Galway was the “right place” for Michelin star restaurant

J.P. McMahon owns three restaurants in Galway including Aniar which is one of the few Michelin-starred restaurants in Ireland. He spoke to ThinkBusiness at the recent Galway Food Festival.
How did your career take off?
I started cooking when I was 15 years old and I studied home economics in school. I think I chose home economics because I had asthma so it was either that or wood work. I got my first job immediately after my Junior Certificate working in a kitchen which I really enjoyed. I studied English and art history in college as a mature student and never actually studied culinary arts. I did a PhD in art history and taught the subject for ten years  in Cork. My wife and I had always dreamed of opening our own restaurant and we got our first chance with Cava more than ten years ago.
How did you fund and start your business?
We didn’t really know what we were doing when we opened the restaurant or how to run a business. We couldn’t get a bank loan so we had to beg, borrow and steal to gather €80,000. As my wife always says, maybe I am a stubborn self-believer, but we are a bit more cautious now. Even with ‘Food on the Edge’, we started that with no funding and I just invited the chefs to come along. I offered them flights and accommodation to attend the event. 
How did Food on the Edge develop?
It came from travelling. I attended a few chef auditoriums and week-long retreats. I thought to myself that we could do this in Ireland because we have really good produce, once we picked the right time to do it. I had one or two connections and I just started building on them. Sometimes if you wait for the perfect moment to

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/jp-mcmahon-michelin-star-restaurant-galway-food-festival/ on thinkbusiness

How to create a Michelin star restaurant

J.P. McMahon owns three restaurants in Galway including Aniar which is one of the few Michelin-starred restaurants in Ireland. Here he talks about great Irish food and the quest for perfection. 
How did it all begin?
I started cooking when I was 15 years old and I studied home economics in school. I think I chose home economics because I had asthma so it was either that or woodwork. I got my first job immediately after my Junior Certificate working in a kitchen which I really enjoyed. I studied English and art history in college as a mature student and never actually studied culinary arts. I did a PhD in art history and taught the subject for ten years in Cork. My wife and I had always dreamed of opening our own restaurant and we got our first chance with Cava more than ten years ago.
How did you fund and start your business?
We didn’t really know what we were doing when we opened the restaurant or how to run a business. We couldn’t get a bank loan so we had to beg, borrow and steal to gather €80,000. As my wife always says, maybe I am a stubborn self-believer, but we are a bit more cautious now. Even with ‘Food on the Edge’, we started that with no funding and I just invited the chefs to come along. I offered them flights and accommodation to attend the event. 
“We didn’t open Aniar to get a Michelin star, we opened it to support Irish produce.”

How did Food on the Edge develop?
It came from travelling. I attended a few chef auditoriums and week-long retreats. I thought to myself that we could do this in Ireland because we have really good produce, once we picked the right time to do it. I had one or two connections and

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/jp-mcmahon-how-to-build-a-michelin-star-restaurant/ on thinkbusiness

From homeless at 14 to working at Apple and Tesla

Despite their age (19), US twins Mark and Andrew Ansell have already lived rollercoaster lives, going from being homeless at 14 to interning at some of the biggest companies in Silicon Valley.
When sitting with Mark and Andrew Ansell, it’s hard to imagine that these two enthusiastic and incredibly intelligent young men have lived their lives accompanied by regular struggle.
Currently, on a student exchange at Trinity College, from UC Berkeley in California, Mark and Andrew’s family became homeless in 2012 and spent more than a year moving around and receiving support before regaining stability. “Our family has always had some sort of financial struggle and that year was the climax of all of that. We arrived home one day and found an eviction notice on our door and as 14-year-olds we didn’t know what was going to happen,” says Mark. 

After spending four months living in a church, the Ansell family were relocated to a motel which is a period to forget for the twins. “That was a totally different experience because we used to come home from school feeling so embarrassed and hoping none of our peers would see us running into this motel room that we called home. It was a tough time,” says Andrew.
“We arrived home one day and found an eviction notice on our door and as 14-year-olds we didn’t know what was going to happen.”
Amazingly, Mark and Andrew were able to maintain their impressive academic record and chose to focus all of their energy on their school work. They now study mechanical engineering and business administration at UC Berkeley and are the only students in the college studying the two degrees simultaneously. “We applied to all of our colleges in search of mechanical engineering degrees, but we always wanted to pair that with business because our parents have

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/mark-and-andrew-ansell-tedx-trinity-portals-of-discovery/ on thinkbusiness

A €500,000 fund for graduate startups

A €500,000 fund will provide up to €50,000 in equity funding for up to ten successful applicants.
Enterprise Ireland’s competitive start fund (CSF) for recent graduates will open for applications on Tuesday 10th April 2018.
The €500,000 fund will provide up to €50,000 in equity funding for up to ten successful applicants. The fund closes to applications at 3 pm on Tuesday, 24th April 2018.
The graduate entrepreneurship fund is to encourage entrepreneurship among graduates who run startups that can succeed in global markets.
Applications from final year students and graduates with a third-level qualification within the last three years are invited to apply.
“Graduate entrepreneurs can sometimes be overlooked.”
Crucial funding
“We have a pool of talented and ambitious entrepreneurs in this country, who are still in university or recently graduated and are making valuable contributions to the economy through their startups. For these entrepreneurs, supports like Enterprise Ireland’s competitive start fund are vital. Together with crucial funding, the initiative provides valuable business support and networking opportunities to innovative entrepreneurs and companies at the start of their journey, and provides a platform from which they can progress their business,” says Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD.
“Graduate entrepreneurs can sometimes be overlooked; however, we understand the value of their ideas and their businesses to the startup ecosystem,” says Sarita Johnston, department manager, HPSU Start, Enterprise Ireland.
As well as written online applications, startups will be asked to prepare an online video pitch.
Full details of, and the application for, this graduate competitive start fund can be found here. 
Help is at hand
In partnership with Enterprise Ireland, Dublin BIC will host a free-to-attend CSF application support day on 17th April. Book your place here.

Related Resource

The best colleges for student entrepreneurs. 

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/money-for-student-startups-enterprise-ireland/ on thinkbusiness

Startup Weekend FashTech is coming

Ireland’s first Fashion and Technology Startup Weekend sponsored by Bank of Ireland is coming to WeWork, Iveagh Court in Dublin on Friday, March 23 – 25, 2018. 
Ireland’s first Fashion and Technology Startup Weekend is coming to Dublin, supported by Bank of Ireland a long-term supporter of Startup Weekend across Ireland. Book your tickets here. 
That’s great, but what is FashTech?
FashTech is the intersection between the two industries of fashion and technology. Until now both industries have sat side by side one another, never fully grasping what the other side does. Technology today is having a transformative global impact and now looks to be hijacking the fashion industry.
When people are asked to think about fashion, thoughts come to minds such as clothes, identity, personal choices, comfort, protection and expression. You wouldn’t be wrong to think the same. As the rest of world rapidly moves with the times, fashion is only at the beginning of where we can see a tech cross-over.
Technology comes in to play as it looks to amplify your expectations of what the future of the fashion industry holds. Experience, usability, convenience, individualism and opportunities all emerge when fashion shows its open and collaborative side, where embraces and integrates new technologies.
So what does the FashTech landscape look like right now?
Think disruptive. Technology is now being woven into every aspect of the fashion ecosystem and breaking barriers. Some of the uses of technology and its applications can be seen in wearables, smart-textiles, 3D printing, augmented and virtual realities, IoT, the blockchain, retail technology, sustainability and AI. The list is endless and will continue to grow with the advancements in technology and the openness of the fashion industry.
Ah so it’s a global thing, gotchya, so what does this have to do with Ireland?
Ireland with its reputation as ‘Europe’s tech hub’ is a

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/fashion-and-technology-startup-weekend-bank-of-ireland/ on thinkbusiness

New York’s startlab is calling

Is your startup growing? Do you have ambitions to enter the US market? Bank of Ireland’s incubation space in New York City is now open for applications.
Applications are open for startlab NYC, an incubation space that will support Bank of Ireland startup customers who want to scale their business and enter the US market.
Seven successful business applicants will have access to a free incubation space in New York City for 12 months. The firms will also receive mentoring from Bank of Ireland’s innovation and corporate banking teams in both Ireland and the US. When they arrive in NYC, the bank will also make introductions to venture capitalists, state agencies and relevant intermediaries based in the Big Apple.
Last year, Irish tech startups Deposify, Pulsate, Axonista, BriteBiz, Glofox, LogoGrab and KONG Digital were selected to join startlab NYC.
Will your business be next?
“Entering a new market can be a daunting experience for any startup. Our team in New York, along with our Enterprise & Innovation team and sector specialists in Dublin, will give the seven successful companies the support they need to scale their business, seek investment and grow Stateside,” says Francesca McDonagh, group CEO, Bank of Ireland.
Apply here. 

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/startlab-new-york-bank-of-ireland-apply/ on thinkbusiness

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.

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/farm-safety-littlepal-reduces-child-accidents-on-farms/ on thinkbusiness

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

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/call-for-over-50s-to-build-a-business/ on thinkbusiness

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

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/lacidem-a-device-that-can-spot-heart-attacks-before-they-happen/ on thinkbusiness

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.”
IDEAS
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

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/briony-somers-franc-magazine/ on thinkbusiness