Archive for November, 2008

Hobby-centric Social Network site Hobeze launches

conor 10th of November 2008 by conor

An interesting new Irish Social Networking site called Hobeze launched recently. As its name suggests, it’s broken down into hobbies, sports, interests etc. Apart from general social groupings, the most popular sections of the site are soccer, golf, scouting and rugby. At the moment they have 670+ hobbies created.

There seems to be a lot of activity in the Sports Social Network space and (like hyperlocal) it’s all about scale. The business models vary from Ad based to white label like ClubW to paid-for sub-networks. The latter seems to be the angle Hobeze is taking.

RateMyArea launches

conor 10th of November 2008 by conor

Mike Brennan has contacted us to announce the launch of RateMyArea, a site dedicated to helping people find, review, share and discuss their favourite places. It’s a hyper-local social search site which currrently is concentrated on Dublin but they do have plans to expand their coverage.

It’s a very attractive looking site with lots of information already in the system and an intuitive UI built around Google Maps.


This is a highly competitive area with startups like OnTheMap and large businesses like YourLocal and GoldenPages trying to get the critical mass required. The ones who nail it should do very well for themselves and shouldn’t require the massive spend of US businesses like Yelp to get scale. WeLoveLocal in the UK had a nice exit after barely a year and got most of their growth in London.

World Usability Day Event in Dublin

conor 9th of November 2008 by conor

It’s World Usability Day on Thursday 13th November. The guys in IQContent have put together a cracking event in the Dandelion Cafe Bar on Stephen’s Green to support this.

The idea is that they are going to spend the day getting ordinary people to weigh in on the country’s most essential transport websites, including:


  • Dublin Bus
  • Irish Rail
  • Luas
  • Aer Lingus
  • Ryanair
  • Bus Eireann


They want to get as many real people to give independent, honest feedback on these websites in one day.

All details over on their site.

New Web2Ireland startup – co-founder wanted…

admin 7th of November 2008 by admin

Hopefully this will be the first post on this meme…

Niall Smart contacted us in relation to his new startup – and he is seeking a technical co-founder to join the team.

Person Wanted
If you’re a talented developer, interested in working at the junction of digital music and cloud computing, and ready to play a key role in an early stage startup, then this is a fantastic opportunity:

* Are you technically adept? Our technology stack includes Ruby and AWS, but your track record is much more important than an exact skills portfolio.

* Do you understand the importance of the User Experience? This is a niche product for discerning consumers, and UX is a critical success factor. You’re ready to play the game of inches.

* Have you an entrepreneurial streak? The right person will be enthusiastic, motivated, innovative and strategic, and comfortable with a degree of risk and uncertainty. Essential traits – along with a sense of adventure and fun.


To learn more, contact Niall Smart (niall AT – and include a brief bio with your email.

- Potential investment is currently under discussion with a small number of high calibre investors.
- Based on investment – willingness to re-locate to Silicon Valley for 3 months

ChangingWorlds acquired for US$60m by Amdocs

admin 6th of November 2008 by admin


Marie has the details on ChangingWorlds acquired for US$60m by Amdocs

ChangingWorlds is the global expert in the personalization of Mobile Internet data and the company has championed the need for the intelligent delivery of personalized content. Changingworlds was a spin-out from University College Dublin back in 1999.

EI’s Web2.0 Ireland Style

conor 6th of November 2008 by conor

Since I can’t find a web-page with this information on it anywhere, I thought it would be useful to publish a newsletter that EI in Palo Alto sent to a ton of people this week to coincide with the Web 2.0 Summit. It does a good job of highlighting some of the activity over here.

UPDATE: This info now on the Enterprise Ireland Silicon Valley blog. I’ll move them from Blogger to WordPress for free if they want :-)


Web 2.0 Ireland Style  

  This week, the world´s web glitterati will converge on San Francisco for the Web 2.0 2008 Summit. Al Gore, Lance Armstrong and other prominent speakers will join internet news makers to examine how the web, its technologies, values and culture, might be tapped to address the world’s most pressing limits and opportunities.  


As a sponsor, Enterprise Ireland will represent the entrepreneurs behind Ireland´s web 2.0 ingenuity and highlight their expanding stake in the global internet economy.



PollDaddy was snapped up by Automattic (company behind WordPress) last month. PollDaddy provides polling and survey widgets for blogs, websites and social networks.

Contrast just launched Qwitter an application that alerts Twitter users when contacts “un-follow” them. With 16,000+ sign-ups in less than 2 weeks, the service is adding a new dynamic to Twitter-based relationships. 

dotMobi launched Version 2.0 of DeviceAtlas, the world´s most popular mobile device database. dotMobi is the company behind the .mobi internet domain designed to help consumers find mobile-friendly content.

Muzu TV signed agreements with Sony BMG, Ministry Of Sound, Skint Loaded (Fat Boy Slim’s label), Defected, and hundreds of other indies. Muzu TV is a new music TV website and distribution platform that enables bands and record labels to broadcast their music video on the web and get paid wherever it goes through a share in ad revenue. 

Nooked delivers shopping deals direct to consumers’ desktop, Myspace, Facebook, blog, start page, and mobile phones through widget-based technology.

Dial2Do is a phone-service for drivers. It lets you get things done safely and conveniently by just using your voice. You can send text messages, send and listen to email, create reminders, update your Twitter stream and use a range of other services by just calling a number and saying what you want to do. A winner at the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs Launch:2008 event, Dial2Do was voted as the company most likely to succeed in the Media and Mobility category. 

LouderVoice just made it easier for businesses to turn customer feedback and reviews into revenue-generating word-of-mouth campaigns. The company´s “white label” reviews system can be added to any website, providing a quick and easy way for visitors to review and comment.

PutPlace gathers all your valuable digital stuff [photos, documents, email, music, videos] from all your PCs and laptops. It backs up everything, securely stores it, and organizes it all so you can find or share your files from anywhere. Service features include: Simple, reliable automatic online backup that runs in the background; easy back up of files from multiple computers to the same account; secure access to your files from anywhere; automatically allows you to share the files you choose on services like Flickr; versions all stored files, ensuring that you never lose an old version of a file. 


Finetuna makes it easy to share notes on images, photos and other graphics files. Since its launch just 4 months ago, Finetuna has already surpassed the 50,000 user mark. 


Abaltat’s music creation tools make it possible for anyone to be a composer – creating original, perfectly synched, royalty-free music to match their video. A must for the growing number of creators of video-based content, from TV and film to online video advertising. Behind Abaltat is a group of experienced TV producers, editors, musicologists and the most imaginative programmers in Ireland. The result: a unique software product that has earned the company a spot on the shortlist of the Irish Software Association’s Technical Innovation Award and New Company of the Year Award. 


RevaHealth is cutting healthcare costs for budget-conscious consumers by connecting them with dentists and cosmetic clinics in countries where they can realize savings of more than 50%. Every week, more than 1000 people take advantage of RevaHealth´s comprehensive search services. 


Toddle makes it easy to create pretty HTML newsletters, using an interactive, easy-to-use web app. The product emerged from Beta to rave reviews and is seeing fast adoption by customers in Ireland and the US.


IGOpeople is gearing up to launch its beta service in December. The company provides a network for individuals and small businesses to easily communicate and share information. The service is drawing interest especially from business owners who can now reach highly targeted audiences more efficiently than through traditional advertising and telephone support. 


Hosting365 is a managed services and data centre facility provider and Ireland´s only commercial cloud computing provider. Ranked as one of Ireland’s fastest growing technology companies for the past 2 years, the company recently reported sales for its cloud computing services of €2.5 million for the first six months of the year.


Sxoop Technologie is an imaging software company which specializes in web-based photo solutions.  They recently picked up the ‘Most Innovative Website’ award at the inaugural Irish Web Awards for their web-based photo-editing website Sxoop Technologies licenses their photo-software to social networking and photo-merchandising services. 


Web Reservations International (WRI) is a leading provider of online lodging reservations through its own network of highly trafficked sites (,, and along with 3,000+ affiliate partners. Through its flagship, WRI has become the leading online reservations provider to the budget travel sector, while combines travel search, reviews and social networking in a web 2.0 platform.


With a reputation for nurturing internet entrepreneurs, Ireland has long drawn companies like Yahoo, Google and many others who selected the country as a location for their international presence. Last month, Facebook followed suit by establishing its international HQ in Dublin. 
Read more here 



To answer that million-dollar question, EI will join forces with the San Francisco Irish Network to host executives from Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Cuil and Skydeck for a spirited panel discussion that coincides with the web 2.0 Summit. Tom Foremski will moderate. Event details are here 


Digital MoMo & Microsoft Startup event in Dublin – Nov 6th – 6.30pm

admin 5th of November 2008 by admin

Anton has details on tomorrow nights event Digital MoMo – and Microsoft Startup support

Its on Thursday 6th November from 6:30PM at The Four Seasons Hotel, Ballsbridge • Dublin

Register here for event

Also check out blog post from Don Dodge at Microsoft @ Startup support