Stori Creative – authentic brand storytelling

The foundations for Stori Creative were laid back in 2016, when Grainne Dwyer, former CEO of Skibbereen’s ‘Ludgate Hub’, saw a niche in the market for a creative production company with a focus on brand storytelling. Grainne’s cousin and co-founder, Fiona Dwyer takes up the story.

My background is in account management and marketing, and after spending two years working in New York, I returned home seeking a new challenge. I was barely off the plane when my cousin Grainne asked me to help out at National Digital Week – the aim of which is to develop entrepreneurship, by making digital tools accessible for all. Starting a business was never something I would have considered up until that point. It was my first time being exposed to the entrepreneurial community that co-existed along-side the Ludgate Hub. At the time it helped open my eyes to the supports, networks and opportunities that exist within the community here in West Cork.
The next week we both sat down together to discuss what was the beginnings of Stori Creative. Our initial interest in video production stemmed from making short videos with our friends when we were growing up. I suppose our passion for creativity was always there – we just never had imagined it could provide a living for us. So we said, ‘why not us’?
Our service 
We focus on authentic brand storytelling. There has been a huge shift in the way consumers purchase these days. People don’t buy what you do – they buy why you do it – and so we seek to extract those authentic, engaging stories from each brand we work with, to engage their audience. We not only produce compelling brand stories, we then deliver these stories on all of the brand’s social media platforms. This is to ensure that their

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/fiona-dwyer-storu-creative-skibbereens/ on
thinkbusiness

Mattress Mick – ‘I never gave up’

Despite many setbacks, Mattress Mick says he never thought of giving up. He spoke to Stephen Larkin about his highs and lows in business.

Across Ireland, Michael Flynn, aka Mattress Mick, has become a household name thnaks to his unique business style. However, despite his bubbly character, his career has been a constant battle which resulted in some “serious failures” along the way.

Having started out working as a banker, Mick opted to take over the family business in Pearse Street, Dublin, following the death of his father. He made the premises a place of “real wheeling and dealing” as he sold everything from furniture, to clothes, and even curtains.

With money coming in from the success of his business, Mick decided to expand and at one point owned eight premises, which he feels led to his downfall. “I was young and I started spending my money very stupidly. I really took my eye off the ball. I knew I needed to make a change and I held on to them for far too long when I look back on it now. Eventually, I made the decision to close up and I sold those properties to clear my debts, but I still kept the original furniture business in Pearse Street.”

This recession in 2008 led to the birth of Mattress Mick. “When I looked at my businesses, I noticed bedroom furniture were the best selling products, so with very little money left, I decided on using a gorilla marketing strategy to get me going again. I was out on the streets doing the gorilla marketing and putting up signs everywhere without any permission, which resulted in things beginning to blossom again.”

“Not once! I had some bad days alright, but I never thought of giving up. I think it’s part of who I am to not give up.”

Famous for his quirky YouTube videos, Mattress Mick saw his popularity rise to the point where he was getting asked for photos on the street, doing meet and greet events, and even receiving wedding invitations. Mick puts his likeability down to his failure in the past. “The fact I’m just an ordinary guy, and I’m not afraid to admit that I have made mistakes, I think people can relate to that. I think it gives people motivation because failure is normal and to be successful you must overcome some sort of failure along the way.”

When asked was giving up ever an option, Mick’s entrepreneurial spirit awakes. “Not once! I had some bad days alright, but I never thought of giving up. I think it’s part of who I am to not give up.”

“Failure is normal and to be successful you must overcome some sort of failure along the way.”

Mick says this to be the most important characteristic for any aspiring entrepreneur to possess. “You need to believe in yourself above all else. Believe in the plan you set out and go execute it. Don’t get distracted by anything. It’s so important to do everything honestly because you’ll get far by being honest with people.”

Mick looks back on his career in business, which started in the 1960s with great fondness. However, he has one or two minor regrets about his adventures. “I think if I could go back I’d look to adopt technology earlier because back then I didn’t realise the power it could have on business. I also got ahead of myself and had too many shops at the one time. I should’ve just had two or three and really concentrated on them, definitely not eight.”

Despite having no plans to retire anytime soon, Mick wishes he was, “20 years younger to develop the brand”, and so he “plans to establish an exit strategy because I have to be realistic with my age”.

Related Resource

How to innovate to remain successful. 

 

 

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/mattress-mick-life-business-failures-success/ on
thinkbusiness

Turning the great outdoors into a virtual classroom

Vicky O’Donnell is the founder of Wilder Wander, an astonishing mobile game that gets children out into Nature to explore the wonders of the world.
I grew up on a farm in the Wicklow Mountains, loved the great outdoors and from an early age I always wanted to work with animals, so when I left school I studied zoology and animal behaviour in TCD. I am sure I asked David Attenborough for a job at one stage and I managed to get some work with the wildlife filmmaker Éamon de Buitléar, finding pine martens for him to film in the West of Ireland.
But jobs in nature are scarce on the ground so I went back to college to study geo-informatics and spent the next thirteen years working in maritime research in UCC. I worked with data at all stages and, although the job was technical, the work was very applied so it was easy to see the value of data in decision making and the importance of data as currency.
While working at UCC in 2000, I saw an article in The Irish Times advertising jobs with Irish Aid’s Rapid Response Corps which sends experts to work in the initial stages of an emergency. All of the data/information skills that I was using in maritime research were directly relevant to working on the ground during an emergency so I decided to pack my bags and I worked with UNOCHA, UNICEF and UNHCR in the Middle East, Africa and Asia until 2015. Since then I have worked with the UN developing emergency toolkits and training courses for those deploying to humanitarian disasters.
“Our first game uses thousands of biological datasets which were collected over the last decade.”
The idea
In the summer of 2017, we started a family tourism business and were in the planning stages

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/wilder-wander-vicky-odonnell-edtech-startup/ on thinkbusiness

“Turning the great outdoors into a virtual classroom “

Vicky O’Donnell is the founder of Wilder Wander, winner of Tech-Stars startup weekend. Here she discusses how she turned her idea into a growing business.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I grew up on a farm in the Wicklow Mountains, loved the great outdoors and from an early age I always wanted to work with animals, so when I left school I studied zoology and animal behaviour in TCD. I am sure I asked David Attenborough for a job at one stage and I managed to get some work with the wildlife filmmaker Éamon de Buitléar, finding pine martens for him to film in the West of Ireland.
But jobs in nature are scarce on the ground so I went back to college to study geo-informatics and spent the next 13 years working in maritime research in UCC. I worked with data at all stages and, although the job was technical, the work was very applied so it was easy to see the value of data in decision making and the importance of data as currency.
While working at UCC in 2000, I saw an article in the Irish Times advertising jobs with Irish Aid’s Rapid Response Corps which sends experts to work in the initial stages of an emergency. All of the data/information skills that I was using in maritime research were directly relevant to working on the ground during an emergency so I decided to pack my bags and I worked with UNOCHA, UNICEF and UNHCR in the Middle East, Africa and Asia until 2015. Since then I have worked with the UN developing emergency toolkits and training courses for those deploying to humanitarian disasters.
How did you come up with the idea for Wilder Wander?
In the summer of 2017 we started a family tourism business and were

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/turning-the-great-outdoors-into-a-virtual-classroom/ on thinkbusiness

John Bruton to discuss CAP reform

Succession planning, the impact of Brexit on CAP reform and planning for success are the big themes at an agri-seminar to be held in Kells on May 2. 
 
How will Brexit affect CAP reforms? It’s a question many farmers are asking. Who better to give an informed analysis than John Bruton, former Taoiseach and Ambassador of the European Union to the United States. 
Bruton will speak at the latest agri-seminar hosted by Bank of Ireland to be held in the Headford Arms Hotel in Kells, Co. Meath On May 2, 2018.
Book your free place here. 
Other significant issues to be addressed at the seminar include succession planning and tax; as well as sustainable farm finance. 
“It’s going to be a very useful and informative evening,” says Sean Farrell, head of agriculture at Bank of Ireland. 
“Everyone is concerned about Brexit to some degree and the CAP reforms are top of the agenda. I’m looking forward to the deep insights that John Bruton will bring to the table. 
“The other big issue facing farmers today is how they grow their farm in a sustainable way. Strategic planning on the part of the farmer and the farmer’s attitude to risk affects everything they do, and this will be examined in detail.”
Another keynote speaker on the evening is Declan McEvoy, head of taxation with IFAC accountants who will give valuable advice on succession planning and the tax implications for farms.
To book your place at this evening event, go here. 
 

Related Resource

To speak with an advisor on how we can help you grow your farm click here. 

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/john-bruton-to-discuss-cap-reform/ on
thinkbusiness

The man behind Paddy Power’s biggest stunts

Public House is an advertising agency that prides itself on making the headlines through its creative and sometimes provocative advertising campaigns. 

Colin Hart is the managing director of Public House, one of Ireland’s leading advertising agencies. The agency partners a number of different companies, with Paddy Power being one of their biggest clients.

Speaking at the OFFSET design conference in Dublin, he said; “Eighty percent of advertising is pretty much spam. We don’t want to be a part of that. We know it doesn’t sell so what’s the point. Our motto and founding principle is ‘boring doesn’t sell’.”

Creative push

While Public House likes to push its clients in terms of creativity, they don’t believe in being overly creative and bold when it’s not necessary. “There has to be substance,” said Colin. “We work with 123.ie insurance and we tried to find a nice edge. With Paddy Power, we tend to push them even further.”

One of their most successful campaigns came with Paddy Power in 2012, during the opening of the European Championships. On the eve of the England vs. France game, Paddy Power revealed a 100ft tall construction of ‘Roy the Redeemer’ on the White Cliffs of Dover. The huge image of the then England manager Roy Hodgson could be seen all the way across the English Channel in France.

“Originally, we planned to put a giant finger put on the Cliffs of Dover, so France could see it,” said Colin mischievously. “Then we came up with ‘Roy the Redeemer’.”

The statue was a reproduction of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue which overlooks Rio de Janeiro, but the face of Christ was replaced with England’s new ‘saviour’, Roy Hodgson.

“We were small and trying to make an impact,” said Colin. “It was covered by every national publication in the UK and France. France thought it was good fun. We present in headlines rather than pitches.”

Olympic hijinks

During the Olympics Games in London in 2012, Paddy Power put up billboards saying it was sponsoring ‘the biggest athletics event in London’. Initially, it was assumed Paddy power was referring to the Olympic Games, however, it was actually referring to an egg-and-spoon race it was sponsoring in a small village in France, ironically called London.

“We make an opportunity out of nothing. Before the All-Ireland hurling final last year, we put a ‘cousin shifting booth’ outside Copper Face Jacks in Dublin for fans from the country to enjoy,” says Colin.

In an effort to give Mayo’s footballers some divine inspiration ahead of their All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry in 2017, Paddy Power projected a 70ft image of the Mother of Christ holding the Sam Maguire trophy onto the front of Knock Basilica.

“If you know how far you can push it in one area, it means you know how people behave. We get lots of analytics and we can use it with other brands. Provoking debate looks like success for us. We go big or go home.”

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/the-man-behind-paddy-powers-biggest-stunts/ on
thinkbusiness

Enter the National Enterprise Town Awards 2018

The National Enterprise Town Awards is open for entries. There is a total prize fund of €157,000. Your town can enter here.
Do you live and work in Ireland’s most enterprising town? Are you helping your community to thrive? The search is on for the most enterprising towns in Ireland. 
The Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards is designed to recognise and reward towns where small businesses and community groups come together to showcase the spirit of enterprise in their local area. For full details of the prize money and award categories, please read this. The total prize fund is €157,000. The overall winner will receive a cash prize totalling €33,000. 
 
It’s easy to take part. Entries must be online, and your town, village or urban area can enter here.
 
Can city areas also enter?
Yes. City areas and villages can also participate. Every city has urban areas and villages that operate as a town in their own right and have distinct identities. The definition of a town for these awards includes city villages and urban areas.
The ‘Rising Star’ award
For 2018 there is a new Rising Star category with one prize of €20,000 awarded to the winner. This award is for towns or urban areas with unemployment and social exclusion issues. For example, the towns may have visible derelict or empty buildings or spaces where there are plans to create a place for social, artistic, creative, technological or entrepreneurial activity. This award has a separate judging panel from the main competition. A shortlist of five areas (one from each region and one from the cities) will be drawn up based on the submissions and these five will be visited by judges. Please read the FAQs for more details on the Rising Star award. 
When will judging start?
The judging panel will visit your town and judging starts

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/enter-the-national-enterprise-town-awards-2018-bank-of-ireland/ on
thinkbusiness

FAQs: National Enterprise Town Awards 2018

Here are the frequently asked questions and answers regarding the Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards 2018. 
The search is on for the most enterprising town in Ireland. The National Enterprise Town Awards 2018 are now open for entries. There is a total prize fund of €157,000. Your town can enter here. 
 
Questions and answers

Purpose of the competition?

The competition aims to promote enterprise by bringing business and community groups together, in each town, to showcase the spirit of enterprise in their local area.

Why is Bank of Ireland launching this competition?

Bank of Ireland is the country’s largest lender and committed to helping customers achieve their business ambitions. Bank of Ireland recognises that SME’s, Startups and Community Organisations are a significant driver of the country’s success and spirit.

Is this just a sales promotion for the bank?

This is not a sales promotion for Bank of Ireland. This competition is the Bank’s way of recognising the efforts being made by local people to promote and grow their towns and communities and to play its role as a business leader.

What is the local council’s role in the competition?

The competition is held in collaboration with local authorities.        

How are the towns chosen for the competition?

The Towns and Urban Villages/Areas are generally put forward by the relevant local authority.

How many entries are allowed from each county or city council area?

There will be a maximum of four entries per county or city council area.

Why is the competition called Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards when city areas and villages can also participate?

Every city has urban areas and villages that operate as a town in their own right and have distinct identities and local business and residential communities. The definition of a town for the purpose of these awards includes City Villages and Urban areas.

Who are the judges?

The names of the

This post was originally published here - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/faqs-national-enterprise-town-awards-2018/ on
thinkbusiness

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 - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/conor-oloughlin-wins-ibye-2018/ on
thinkbusiness

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 - https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/how-to-grow-a-dairy-farm-in-a-sustainable-way/ on
thinkbusiness