UPRISE has enjoyable Irish debut at the RDS

The startup ‘festival’ UPRISE made its first appearance in Dublin and with some success.
The winner of the first UPRISE to take part in Ireland was ‘adult sweet maker’ Smith & Sinclair, thanks to the pitch battle skills and vibrant personality of founder Melanie Goldsmith.
Unlike other pitch competitions – that nearly all seem to employ the predictable and dull ‘Dragon’s Den’ format – UPRISE relies on the (rather ruthless) audience to vote for the winners and losers. 
Six international teams: KinoSol, Fibregel Apparel, Timeular, Smith & Sinclair, My GiveBox; and six teams from Ireland: AddGoals, Parkpnp, Dashcabs, Wellnice Pops, StayPal, Cyc-lok and CyberSmarties, took part in the various two-minute pitch battles that [eventually] left one battle hardened startup standing victorious. 

Melanie Goldsmith (pictured centre stage) emerged as the deserved winner. Not because her company idea or product were the best in the room, but because she was the best at pitching her idea and her positive, can-do, never fail attitude won over the jubilant Dublin audience. 
As for the UPRISE event, there were also some very interesting startups exhibiting and ‘break out’ educational workshops thanks to the likes of a key sponsor, Google.
Dublin City Council and Bank of Ireland were the other two key supporters of the event. UPRISE will return to Dublin in November 2017. Founder, Limerick native Paul O’Connell, should take a bow. UPRISE is a welcome addition to the startup event and competition space in Ireland. Its enjoyable ‘personality’ shines through. 

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/uprise-in-ireland-dublin/ on thinkbusiness

UPRISE is coming to Dublin

Startup festival UPRISE is coming to Dublin. The event involves Irish firms in ‘pitch battle’ with international startups. Who will win?
Dublin will play host to Europe’s biggest tech festival when UPRISE comes to the RDS.
Taking place from 9 am – 6.30 pm on Thursday, October 20, the festival will cater for over 2,000 attendees and boasts a variety of attractions. 
People first
What distinguishes UPRISE from similar tech gatherings is how it puts people at the centre of the event. Networking and conversation between startups come first while the technology comes second, with buskers, DJs, games and other entertainment, as well as practical workshops and interactive panels. 
150 startups will attend the event, while panellists will include people from Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Salesforce and more. 

Pitch Battle
A centrepiece of the day will be the Pitch Battle, which will pit six Irish startups against six international startups, with the live audience choosing the winner. 
The Dublin City Local Enterprise Office has put up a prize of €5,000 for the company that most impresses people on the day.  
“We are supporting the UPRISE Festival 2016. The move will no doubt showcase the success of Dublin as a hotbed of activity and support for emerging businesses. The doors of the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Dublin City are always open to those thinking of starting their own business or to those already in business but in need of extra support,” says Dublin City Council’s Greg Swift. 
READ MORE: Did you know there are over 80 different Government supports for Irish startups and small businesses, including grant money?  

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/uprise-dublin-rds/ on thinkbusiness

New food business incubator in Cork

A new food incubator in Cork aims to position the region as a national player in Ireland’s agri-economy.
Food businesses in Cork have a new ‘incubation’ facility available to them courtesy of the Cork County Council.
Cork Incubator Kitchens offers food startups and existing food businesses access to a fully equipped kitchen on a pay-as-you-go basis of just €15 per hour. 
The CIK is aimed at food entrepreneurs looking to develop and market-test their food products before investing in their own kitchen equipment.
Brand new and fully equipped
The incubation space was opened this week by Mayor of Cork, County Cllr Seamus McGrath. He says, “Cork is a vibrant and leading player in the national food and drinks sector. With facilities like the Cork Incubator Kitchens and the support infrastructure in the region, Cork is ideally positioned to be a leader in Ireland’s agri-economy.”
Located in Carrigaline Industrial Estate, the bakery and kitchens are designed to meet the highest health and food safety regulations and boast a broad range of equipment including refrigerators, blast chillers, fogging machines, tilting bratt pan, vacuum packers, sealing machines and Zanolli deck ovens.
Networking opportunities
As well as offering food entrepreneurs kitchen facilities, the incubator will also provide networking and support provided by the Food Safety Company, who will manage the day-to-day running of the space.
The kitchen has already attracted some clients, including A Touch of Magic which is using it to help expand its cake and confectionary business, and Athula Fusion Foods which is developing a range of sauces.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/start-a-food-business-in-cork/ on thinkbusiness

The 12 finalists of Spark of Genius

Some of Ireland’s brightest tech startups are in with the chance of winning €25,000 at this year’s Web Summit in Lisbon. 
The prize is part of the ESB’s Spark of Genius competition, which has currently narrowed the finalists to a field of 12. Only three, however, will be selected to go to Lisbon and compete for the cash prize.
Narrowing the field 
The 12 semi-finalists will be judged on their businesses’ originally, development so far, and growth prospects. 
“It’s a great opportunity for startups, and it shows how thriving the Irish tech scene is,” Web Summit founder and CEO Paddy Cosgrave. 
The ideas
BikeLook: Tackling bike theft with Bluetooth sensors. 
Buymie: Personal shopping service through your smartphone. 
EnergyElephant: Helps businesses be more energy efficient through data analysis. 
Fillit: Connected those with unused space with those who need it for events etc. 
HouseMyDog: Links dog-owners with dog sitters. 
iKydz: Helps parents control their kid’s internet access through a ‘plug and play’ system.
Kollect: On demand, choose-your-own-bin-day collection service. 
OpenBack:  “Creating a new standard in mobile notifications to drive engagement while putting users first”.
Parkpnp: Online parking marketplace; links people with unused spaces with those who need them.
Responder: “A product aimed at supporting independent living, health and well-being through the use of mobile and wearable technologies”.
WeSavvy: An app which allows users to get rewarded on their life insurance policy for keeping active, tracking how often they walk, run or cycle. 
Wia: “Provide developers with a real-time platform for building Internet of Things applications”. 

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/spark-of-genius-2016/ on thinkbusiness

Newmarket Kitchen- a gym for food startups

Henry O’Brien describes Newmarket Kitchen as a ‘gym for food businesses’. It’s a great location for food startups to flex their creative muscles and grow.  
“The concept is simple, Newmarket Kitchen provides a kitchen space for food startups, caterers and independent chefs,” says O’Brien. “It’s a place where food business startups can come and test their idea and build their business.”
Opened in April 2015 and based in Bray, Co. Wicklow, Newmarket Kitchen has many different membership options to suit food businesses of all sizes and at all stages. Also, if a food startup wants to try out the facility for a day, it can. 
“If you have been selling at a farmers’ market, for example,” says O’Brien, “and want to expand, we can help with your idea.”

Ideas and ingredients 
“The one thing our members find most useful is the fact they become part of a community here. Often, entrepreneurs find themselves working alone, but at Newmarket, they are in a creative environment where they can ask others for advice, whether that be about packaging, marketing or sales.”
An essential ingredient of becoming a food business is the legal one. “You have to register your business through the HSE. We have an Environmental Health Officer that helps our members. You will also need insurance, and we can provide that through our preferred supplier. We help food businesses grow. It’s like taking the raw ingredients to the final product,” says O’Brien. 
Access all day and all night 
Members of Newmarket Kitchen also have 24/7 access to the facilities. “The food business is not a nine to five business,” says O’Brien. 
While all the companies require preparation space, there’s also the need for large refrigeration space. “That’s one of core functions, to make sure the startups have the facilities they need to make headway. We keep all the services up

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/food-startups-newmarket-kitchen/ on thinkbusiness

Opening a franchise in Ireland

Have you ever wanted to run a successful shop? Perhaps opening a franchise is the right option?
There are many new franchises taking Ireland by storm, from American style frozen yogurt shops to innovative new urban gyms.
While many have seen huge successes, others fail. Here we look at the advantages and disadvantages of buying a franchise as well as the typical fees involved in Ireland’s newest franchises.
Chopped
The healthy food company Chopped was set up by Dublin-based entrepreneurs, Brian Lee (pictured above) and Andy Chen in 2012. They developed the ‘traditional’ salad bar to meet the growing needs of healthy minded eaters in the city. The first Chopped opened in 2012, and there are now 11 shops across the capital. 
According to its website, to become a part of the franchise, there is a fee of €20,000. If you want to open a Chopped store, the turnkey capital cost will be approximately €160,000. This includes a provision for working capital. 
Once your franchise is set up the continuing costs include: 
Franchise royalty: 6pc of net sales.
Marketing contribution: 2pc of net sales.

Mooch
Mooch, the frozen yoghurt shop, was set up in Dublin in 2010 after the owners Declan and Suzanne saw the success of frozen yoghurt in New York.
The company now has two shops in Dublin while the frozen yoghurt appeal has spread across the country. 
Hillybillys
The fast food chicken restaurant was established in 1997 in Cork by Michael Grace, but in recent years it has developed into a franchise.
It opened its first franchised restaurant in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal in April 2011. Today the chain has ten locations throughout Ireland, including three restaurants in Cork, and restaurants in Derry, Dublin, Ennis, Galway, Letterkenny, Tralee, and Waterford.

Sásta
Sásta is a fitness franchise that uses treadmill fitness pods to help members lose weight. The franchise was founded in 2010.
With headquarters in

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/opening-a-franchise-in-ireland/ on thinkbusiness

Fergus Gloster, founding director, Salesforce Europe

Pat Carroll in conversation with Fergus Gloster, the founding director of European operations at Salesforce. What advice would Gloster have for startups? 
As a chapter director of Startup Grind Limerick, I am fortunate to have fireside chats with some inspiring entrepreneurs. These founders share valuable insights at our monthly networking events. 
It’s not every day that you have the chance of interviewing a major technology thought leader, who you also happened to go to school with, a few years ago. 

Limerick native Fergus Gloster joined Salesforce.com as founding director of European operations when it was a startup with less than 100 employees worldwide. During his nine-year tenure, Fergus played a key role as SVP, corporate sales Europe, and helped shape Salesforce into a billion dollar CRM platform. 
After that, Fergus went on to set up leading marketing automation company Marketo’s international business in 2011 and saw the company go from private to public ownership.
Here are some of the key points made by Fergus during our fireside chat (video below). 

In the beginning
Fergus excelled at Maths in school and went on to study Applied Maths at the University of Limerick.
His first job was in Silicon Valley writing code for mainframe computers. “With a chisel and hammer  – I was a techie,” he says. 
He spent the first 15 years of his career writing code and leading various technical teams. These included global leaders in their field, Wang & Oracle, where he ended up as technology director.
In the late 90s, his role gradually moved on from explaining technology to people. The spur for changing from the technical to the marketing/customer-facing side of the business was that Fergus enjoyed presenting to people and interacting with the sales group:
“I started moving more into product marketing role – more in front of people than the ‘clever techie’ in the background”
Two of

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/startup-advice-fergus-gloster/ on thinkbusiness

Starting a business before you turn 18

The Junior Entrepreneur Programme aims to help develop Ireland’s next business heavyweights.   
You don’t have to wait until adulthood to start a business.
A free initiative called the Junior Entrepreneur Programme is calling on Irish kids between the ages of 10 and 12 to get involved and learn how to convert their business ideas into real commercial enterprises. The project is backed by some of the top entrepreneurs in the country, and has reached more than 26,500 primary school students in the five years since it began. 
While traditionally these sorts of programmes have been aimed at transition year students, the JEP seeks to get young people interested in business much earlier, when children are at their most creative and uninhibited. 
A boost in confidence
The JEP complements the school curriculum, particularly in areas such as maths and science, but also helps students develop skills in presentation, drawing, and collaboration. 
90% of teachers surveyed say they have seen an increase in confidence in children who take part in the programme, while 66% have reported improvements in their students’ communication skills and teamwork.   
Three teens who grew in business
 

Fraser Doherty
He began using his granny’s recipes to make jam when he was 14, and his produce proved so popular Doherty had to drop out of school to meet orders. Waitrose came calling in 2007, and the Edinburgh businessman’s company Superjam now supplies more than 2,000 supermarkets around the world including Tesco and WalMart. 
Jordan Casey (main picture)
Casey began learning code at the age of nine and by 13 he was the CEO of his own video games company. Now 16, the Waterford native has been invited to give TED talks, has launched various startups and is currently in the process of merging his different projects into one business. 
 

Patrick Collison 
After winning the 2005 Young Scientist competition in Dublin at 16, Collison

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/starting-a-business-before-you-turn-18/ on thinkbusiness

The Junior Entrepreneur Programme

The Junior Entrepreneur Programme encourages children to apply their abundant creativity to business ideas.
You don’t have to wait until adulthood to start a business.
A free initiative called the Junior Entrepreneur Programme is calling on Irish children between the ages of 10 and 12 to get involved and learn how to convert their business ideas into real commercial enterprises. The project is backed by some of the top entrepreneurs in the country, and has reached more than 26,500 primary school students in the five years since it began. 
While traditionally these sorts of programmes have been aimed at transition year students, the JEP seeks to get young people interested in business much earlier, when children are at their most creative and uninhibited. 
A boost in confidence
The JEP complements the school curriculum, particularly in areas such as maths and science, but also helps students develop skills in presentation, drawing, and collaboration. 
90% of teachers surveyed say they have seen an increase in confidence in children who take part in the programme, while 66% have reported improvements in their students’ communication skills and teamwork.   
Three teens who grew in business
 

Fraser Doherty
He began using his granny’s recipes to make jam when he was 14, and his produce proved so popular Doherty had to drop out of school to meet orders. Waitrose came calling in 2007, and the Edinburgh businessman’s company Superjam now supplies more than 2,000 supermarkets around the world including Tesco and WalMart. 
Jordan Casey (main picture)
Casey began learning code at the age of nine and by 13 he was the CEO of his own video games company. Now 16, the Waterford native has been invited to give TED talks, has launched various startups and is currently in the process of merging his different projects into one business. 
 

Patrick Collison 
After winning the 2005 Young Scientist competition in Dublin at

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/junior-entrepreneur-programme/ on thinkbusiness

In search of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur

The search for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) is on. The closing date for applications is October 14, 2016. 
Four former IBYE winners recently met with the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. and talked about the role IBYE has played in their business success stories.
The four previous IBYE award winners run businesses from the worlds of technology, food, waste management and retail.

James Keogh (Wicklow) from Rathwood Home & Garden World Ltd.; Isolde Johnson (Dublin City) from The Cool Bean Company; Niall Mimnagh (Longford) from Mimergy; and Rhona Togher (Sligo) from Restored Hearing Ltd. have all won IBYE awards over the last two years 
As winners, they received investment funding, business boot camp places, and one-to-one mentoring sessions. 
“I want to promote entrepreneurship as a career choice, and to encourage young people to set up new businesses which will ultimately create and sustain more jobs right across the country,” says Minister O’Connor. “It is so refreshing to hear the success stories from these inspiring and ambitious young entrepreneurs.”
What is the IBYE, what’s involved? 
Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is a programme open to people between the ages of 18 (at the date of application) and 35 (at 31st December 2016) with a great business idea. Entrants can be: 

Individuals
Venture teams
Partnerships
Existing businesses with a new idea
People overseas (including Irish emigrants) who will headquarter in Ireland

Each Local Enterprise Office (LEO) runs a competition in each county (Friday, October 14 is the closing date) aimed at finding winners in each of the three categories as well as an overall county winner. 
Each LEO will have a total fund of up to €50,000 to invest in six businesses (three category winners and three runners-up).

The three categories are:
1: Best business idea (pre-trading) – up to €10,000 investment fund through every LEO (€7,000 for category winner and €3,000 for runner-up,

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/ibye-2016/ on thinkbusiness