it a little more palatable for animal intake, but it’s not the best processing method for optimum digestibility by the animals.
Waygu beef, supplemented with olive feed is intensely marbled with softer fat and higher percentages of monounsaturated fats. In Japan, olive-fed Wagyu beef is now the most expensive beef in the world, and straight away I could see the commercial opportunity. I contacted my business partner and environmental scientist, Brian Dunne who has a farm in Edenderry and we decided to test and assess some of the olive feed out on his

This post was originally published here - on

DC Cahalane talks Republic of Work

On the first anniversary of Cork’s Republic of Work, Daniel Heaslip sat down with DC Cahalane, its founder and CEO to discuss innovation, startups, funding, the future of work and expansion plans.
The vision
The vision for this space began eight years ago, and many things influenced its design.
My dad was an architect, so I was always interested in space. When you looked at boring offices, boring things happened in them. If you compare a Google or Facebook office with a typical Irish corporate office, they are worlds apart. US tech firms drive huge productivity, and a lot of it is influenced by the work environment.
“We are industry agnostic and stage agnostic.”
I came home to Cork and had an idea to open a co-working space. I met Pat Phelan and joined Trustev and then went into Teamwork. At the same time, I was travelling a lot and engaging with tech startups around the world. I saw the spaces they were working in, and it reinforced my beliefs that a great workspace encourages innovation and productivity.
When we built Republic of Work, it was never a space just for technology companies, and it was never a place just for startups. We are industry agnostic and stage agnostic. We have everything from architects to food companies to health and beauty businesses. This space is less about scaling and more about innovating.

The importance of community
It is everything; it is the very core of how we market ourselves. Cork is not short on office space; if you are a business you have options, and you have the traditional providers.
We sell you the community first. It is easy to suspend your laptop off the floor or work from your kitchen table, but it is far more important to be around like-minded people. We never let anyone sign up

This post was originally published here - on

ActionPoint’s co-founders on how to thrive

From struggling dotcom graduates to globe-trotting entrepreneurs, the story of ActionPoint is worth hearing.
Hosted by Pat Carroll – the Bank of Ireland innovation community manager for Limerick and the Midwest – this StartupGrind featured local organic-grown success story, ActionPoint.
Co-founders David Jeffreys and John Savage shared their story from struggling dotcom graduates to leading Irish technology entrepreneurs.
Below are the video and the podcast of the full interview as well as the key takeaways (written) from the discussion.
INVITE: You are invited to attend the next StartupGrind in Limerick on April 19, 2018. The main speaker is Jason Cohen, the founder and CTO of WPEngine. This global technology company from Austin Texas choose Limerick to locate its European offices in Limerick’s city centre. Book here. 

Listen on Soundcloud.

Five great growth insights from the co-founders 
1. “Degrees and experience are useless if you can’t work and communicate with people.”
David and John are quick to point out that without the personality and skills to motivate and lead people, they wouldn’t have got the company this far.
2. “Keep the team happy, and you’ll keep your customers happy.”
Your team are often your company’s primary touch points; a motivated employee perpetuates a motivated organisation which creates a memorable customer experience.
3. “You need to align your head, heart and gut.”
David Jeffreys on the formula for recruitment success.
4. “Enjoyment and motivation are directly proportional.”
Staying motivated is about experiencing enjoyment in what you do; the trick is to find the intersection of what you enjoy doing, what you’re good at and what people will pay you for.
5. “Future industrial environments will be powered by Augmented Reality (AR).”
John Savage highlighted that ActionPoint is already starting to explore AR with existing multinational clients in manufacturing.
One practical application for HoloLens is in the area of predictive maintenance, which as the name suggests enables factory owners and operators

This post was originally published here - on

BizExpo is coming to CityWest

One of the most significant B2B events in Ireland, BizExpo is coming to CityWest on April 25.
One of the best business-to-business events will be held at The CityWest Hotel, Dublin, April 25, 2018.
BizExpo 2018 is more than a networking event; it allows business owners to connect with new and potential business customers. It is also a showcase for new and innovative business ideas from around Ireland. Businesses can meet new customers, sign deals and get inspiration from a host of useful speakers.

Over 1,000 people attended the previous event.
Barbara Gordon, the event owner and organiser, says, “Anyone who has a business should attend this event. As well as the business and networking opportunities, there is a host of great speakers including Greg Fry, who will explain how to make money from social media; Michelle Rudden who will talk about Facebook advertising; Alec Drew who will give insightful business development tips; Pat Slattery who will talk about business growth; and many more.
BizExpo 2018 is designed for SMEs and invites business owners to exhibit or attend. It costs just €195 to exhibit and is free to attend.
For full details, go to 

This post was originally published here - on

Talent nation – creative Ireland is thriving

From award-winning animation studios, industrial and graphic design agencies, photographers, illustrators, fashion and filmmakers, Ireland is seeing growth in the creative sector.
Despite cuts in funding and a lack of policies, Ireland exhibits a healthy environment for the creative sector. Design conference, OFFSET recently brought together the most dynamic Irish and international practitioners from these fields to discuss all things design.

Games with heart
Transforming our idea of a typical board game, Anita Murphy and Rory O’Connor of Hub Games, based in Belfast, have created games that help us tell stories and make us think about the world in new ways.
“We say our games have a heart because they offer more than entertainment,” said Anita, speaking at the conference. “We realised the power that play has to bring people together and explore narrative and creativity.”
Their game, Rory’s Story Cubes has sold over five million sets in 50 countries.
Touch Press, an Irish company that makes games and apps featuring some of the world’s best-loved children’s characters, such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Elmo, and Batman, also stressed the importance of making gaming a more meaningful experience.
“If you can pare back a story and create opportunities for any player or user of whatever age to empathise and influence things in their way, it’s much more powerful,” said Emmett O’Neill from Touch Press. “There are so many negative aspects of games apps. We are trying to make things that are more meaningful, especially for kids. We want to slow things down a bit and educate.”
“One of the most marginalised groups in our society today are young people.”
Designing liveable cities
Playing was an important theme at the conference with A Playful City, Ireland’s first not-for-profit focused on co-creating a more playful, engaging and inclusive city, speaking on the importance of designing with and for the community.
“One of the

This post was originally published here - on

Taking ‘farm to fork’ to a whole new level

From a humble start, two brothers built a farm, food and hotel business based on quality and provenance. 
Redmond Farm, situated in Craanford, North Wexford is a compelling farm-to-fork story. A business success created by two brothers, Paddy and Tommy Redmond, who left school in the 80s to train and work within farmyard and residential construction. Starting with a small acreage, Redmond Farm has grown over the years, into an award-winning, 300-acre beef and vegetable farming enterprise. And then there is the matter of the two four-star hotels.
The farm employs a closed-loop, feed-supply chain, using a combination of home-produced forage and locally-sourced grain. The farm specialises in providing, dry-aged Angus beef, along with seasonal daily-fresh produce. All of this produce is destined for the family’s two bustling hotels, the Ashdown and Amber Springs. Paddy and Tommy Redmond, who employ over 300 people in the North Wexford area. Here they talk about their business and their focus on quality at all cost.
“When we left school, we went straight into the construction business, building farmyard walls.”

Farmland and hotels
At home, we kept cattle and pigs, and our Mother always had some turkeys for the Christmas market, says Paddy Redmond.
When we left school, we went straight into the construction business, building farmyard walls, before moving onto one-off housing and subsequently developing large-scale residential sites. During that period, we bought our first piece of neighbouring farmland and as the years went by – we kept adding to this.
Our first foray into the residential market was when we purchased a site in Gorey and built 150 houses on it. Then In 2001, we noticed that Gorey lacked a four-star hotel, so we decided to build the Ashdown Hotel, on the remainder of the site. We also bought a 40-acre site on the Courtown road and decided to

This post was originally published here - on

The wonder woman of wellbeing

From a world champion hurdler to championing wellbeing, Derval O’Rourke is delivering real solutions to women to achieve greater health and happiness.
Derval was very savvy in her career trajectory. While competing as an athlete internationally and pushing herself to the limit, she also completed an MA in Business Management, something which allowed her to transition into business upon winding down her sporting career. She now promotes health and wellbeing through her bestselling cookbooks and most recently the online platform that promises to transform women’s lives in the areas of food, fitness and mindset.
“Upskill and identify gaps in your skill set and where you need to plug into other people.”
Make time count
“The platform is aimed at women between 30 and 50 years old,” explains Derval. “Women of this age group don’t tend to prioritise their health and wellness because they have jobs or kids. Women who reach out to me don’t know where to start regarding fitness. There is a whole market that doesn’t want to put up before and after pictures of them in their underwear. I want a platform for them that is accessible, relatable to their lives and is excellent value.”
Derval got the idea for her business when her friends began asking her to coach them to lose weight, but it turned out to be more about prioritising themselves and their time than it was about fitness.
“Women need to carve out just 30 or 40 minutes three times a week for themselves,” advises Derval. “It isn’t a lot of time, but it makes a massive difference to wellness. I want people to upskill for themselves instead of trying a diet or workout routine for 12 weeks to get into a bikini. It’s about lifelong wellness.”
“Go after the prize and don’t be afraid to say you want to earn

This post was originally published here - on

Kim Mackenzie – designing a new dialogue

IDI President Kim Mackenzie talks about the current gender imbalance in the design industry and why design matters. Interview by Lesley Tully.
The design industry prides itself on embracing uncertainty, challenging orthodoxies and using creativity to carve out a better world and yet recent research conducted by the Institute of Designers in Ireland (IDI) surfaces an alarming imbalance in gender diversity with a 25% female to 75% male divide across the Irish design industry.
IDI President Kim Mackenzie-Doyle talks about the purpose behind this movement and how redressing this balance can positively impact society, the economy and the education system.
“I was advised against joining the tech drawing class by teachers as I would have been a distraction being the only girl.”
Tell us a bit about your background and journey to become a designer?
From a young age, you could say that I was creative, the first spark of interest in product design happened when I was six. I took apart the family remote control (one of the first released, it put me out of a job being the youngest of the family, I got to change the channels), I did not trust that this object could control the TV without wires, so I had to find out more – reverse engineering at its finest.
In school I was advised against joining the tech drawing class by teachers as I would have been a distraction being the only girl, so was directed into art. I loved art and over 25 years later my school drawings are still on the wall in the school where I studied. At leaving cert stage, discussing my future with my parents my father stated ‘there is no money in design’ and recommended I take up a career in the sciences. Respecting his advice I started off my college journey studying

This post was originally published here - on