November, 2011


29
Nov 11

Tender for State’s small firm loan scheme

THE GOVERNMENT is expected to advertise for an operator to run its partial temporary loan guarantee scheme as early as today.

A request for tender is expected to be published on the public procurement site, as the Government seeks to move on the introduction of the scheme, which has faced some delay since it was first announced.

Yesterday, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton confirmed that a temporary partial loan-guarantee scheme will be in place by the first quarter of 2012. The Government may guarantee up to €150 million next year, which will be reviewed at the end of 2012, while there is a provision to guarantee up to €450 million over three years, although the Minister stressed the scheme would be “demand led”.

A new Micro Finance Loan Fund to help start-up businesses is also to be established.

The micro-finance scheme will involve a €10 million commitment from the Government, from which it hopes to leverage another €100,000 in private investment.

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29
Nov 11

Emerging Irish tech firms drawing venture capitalists in swarms

Ireland’s tech sector is putting the country on the global map for venture capitalists, eager to tap into the best technologies being pioneered on the planet right now. Already Ireland’s tech sector gleaned €161.9m in investment in the first half of the year.

This is a jump of 58pc for the same period in 2010.

More than 100 guests converged in Dublin for a William Fry breakfast briefing, ‘Raising Venture Capital’.

Shay Garvey of Delta Partners said the reason why Ireland’s technology sector is garnering the most VC investment is because businesses in this sector are demonstrating the greatest potential at the minute.

He said that in the current economy they have the ability to start up at a relatively low cost, to quickly get their products to customers and make an early impact on the market.

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29
Nov 11

Seventy high value jobs to be created at ON Semiconductor

THE Raheen Industrial Estate got a major jobs boost this week with news almost 70 jobs are being created at a high-tech firm.

ON Semiconductor has announced a €13m investment to expand its design centre in Raheen.

Some 69 engineering jobs are coming on stream, as the company looks to enhance its research and development options for power efficient solutions for use in computing and consumer applications.

The IDA-backed jobs are expected to be created across the next four years.

A supplier of high performance silicon solutions for energy efficient electronics, ON Semiconductor currently employs 31 people.

The announcement was made as part of Microelectronics Week, which exists to maximise the economic potential of the microelectronics in Ireland.

John Blake, the director of ON Semiconductor’s design centre, said in order for the microelectronics sector to reach its employment potential, there is a need for increased focus on the provision of support for start-up firms in the sector.

He called on the government to increase the level of public research and development funding which it directs to the microelectronic sector.

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29
Nov 11

Details of £50m small businesses loan scheme released in Nothern Ireland

The Department of Enterprise has released details of a £50m loans scheme for Northern Ireland small businesses.

The Growth Loan Fund was announced in October by Invest NI as a way to tackle the difficulties small firms are having in getting bank finance.

The fund will lend to firms in the manufacturing or tradable services sector only, meaning retailers and farmers are not eligible.

The loans will be for between £50,000 and £500,000 and mainly unsecured.

That means firms will not have to put up collateral.

However, as unsecured lending is riskier than secured lending, that will be reflected in the interest rate.

The department said: “Interest rates charged will reflect the risk involved in each case.

“Loans will typically have an interest rate that is in excess of prevailing bank rates, reflecting the unsecured nature of the finance provided.”

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28
Nov 11

UL to provide over 20 new jobs each year

OVER 115 new jobs are expected to be created through new start-up companies in the University of Limerick over the next five years.

The Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, officially opened the Tierney building at UL this Monday, which is hoped to kickstart the country’s economic growth.

UL already has a strong record in enterprise, as eight campus companies have been set up over the past five years, attracting in excess of €40 million in investment funding.

The state-of-the-art campus facility will house UL’s Innovation Centre and Lero – the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre. The UL Innovation Centre is the latest Enterprise Ireland campus incubation centre to be opened. It will support the formation and growth of 35 new high potential start-up companies between 2011 and 2016, generating over 115 new high-value jobs.

The iconic €11m centre spans four floors and 37,000 sq ft, and has a mission “to drive regional entrepreneurship with an international trading focus.”

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28
Nov 11

Flog your stuff on teens’ new website

Our Irish tech start-up of the week is Flog.ie, a zany new buy-and-sell website created by Irish 16-year-olds Andrew Forde and Jack Collins, two fifth-year students at Coláiste Iognaid in Galway City.

The duo have pooled their IT and business resources to come up with this highly visual classifieds website where people can post ads for everything from cars to unwanted DVDs and games to gardening tools, even school uniforms and university books. There’s even a section to post jobs!

The site has been live for about a month now and already it is starting to get traction outside of Forde’s and Collins’ families and friends.

Collins said the genesis for the website had been “brewing” since they were in transition year.

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28
Nov 11

How to choose a good company name

When it comes to starting a business, its name is probably the most important starting point in any marketing strategy, says Company Formations International Ltd (CFI) managing director Séan Kavanagh.

Get a company name right, Kavanagh points out, and you have a good start in promoting a business and attracting customers.

Kavanagh urges entrepreneurs to keep certain points in mind when it comes to naming a new company:

1. Your company name should be descriptive. Ideally, the name should describe what the company does.

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28
Nov 11

Are entrepreneurs more important than innovators?

Both entrepreneurs and innovators are important but only a small number of ideas can ever achieve commercial success. A market is needed and sometimes a product or service can create one.

In Ireland as in many other countries searching for a solution for unemployment, innovation is viewed by politicians as the philosopher’s stone that will produce a miracle but billions of euros spent on Irish university research produce little – - Science Foundation, the Irish State agency, reported in September, that it supported four university spinout  companies in 2010 – - and in a small country, there isn’t a big market or maybe none and that key fact gets little attention.

One of the problems with university research is that the commercial potential is generally incidental. From the start, entrepreneurs set out to meet a market need.

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28
Nov 11

Dragon who’ll fight fire with fire: Why has Seán O’Sullivan become the latest member of the Irish Dragons’ Den team?

APRIL 10, 2003: Baghdad is hell on earth. For weeks, missiles have streaked across black skies, explosions rocking desert cities, soldiers and civilians suffering brutal deaths.

With the Iraqi capital fallen to US troops, fears are growing of lawlessness, of jihadists, kidnappers or simple killers roaming a land where any car could be carrying a bomb and Westerners of all kinds were accidentally crushed by the might of their own military. It is the most dangerous place on the planet.

So why, then, is a multimillionaire American computer geek − who should have been loafing on his private yacht off the private beach on his private island − careering towards Baghdad in a clapped-out Jordanian taxi?

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24
Nov 11

Software development company Misys to create 35 new jobs

The firm, which already employs over 100 people in Dublin, is to expand its Irish presence by establishing a new R&D team in the capital, creating 35 new jobs. This investment is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.

Today’s announcement will see the company establish a dedicated R&D team of 25 people creating high value positions for software engineering professionals. In addition 10 software consultancy roles will also be created. The roles will be for highly skilled software engineering professionals with a degree and/or masters in computer science.

Welcoming the announcement, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “A key part of this government’s strategy to create employment and growth in the economy is to ensure that we build on our established base of world-leading technology companies. This means ensuring that more and more dynamic and innovative international companies locate operations here, and ensuring that more indigenous companies start and expand on the back of their presence here. This announcement by yet another world-leading technology company that it is locating high-end R&D jobs in Dublin is great news and shows that we are making real progress”.

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