Littlepal aims to reduce child farm accidents

With over 20 child deaths on farms across Ireland in the last ten years and many more injured, Littlepal hopes to be the solution to such tragedies. Co-founder Eugene Beatty speaks to ThinkBusiness about his startup.
In the beginning
Dymphna (co-founder) and I both work for the same organisation and have crossed paths a number of times. Last year we were having a coffee and were discussing a recent farm fatality involving a child. As parents, we were saddened and could only imagine the pain suffered by the child’s family. During our conversation, we both wondered if there was some sort of device that would alert the driver of a tractor to a child nearby. We discovered that although there had been attempts to develop a warning system, they had been unsuccessful for various reasons.
“The device is attached to the windscreen of a tractor and is plugged into the cigar lighter.”
Engineering a solution
I have been involved in various technological projects in work and had an idea that we could develop an alert system that would work and be viable. We met with experts in the engineering field and with a professor from NUIG. He has been a great help to us and has guided us to a specialist company who would go on to produce our first early stage prototype.
“Our product can prevent death and injury.”
How it works
The device is attached to the windscreen of a tractor and is plugged into the cigar lighter. The child wears a ‘trigger’ which can be a wristband or clasp. Once the wearer comes within range of the receiver, the device flashes and emits a warning sound alerting the driver to the presence of a child or vulnerable person. The device is portable which enables the driver to move it from the tractor to a jeep or digger.

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Call for over 50s to build a business

Are you over 50 and want to build a business? Then this programme is for you. 
A programme to help people age 50+ develop their business ideas has opened for applications. The Ingenuity Build Your Own Business programme gives people the skills required to plan, start and grow a business. 
The programme is led by ISAX and run in collaboration with the Local Enterprise Offices (LEO) and supported by Bank of Ireland.
Over 150 people have taken part in the Ingenuity Programme to date. The programme is tailored for people over-50. It is different to many other startup programmes as it gives people a broader range of modules with more time given to implementing the teachings.  
What else is on offer? 
Graduates of the programme will have the support of an Alumni Club and the course also acts as a gateway to the ISAX Smart Ageing Innovation Hub. These are co-working spaces available in both Dublin and Limerick for graduates of the ISAX Ingenuity Programme. 
“It’s a myth that starting a business is only for young people.”
When and where does it start? 
In Dublin, the programme will start on the 10th of April, running for two evenings per week in the Guinness Enterprise Centre until the 31st of May.
This year, the programme will run for the first time in Cork, kicking off on the 18th of April and running until the 6th of June.
An information evening for anyone interested in enrolling in the programme in Cork will take place in the Bank of Ireland Workbench on Patricks Street, Cork, on Monday the 12th of March from 5 pm – 7 pm. 
Startups are not just for millennials
“Ireland’s population is ageing and today it’s a myth that starting a business is only for young people. People age 50+ often have greater industry knowledge and established professional networks to help them start a business,” says Anne Connolly, CEO

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A device that spots the risk of heart attack

After losing a close friend due to a heart attack in 2016, Kaushik Shanmugam set about creating a device that could potentially save others from suffering the same fate, and so, he created Lacidem. 
What is Lacidem?
Lacidem is wearable based healthcare company that aims at predicting abnormalities in cardiac patients, even before the symptoms occur using our pattern recognition algorithm which is integrated with our non-invasive wireless wearable patch, that can monitor all critical signs in real time, with maximum clinical accuracy.
Why did you create it?
A friend of mine passed away two years ago due to a heart attack. But the real reason was due to delayed medical attention. It was found that he suffered a cardiac condition previously but was never diagnosed. With further research, the stats were shocking with 40% of the patients needed rehospitalisation within six months after treatment, out of which 26% died. We understood the major reason is lack of awareness of one’s health status and that’s the reason for creating Lacidem.
“Our device can monitor all critical signs in real time, with maximum clinical accuracy.”
What is your background?
I have a Master’s Degree in entrepreneurship and computer science from University College Cork and I have previously founded a startup that helped architects and designers showcase their portfolio online and helped consumers to find their perfect architect or designer.

How difficult is it to create a medical product?
In general, there are many regulations to scale a medical product and I think that gives you the upside as there will be less competition and a significant problem to solve. I believe my product will bring a change in someone’s life and that’s what I consider success. We do not fall under a medical device company as we don’t develop implants or any form of device that provides diagnostics or

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Briony Somers – an imaginative scope

Briony Somers is the co-founder and editor in chief of FRANC magazine. Here she discusses her influences, running a business with ethical ambitions and the shades of inequality in the startup scene.
If you ask Briony Somers what she does, she will say: ‘I run a fashion magazine.’ However, FRANC, the first vertical in a growing range of products in the FRANC stable, is not a typical fashion magazine. Somers, herself, explains that FRANC was created because she doesn’t read fashion magazines and felt there was ‘a world full of people’ who probably didn’t read fashion magazines.
Born in England, Somers moved to Ireland at age 10 and grew up in Durrus, West Cork. Her mother Carmel, a chef, established the Good Things Café and cooking school in the town, a background that gave Briony an appreciation for starting and building a business with ‘things and objects that were available at the time’.
Somers doesn’t use the typical language of a founder in their early 20s. Ideas and threads of thought weave around the subjects under discussion. There are no hard answers, no buzzwords or talk about demographic target markets, disruption or innovation. Somers is, however, very sure about the direction she wants to steer her business.
“People who ‘reject you’ are often the people you shouldn’t work with. You could say it’s a filtering process.”
When you pick up a copy of FRANC it feels like an expression, a mood, much as it is a publication. It was started on Somer’s belief that there is a growing tribe of young women who value quality and permanence over the fleeting ‘information snacks’ served up by social media apps.
In a world so defined by two-dimensional ‘insta-images’ slipping fast across tiny screens, FRANC is a stark expression of the senses – it exhales design, craft, writing, photography, and quiet contemplation.
Somers has an ambition, a business model, and

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How Ireland’s biggest maternity magazine started

Mums and Tots magazine was started seven years ago and was the first magazine of its type. It is now a leader in its field. Here we speak with founder Roberta Von Meding. 
Why did you start Mums and Tots magazine?
Mums and Tots started when my first daughter was one year old. Throughout pregnancy and the first year as a mum, I bought different magazines for information and guidance and found everything lacking. My pregnancy was not glamorous like the models I saw on the magazine covers. I felt like there was a gap in the market for something a little more real and community orientated that the reader could feel akin to. So we spent about six months in total on the business plan before the magazine launched.
How many people do you employ now?
Not many. We are a family business. We employ a designer and have regular paid contributing writers. 
“I felt like there was a gap in the market for something a little more real and community orientated that the reader could feel akin to.”
What tips would you give someone wanting to launch a magazine in Ireland today?
Know your audience. Make sure the market is not over saturated with similar offerings and lastly, make sure you do your research. 
What content works best in the magazine?
A mix of things; real mum stories on whatever topic we are covering whether it is water births or someone who has twins or triplets. We make sure to have plenty of light-hearted articles, trend pages for kids, expectant mums, beauty products we love. A little bit of everything really.
“My pregnancy was not glamorous like the models I saw on the magazine covers.”
With the shift towards online media, how do you keep Mums and Tots magazine relevant in today’s market? 
They said print was dead over 10 years ago, with the advent of the E-Book and smartphones with Wi-Fi access. But in

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Five startups to watch in the West

Ireland’s west coast has become a hub for a number of Ireland’s fastest growing startups. Here are five companies working in Startlab Galway worth keeping an eye out for.  
Amicitia was founded in 2015 and is a not-for-profit social enterprise providing connected devices to support the elderly, disabled and those with long-term health conditions. Profits from the sale of their products and services are redistributed to support community development initiatives. The problems facing towns and villages are manifold. For example, 42% of those aged 65 and older live in rural areas in Ireland, social isolation and loneliness are prevalent due to outward migration and the pace of technological change leaving generations behind. This increasingly ageing and disabled population are confronted with the challenge of finding adequate care in later life.
The social business model brings together community and technology to create data-rich civic participation networks that promote safety, health and wellbeing. The home is protected by a range of sensors linked to a social hub in the heart of the community which empowers people of all ages to spend time and coordinate care together. This approach builds resilient communities by anchoring jobs locally and expanding the provision of social services to support the most socially disadvantaged groups.
Kollabro is a client communication and task management software that instantly saves time and money for digital and creative businesses though clear client communication. The company was formed in 2016 and provides an effective time saving solution that keeps projects progressing and enables payments, approvals and sign off to be received in time which in turn saves time and money for consultants and their clients. Kollabro eliminates the need for phone calls, emails and meetings during a project by having all the project communication in one place.
Frankli is a HR software product designed to provide management

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Five female entrepreneurs who moved to Ireland

Moving to another country to start a business can be very daunting. Here, five women who moved to Ireland and successfully started their own business, share their experiences.  

Leslie Maliepaard
Leslie is the founder of Fortrino Ltd., a boutique investment office based in Dublin. Fortrino invests and supports entrepreneurs in high potential startups across Europe. The company is “sector agnostic and focuses on IoT technologies in the MedTech, AgriTech, cybersecurity and InduTech industries”. Leslie moved to Dublin from South Africa in March 2016 and like every overseas move, it was daunting and she doubted if she was making the right decision
“I find Ireland a very helpful and friendly country. It’s a lot easier to do business here than in South Africa. You have to get through your first year before you really find your feet. I think once you survey and learn the ins and outs of the startup scene, you will find that there is a lot of support from government, ecosystem partners, community and individuals in Ireland.”
“After surveying the Irish and European landscape, I made a decision to follow my passions around helping IoT startups that concentrate on discovering solutions that solve critical problems the world is facing. Once again the sectors we concentrate on are health and environmental sciences and our aim is to help accelerate new discoveries and innovations for the benefit of improving environmental and human health globally.”

Ashlee Chin
Ashlee is the chief operations officer of K.C Consulting, a specialist Asian marketing and channel development agency. Ashlee helps companies of all sizes to plan and implement their Asian marketing projects by assessing new Asian markets and improving their Asian marketing presence. She is also the head of events for the Irish Chinese Society Galway, a non-profit organisation in the West of Ireland.
Following the introduction of the One

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Enter the National Startup Awards 2018

The National Startup Awards, powered by Bank of Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, is open for entries and has a €15,000 prize fund.
The call is going out to startups all over Ireland. The National Startup Awards is open for entries with new categories and a total prize fund of €15,000.
The overall winner will walk away with a prize of €10,000, and the best early-stage startup will receive €5,000 to develop their businesses.
The competition is open to businesses across all sectors which have been operational for up to five years.
There are three key stages to the competition with qualifying entries first shortlisted by region and then nationally.
To enter or nominate someone for a National Startup Award visit and submit your application by Thursday, March 22.
“Entrepreneurship is fundamental to the national and regional economy and job creation, and I encourage ambitious startups to submit their applications in the coming weeks,” says Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland.
“As Ireland’s leading bank for business, we have worked with startups at all stages of growth, and we continue to be inspired by the women and men who are building, creating and innovating for the future. We look forward to supporting this year’s entries from young companies that are making a difference,” says David Tighe, head of Open Enterprise and Innovation at Bank of Ireland.
Entry is free and is open to sole traders, partnerships and companies that have been set up in Ireland and that are in business for five years or less. The judging committee will comprise of representatives from Bank of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland with a mix of leading Irish entrepreneurs. The regional finals will take place during April with the national awards taking place in Dublin on Thursday, May 17, 2018.
The National Startup Awards 2018 categories
1. Emerging tech startup
2. Fintech startup

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Good as Gold

Lauren Higgs, co-founder of Good as Gold, talks about starting, running and growing a business. 
My background is in digital media. I spent five years at DMG Media working in my later years as head of ad operations for MailOnline Ireland and Danielle (pictured right) worked for a variety of startups including Offset when it was established in 2010. Her background is in design for screen and user experience design. She worked as head of design in an app development house, as well as more recently teaching and lecturing Design for Screen in IADT for the last two and half years. When we started ‘Good as Gold’ back in 2015, it was beneficial for us to have both the corporate and startup experience.
We’ve been Good as Gold for the past two and a bit years – moving into a much broader range of digital services combining digital design with digital strategy.
The great thing about digital is that at any one time we can be working on a cross-section of projects, from beauty, tourism and food to software and tech. Right now, we’re working with some great established brands like Showtime Analytics, Fetch, CA Design, Crypto Coast and some exciting new businesses. Our projects entail anything and everything digital related including branding, website creation, content strategy and social media strategy.
“We collaborate a lot in the studio, coming together to formulate content strategies and wireframes.”
A typical day
A typical day for us begins at our studio in Killincarrig, Greystones. We have a dog flap as there are three canine visitors (Howard, Walter and Noel) who clock in when we arrive. We have a team catch up outlining goals and tasks for the day. Due to the nature of our business, a lot of client communication can be done online or over the phone,

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