Innovative Ideas


23
Apr 14

Fumbally Exchange to Open 13 Locations after Dublin Success

    Fumbally Exchange founder George Boyle with President Michael D Higgins at the official opening of the organisation’s new flagship building. Picture Jason Clarke Photography Fumbally Exchange, a not-for-profit organisation that offers a low-cost base and collaboration opportunities for creative businesses, has announced plans to open at as many as 13 new locations.

The organisation, which was founded by architect George Boyle in 2010 to provide working space for would-be entrepreneurs, said it had tripled its membership of small businesses, sole traders and start-ups to more than 150 in the past year. Collectively, these new businesses have a combined turnover of more than €6 million.

According to Ms Boyle, who was speaking at the official opening of the organisation’s flagship building in Dame Lane, Dublin 2 today, more than two-thirds of Fumbally-based businesses are planning to expand this year.

The Fumbally Exchange, which was originally based in Fumbally Square, Dublin 8, was inspired by the Metropolitan Exchange in New York, was originally envisioned as a response to the recession, but has since come to thrive as an effective model for creative business. It seeks to transform how people work by creating a collaborative environment.

The exchange currently hosts 158 member businesses working across a range of sectors including architecture, digital media, copywriting, engineering, interior design, event planning, publishing and photography.

In addition to the Dame Lane building, which was recently refurbished through the voluntary efforts of its members, the organisation also has locations in Balbriggan, Co Dublin and Waterford, as well as a sister Exchange in Ravenna, Italy.

Fumbally Exchange is opening what it calls a “hedge school for businesses” later this month, which will be known as the FEx Academy. The initiative, which will be based at Dame Lane, will offer training and education for small organisations.

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22
Oct 13

Government finds €23m to fund 12 Technology Gateways

Enterprise Ireland (EI)Irish Innovation: With no shortage of  tax funds as the Government desperately needs to show success in its flagship enterprise policy (or more accurately, its only one), €23m has been allocated to fund 12 so-called Technology Gateways, across the country.

Enterprise Ireland in partnership with the Institutes of Technology has established a nationwide network of 12 Technology Gateways whose “role is to deliver technology solutions through collaboration on projects which are close to the market needs of Irish industry. These Gateways are open access points for industry and will act as a portal to a wider resource of industry relevant expertise in the Irish research infrastructure.”

What is the benchmark of success or failure? Of course, there isn’t one.

Finfacts: Irish Innovation: Evidence of science policy failure mounts

Seán Sherlock, minister for research & innovation, will be in Thomond Park, Limerick, Monday to inaugurate the 12 Technology Gateways located in 8 Institutes of Technology; Athlone IT, Cork Institute of Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, IT Tallaght, IT Tralee, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Limerick Institute of Technology and Waterford Institute of Technology.

The official statement says: “Designed to act as the ‘R&D arm’ of companies, the Technology Gateways will focus on delivering technology solutions through collaborative projects with the research teams in the Institutes of Technology.

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26
Sep 13

Irish inventors Pitch 21 ‘Big Ideas’ to Investors

Minister of State at Dept of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Sean Sherlock. Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

Biodegradable chewing gum among inventions at Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas showcase.

Non-stick biodegradable chewing gum, “smart paint” and a natural clean-up solution for toxic dumps are among 21 potentially marketable inventions being pitched at investors at Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas showcase.

The event, which opened this morning at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, allows 21 inventors pitch their new technologies to an audience of potential investors.

The aim is to connect the inventors with the right investors to establish new companies and, ultimately, create high-value jobs.

The inventors are researchers from Irish Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) who have used public-funding to develop innovative technologies.

Among the other innovations is a movement analysis tool for athletes.

There were also treatments for high-blood pressure, a beefed-up data security system for documents stored in the cloud, and an “effortless” clothes hanger.

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28
Jun 13

90 jobs for Dublin as four firms set up in city

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton has announced 90 jobs in four new firms to set up in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish TimesThe new companies, which IDA Ireland has identified as fast-growth firms, cover everything from digital marketing and software to games.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said the announcement was great news for Ireland.

Among the new firms is digital marketing firm Adara Global, which will create 30 jobs over the next two years as it opens its European headquarters in the city centre. The firm, which is US based, uses big data to help travel companies reach targeted audiences, while also helping firms turn their data into revenue streams.

One of its most recent deals was with no-frills airline Ryanair.

The Dublin office will look after ad operations, key account management and finance.

“Following an analysis of different locations we chose to locate our European Headquarters in Dublin due to its rare mix of an exceptional talent pool, ease of accessibility to Europe’s major markets, competitive costs of doing business and its vibrant local technology business scene,” chief executive Layton Han said.”Our new HQ provides us with a solid base to increase our EMEA market base and further grow our global footprint.”

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7
Jun 13

Irish app Temptster in Tech All Stars final 12.

Irish app Temptster in Tech All Stars final 12Temptster, the Irish-developed smartphone app which allows restaurants and clubs to promote offers when they’re not fully booked, has made it through to the final 12 of the EU-backed competition ‘Tech All Stars’.

Foodservices entrepreneur Ollie Fegan came up with the app, which was launched in February this year, using GPS technology to identify the user’s location and display all available offers in nearby bars and restaurants.

Organised by the European Commission Information Society and Media, Tech All Stars aims to foster web entrepreneurship, and connect start-ups with the people and resources to help them succeed.

Vice president of the European Commission Neelie Kroes supports the initiative, believing that young technology talent is key to European recovery.

Fegan will represent Ireland and his Temptster app at the Berlin Tech All Stars forum this weekend, an opportunity he described as “incredible”.

“We get to pick the brains of mentors, entrepreneurs, and investors at the top of their game, and get feedback on our business pitch.  Many of the start-ups, whether or not they feature in the final three, secure valuable backers and business deals on the back of Tech All Stars.”

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3
Jun 13

Irish government sets aside €175 million to invest in fast-growth start-ups through venture capitalists.

Irish innovation: Dublin has encouraged a host of start-ups to set up in the city

Irish innovation: Dublin has encouraged a host of start-ups to set up in the city

The €175 million (£150 million) fund has been founded to provide additional funding for high-growth Irish companies with the potential to generate ‘large amounts’ of additional export sales and grow jobs.It is hoped that by allocating portions of the funds to different venture capital managers, a further €525 million of additional capital can be leveraged from the private sector.

Richard Bruton, minister for jobs, enterprise and innovation, says, ‘While the multinational sector is and will remain crucial to our industrial strategy, I am determined to ensure that we also support the creation of a powerful engine of Irish enterprise that can sustain and create the levels of employment we need.

‘I am very happy to launch the new Seed and Venture Capital Scheme which will run over the next six years and make investments in hundreds of high-growth, innovative companies in sectors which we have targeted through the Action Plan for Jobs including high-tech manufacturing and ICT.’

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13
Mar 13

DigiWomen launches to help entrepreneurial Irish women

Graphic-Design-Samples-05DigiWomen, a new interactive community has been launched as a support network for entrepreneurial women who want to set up businesses in the digital industry in Ireland.

Women in Ireland continue be less entrepreneurial, tend to have lower confidence and aspirations when it comes to running their own business than their male counterparts who are over two times more likely to be an early stage entrepreneur than are women, making it one of the lowest rates of female entrepreneurs in the developed world. (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2011)
The GEM also reports that women are five times more likely to set up their own business as a result of meeting other women entrepreneurs.

Speaking about the need for DigiWomen, Pauline Sargent, digital marketing consultant in Social Zavvy, and co-founder of the community said, “I meet so many women starting out and there’s a common thread to the challenges. They feel they lack of expertise – be it sales, marketing, technical, communications, design, business development and so on. We want to play our part by starting a series of practical, visible projects to educate and inspire women to become thought leaders in their areas of expertise.”

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10
Feb 13

Using State property to help business start-ups – Hayes

Junior finance minister Brian HayesMinister of State Brian Hayes, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) today welcomed the opening of a new venture, iCompany and wished the company well with its start-up jobs initiative.

iCompany is a not for profit company that approached the OPW to enquire about the availability of accommodation which could be made available to them. A State owned building – 59 Dawson Street in Dublin had recently become vacant and as a new occupant had not been identified, it was decided to facilitate the venture through the use of the building on a pilot basis.

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23
Nov 12

CRANN Creates 50 Jobs

CRANN, the Government-funded nanoscience institute based at Trinity College Dublin has today announced that it secured €8 million of non-Exchequer funding for nanoscience research this year, an increase of 60% over investment secured in 2011.  The investment has resulted in the creation of 50 full-time research jobs.  €20 million of industry funding for research has been committed over the next six years to sustain and grow the institute.

Officially opening the showcase, Minister Bruton said:

“A key part of the Government’s plans for jobs and growth is ensuring not only that we continue to develop good ideas through scientific research, but also crucially that we turn more of them into products, services and ultimately good jobs. That is why we have put in place a series of changes to get more out of the State’s investment in this area, including a research prioritisation exercise, a one-stop shop for commercialising research and a new highly ambitious strategy from SFI which aims to become the best science funding agency in the world.

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18
Nov 12

Jumping for joy over 50 new jobs

Jump ZoneIRELAND’S first indoor trampoline park has created 50 jobs after opening in Sandyford in south Dublin 18.

Jump Zone promises to be a great location for corporate parties and for general fitness, as participants burn in excess of 1,000 calories a session.

Business partners Paul Quinn and Daniel Begley have plans to open an additional 10 trampoline parks in Ireland and across Europe. Sites have already been identified outside of Dublin and in the UK for the next Jump Zone venues.

Built over 20,000 square feet, the inaugural European Jump Zone has a capacity for over 50 jumpers at a time, accommodating a total of 150 children and adults.

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