April, 2013


30
Apr 13

100 entrepreneurs challenged to launch start-up ideas within 48 hours.

100 entrepreneurs challenged to launch start-up ideas within 48 hours

Eammon Sayers, Guinness Enterprise Centre manager; Michelle Clarke, Dublin Launch48 ambassador; and Des Fahey, chief executive of Dublin Business Innovation Centre.

The Guinness Enterprise Centre in Dublin will throw down an interesting gauntlet for 100 entrepreneurs at its Launch48 weekend in June – devise and launch a start-up idea within 48 hours.

The event, from 28-30 June, is open to anyone who has ever wanted to explore their entrepreneurial side but has yet to take the leap.  It will be attended by a mix of technical and non-technical would-be entrepreneurs.  One veteran of the process is Michelle Clarke, the Dublin Launch48 ambassador.

“I first participated in an incredible Launch48 weekend in the UK. Immediately I thought I had to volunteer to bring this event over to Dublin,” Clarke explained.

“I approached the Dublin Business Innovation Centre to partner with me to get this off the ground and with their huge support the idea took off. At a time when Ireland badly needs to create indigenous businesses, this weekend is the ideal vehicle to guide Irish people to create their own successful start-ups.”  The Dublin event is open to anyone who fancies they have an entrepreneurial streak and there will also be student-priced tickets available.  The event will kick off on the Friday evening with entrepreneurs giving a 60-second pitch and an elimination process will whittle the list down to 100.

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30
Apr 13

Wayra to go for Ten Irish Start-ups

HomeEntrepreneurs from all over the world are being invited to put forward their digital projects in order to win a place at one of  Telefónica’s Wayra academies for startups in Buenos Aires, Caracas, Lima, Madrid, Mexico City, Munich Santiago, and Dublin where up to 10 places are available.

Focused on the fields of Internet and new technologies, the common factor in the businesses that Wayra decides to accelerate is that they make the most of the advantages to innovate. In this call, the focal point is products and solutions in the fields of Big Data, M2M (Machine to Machine), mobile, virtualization and cloud services (XaaS), although not exclusively. Wayra is open to any kind of proposal in the fields of technological innovation.

In Wayra’s Dublin academy, after passing through the selection process, the best projects take part in the acceleration programme which provides them with financing of €40,000; expert mentors; dedicated workspace for up to 9 months for their team; Wayra also claim to be able to provide favourable commercial terms with leading technology suppliers. In addition, each business has the potential to access Telefónica Group’s businesses worldwide. Entrepreneurs will also join Wayra’s investor, partner and expert network in different parts of the world.

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30
Apr 13

40 jobs for Irish animation company used by Disney and Nickelodeon

TelegaelA Connemara based animation studio has seen an increase in demand for shows from broadcasters all over the world. 

The only stop motion studio in Ireland, Telegael Teo has announced the creation of 40 new jobs.  Those taking up the roles will work on the second series of ‘Igam Ogam’ an animation program for preschool children about a cave girl, her pet dinosaur and a blue monkey.

The prehistory program is broadcast on TG4 and on stations in Germany, Wales and England. Production will run on it until the beginning of 2014.

Siobhán Ní Ghadhra, chief operating officer for Telegael Teo the animation and television production house behind the development, says the company is “also speaking to a number of other international companies with more projects in mind… Over time there are more possibilities”.

Based in Casla, Connemara the company are looking for people to work in all aspects of production, writing, animation, art, lighting, camera, among other roles.  Although Ní Ghadhra says “a lot of the crew have already been hired”, they are “always open to hearing from new people”.

Ní Ghadhra added that the hope is to hire mainly from the Irish workforce as there is a wealth of talent in the country, especially those coming out of third level courses but the problem is, “sometimes they don’t have the experience required,” she said. A lot of very good people are coming up through the ranks, especially coming out of college. We’ve no doubt that the talent is there but it is a matter of experience.

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21
Apr 13

Student Project that Tackles Food Waste Problem Wins Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award

A Trinity student-led initiative has won the prestigious Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) ‘Minnovation’ Award at the competition finals.

The winning ‘Food Glorious Food’ project aims to bridge the ever growing gap between food waste and food poverty. The SEI has recognised the success of this Dublin based project in tackling the food waste crisis in Ireland.

Ireland is the 5th worst nation in Europe for food wastage per head. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that we produce 1 million tonnes of food waste each year. The ‘Food Glorious Food’ project has created a ‘virtual food bank’, whereby restaurants and catering facilities with surplus food, which may once have been thrown in the rubbish bin, are linked with charities through a smart phone app. Those charities can then redistribute the surplus produce to the most vulnerable within our society.

Commenting on winning the award, final year Business and Economics student and Project Leader Iseult Ward said: “Everyone at Food Glorious Food HQ is overwhelmed at the success of the project thus far. To win the ‘Minnovation’ award is undoubtedly a massive step in the development of the project. Thanks to the support of the SEI and their financial backing, we are hopeful that the project, which relies upon the tremendous effort of student volunteers, will be able to expand beyond the current pilot scheme to across the nation”.

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20
Apr 13

Open governments can make their nations more Entrepreneurial.

Open governments can make their nations more entrepreneurial

Emer Coleman, founder of Disruption Ltd, delivers her keynote address at the Digital Ireland Forum in the Convention Centre Dublin. Photo by Conor McCabe Photography

By embracing open data and providing citizens with fair and equitable access to knowledge, nations can empower a new generation of entrepreneurs, Emer Coleman told this morning’s Digital Ireland Forum in Dublin. Coleman has played a key role in guiding UK open government strategy.

 

Up until recently, Cork native Coleman was the deputy director of Digital Engagement at the UK Cabinet Office’s Government Digital Services Group.

O’Reilly Media CEO Tim O’Reilly has described her team as: “One of the best teams working in digital government in the world.”

Coleman is the founder of Disruption Ltd, and is also part of Placr, a start-up that is powering change and innovation in transport.

She has worked extensively with local, regional and central government variously as director of strategy, assistant chief executive and director of Digital Projects (City Hall London). She is also the architect of the London Datastore.

At the Digital Ireland Forum this morning, Coleman said that open data, whereby governments and businesses open up data sets for use by citizens and entrepreneurs, can play a vital role in making governments operate in a more efficient manner.

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14
Apr 13

Indebted entrepreneurs must be allowed a fresh start – Shatter

But people who can pay will not be allowed to renege on their debts and banks must engage “constructively and positively” with over-indebted borrowers.

Mr Shatter said that, until now, Ireland – unlike the US – had an “antiquated, unforgiving bankruptcy process with little prospect of redemption”.

He was speaking at the spring corporate lunch of the Ireland-US Council at the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin on Ireland’s new personal insolvency regime which, he said, was “a unique” law.

Mr Shatter acknowledged that the recent publication of planned “reasonable living arrangement” had caused controversy.

But he defended the guidelines, which, the minister said, were in draft form for consultation purposes.

The guidelines have now been refined and will be published in final form next week.

Mr Shatter said that regulations would also be published next week to oversee personal insolvent practitioners (PIPS) who will be instrumental in the operation of the new personal insolvency arrangements that provide for a range of relief options for debtors.

Mr Shatter said that, contrary to perception, banks did not have an exclusive veto; borrowers would also be able to exert a veto over the new processes.

“There has to be balance,” said Mr Shatter, who added that there were many people who were not insolvent even if they were experiencing reduced personal incomes.

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12
Apr 13

Should social media be handled by a young tech-savvy intern?

Katie Roche – 11 April 2013It can safely be said that social media marketing has become an essential part of every business marketing strategy today.

It’s a vital medium for engaging audiences, and companies can’t afford to ignore it. If you don’t have time, resources or experience – or worse still, all three – is it worth getting an intern?

There are ongoing debates about hiring an intern to handle your social media presence. Some say interns are tech-savvy and because of that they’re great social media marketers. Others think interns should never be allowed to market your brand, unless given expert training. Some even believe it’s a recipe for disaster.

“One of the biggest benefits to hiring interns is bringing some fresh young ideas and perspectives into your businesses, says Caitriona Giblin, digital media coordinator at the ‘Irish Daily Star’. “An intern should be plugged in and familiar with what’s trending to see if it’s something relevant to your business, and something you can capitalise on.”

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12
Apr 13

Job permits to be increased by 50pc

A total of 2,000 graduate-level job opportunities in Ireland have been keyed into Government targets over the coming year.

New employment permits within the ICT sector will be increased by 50pc within the coming year, as a result of new reforms.

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton have also pledged a 33pc reduction in the processing time for employment permits.

And there will be an improvement in the appeals process and a reduction in the number of appeals.

They also said that there would be a broadening of the eligible occupations list and improved customer service and communications.

Irish ICT company Version 1 is just one of those firms to benefit.

The Dublin-based group employs more than 350 people and has hired several people in senior technology positions through the employment permits system in recent years.

This has allowed the company to win new business and create new jobs. Version 1 also announced that it is hiring 10 people, who have all graduated from the new ICT conversion courses.

The employment permit system is demand-led and there is a global demand for high-tech skills.

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12
Apr 13

Calls for capital gains tax to be cut for entrepreneurs

By Geoff PercivalA halving of the 33% capital gains tax (CGT) rate for entrepreneurs ;

would support new business creation and incentivise risk takers, Chambers Ireland has said.

Despite the Government upping the CGT rate — from 30% to 33% — in December’s Budget, Chambers Ireland yesterday called for a rate of 16.5% to be applicable to entrepreneurs. The measure forms part of its alternative ten-point plan for micro, small and medium- sized enterprises, which it launched yesterday.

Chambers Ireland chief Ian Talbot said that the need for an alternative tax plan, to that set out in Budget 2013, is because the Government’s measures “lacked the necessary ambition to create transformative change”.

“The measures suffer from a number of problems — too many are sector specific, too many impose unnecessary limitations and too many are little more than extensions of existing schemes,” he added.

Mr Talbot said that, if implemented, Chambers’ policies could help businesses and, in turn, stimulate job creation.

“For example, a reduced Vat rate on housing repair, maintenance and improvements would not only incentivise start-ups and create employment in the construction sector, it also has knock-on benefits for other sectors such as soft furnishings, white goods and electronics,” he said.

Chambers’ plan also calls for the introduction of further operational initiatives to promote business interests; a mandate for all government research funding agencies to set aside 2.5% of their budget for SMEs; a double rent deduction for companies with upward only rent reviews; and allowance for start-up firms to offset corporation tax against other taxes due.

The introduction of a targeted rates reduction for businesses located in town centres would, according to Chambers Ireland, “support existing employers — many of whom are in relatively low margin, but high employment, businesses”.

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11
Apr 13

‘Food Glorious Food’ Wins Prestigious Social Entrepreneurship Award.

Alexander Sloan | Contributing writer

‘Food Glorious Food’ coordinator Iseult Darling, at the SEI awards ceremony on Monday evening.

‘Food Glorious Food’, a Trinity student-led initiative has won the prestigious Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) ‘Minnovation’ award.  

The project, which aims to bridge the gap between food waste and food poverty, has become the talk of not just college, but of the national media over the past couple of weeks.    Prominent features in both the Irish Times and the Irish Sun has set the spotlight firmly on how this student-led project is attempting to combat Ireland’s record as the 5th worst nation in Europe for food waste.    Ireland produces over 1 million tonnes of food waste each year, yet this has not been lost on the SEI, who have recognised the successes of a project which only went live three weeks ago.   In essence, the Food Glorious Food project has created a ‘virtual food bank’, whereby restaurants and catering facilities with food, which may once have been thrown in the rubbish bin, are linked with charities through an APP.  Those charities can then redistribute the surplus produce to the most vulnerable within our society to food poverty.

The aim of the SEI is to provide a platform, in order to help solve Ireland’s most pressing social and environmental issues, for social entrepreneurial projects to realise their potential.   Since its inception seven years ago, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland has provided the platform for over 160 projects to ‘get off the ground’.    In its first year, the ‘Minnovation’ award is designed primarily for projects in a primitive stage, with the goal of helping great ideas come to fruition.

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