Archive for November, 2007

Irish Net Visionary Awards right on the money

conor 15th of November 2007 by conor

Last night’s Net Visionary awards not only showed how much activity is happening outside of Dublin but scored a perfect result by giving the overall award to Fergus Burns of Nooked and the tech journalist award to Damien Mulley.

I have heard it said in the past that the Irish Internet Association had somewhat of a Dublin bias. The recent election of fellow bog warrior Keith Bohanna to their board was just the first sign that this is changing. As ever with recent events, all the breaking news came via Jaiku and Twitter and I was delighted to see many of the names that popped up.

Damien Mulley winning best Technology Journalist shows the maturity of the those who voted. Whilst he is not a full time journo, his technology column in The Sunday Tribune and his blog are both must-reads for anyone in this business. Whilst many are happy to re-publish press releases, Damien’s analysis is where his true value lies. Most recently he saw through the smoke and mirrors of OpenSocial early when he realised it was little more than a widget strategy at this stage.

His relentless work on Ireland Offline, the Blog Awards, Profile Ireland, BarCamp, Paddy’s Valley and a million other things tells you quite simply that Damien cares. His forthright opinions cause many fights online but they are always driven by a desire for things to be better. His contrariness is an absolutely necessary balance to a large about of the bullshit that floats around. I would not be typing this at the end of a DSL line if it was not for the work and vision of Damien.

Many of us in web start-ups would have gotten nowhere without Fergus Burns. To my mind he is the most important person in the Irish tech start-up community. The key word is community because Fergus believes deeply that we cannot grow great businesses in a vacuum, we must do it as part of a supportive environment.

From Web2Ireland to BarCamp to DemoBar to his tireless helping, cajoling, introducing and supporting, he is the dynamo that powers the web start-up community here. He follows the American model where openness leads to opportunity rather than the old-school Irish model of cards pinned close to the chest. The fact that I’ve had more introductions to potential partners in Dublin from a guy based in Sligo and Glasgow than I have from any Dublin start-up tells me that others need to learn that lesson too.

That is just one part of Fergus deserving the Visionary award. The other is Nooked and the incredible foresight that Fergus and the team have shown over the years. They nailed RSS when most in the business didn’t even know it existed. When I first encountered them I couldn’t even get to grips with what they were doing. You can read blog posts from Fergus in 2005 that show his thinking was far beyond most in 2007.

Nooked’s recent FeedCommerce launch has the potential for enormous growth. I’ve watched the concepts behind it develop and mature whilst the presentation was simplified so that anyone can understand the benefits. Others talk a good story in this area, Fergus and the crew are actually building it.

There were many other deserving winners last night (thanks to Keith for this list and the photo) including:

Company Index: Nooked

Comment posted by Aehso’s Output » Fergus, Irish Net Visionary of the Year, 2007.
at 11/16/2007 10:10:50 AM

[…] worth mentioning that I think Nooked are not the only beneficiaries of his efforts. Fergus does a ton of work within the Irish startup industry and I think everyone else in the web start-up community is better […]

Comment posted by PaulSweeney
at 11/16/2007 7:36:18 AM

Yip. Great choices. Well done all.

Comment posted by Conor O’Neill
at 11/16/2007 5:02:27 AM

Fair point Michele. An insightful move by the IIA voters then.

Comment posted by Michele
at 11/16/2007 4:47:33 AM

I don’t see how Damien winning can be an “insightful move” by the IIA. The IIA don’t choose the winners. The public do.

PaddysValley countdown

admin 15th of November 2007 by admin

Marie has a great piece on PaddysValley – see Silicon Republic » Firms seeking funds venture into the valley

Conor, James and Damien have done an awesome job in making this happen.

Where the soul of the developer can be found | Berlind’s Testbed |

admin 15th of November 2007 by admin

David Berlind has a great post on his experiences in Ireland –
» Ireland: Where the soul of the developer can be found – around MashupCamp

Thanks David – and we look forward to welcoming you’re team back again to Ireland in the near future

LeWeb 3.0

admin 14th of November 2007 by admin

Just a quick post to find out if anyone from Ireland is heading over to LeWeb 3 in Paris on the 11th and 12th of December?

I know nooked, PollDaddy and LouderVoice will be there. Are there any other Irish companies traveling over to this event?

Web2Ireland DemoBar – a quick poll

admin 13th of November 2007 by admin

Some folks have asked when will the next DemoBar happen – so a quick poll for interest levels.

LouderVoice selected for Le Web 3 Start-up Competition!

admin 12th of November 2007 by admin

Online review service Loudervoice selected for start-up competition at prestigious LeWeb conference in France.


LouderVoice blog for more details

Ammado wins ISA new company of the year award

admin 12th of November 2007 by admin

The ISA’s new company of the year award went to Ammado according to this SBPost article.

“Ammado a company co-founded by serial entrepreneur Peter Conlon and Anna Kupka.

Ammado is developing a social networking site designed to connect not-for-profit organisations with people interested in supporting them.

The company has development offices in Dublin and overseas and is in a pilot phase before launching to the public at large.”

Interesting winners at Irish Software Association Awards

conor 12th of November 2007 by conor

From a private-beta social network to a VC to a just-bought company, the ISA awards were certainly not predictable on Friday night.

New company of the year was Ammado. This is a semi-stealth social networking start-up co-founded by serial entrepreneur Peter Conlon. Its focus is on connecting charities and non-profits to people. I’ve seen the private-beta in action and I expect the full launch to get a lot of attention. Obviously the ISA guys got a good look at it too.

Brian Caulfield, ex Trinity Venture Capital, won Technology Person of the Year. Brian is one of the few VCs here who really “gets” it, having built and sold his own tech start-ups in the past. He really reaches out to the tech community here and has had several successful exits in Trinity.

The partnership award went to Allfinanz for their insurance underwriting automation software. This award proved timely as they announced today that they have been acquired for €48m by Munich Re!

The still uber-cool Havok won the technical innovation award as unfortunately there wasn’t an award for “Most Kick-ass Exit to Intel” given their sale recently for $110m.

Finally, company of the year was Arantech which recently got a €3.5m investment from T-Mobile. They make ‘customer experience management’ software, which they say allows mobile operators to monitor all customer interactions with the network.

It’s great to see such a wide spread of winners and an awards process which is all about the companies and not about the organisers. I’m looking forward to next year already.

MashupCamp – un-conference part to kick off

admin 11th of November 2007 by admin

The fun part of the mashupcamp event kicking off – after a great talk from Chad Dickerson from Yahoo [slides to follow]

The event is on at the Guinness Storehouse [awesome location] – great wifi – so do make sure you drop by and participate.

Webbys for Ireland

admin 11th of November 2007 by admin

Webbys for IrelandMary Rose Lyons just announced at Mashupcamp – the Irish participation is supported by o2 Ireland.