Archive for May, 2010

Craggy Ireland goes mobile

admin 28th of May 2010 by admin

Irish Iphone travel app “My Craggy Island” is free of charge this weekend

“My Craggy Island” which was released by Tourist Republic and Spoon Safari last week will be free to download this weekend.

Craggy Island may be a rugged granite island, off the coast of south-eastern Australia but it is also the TV home of our three favourite priests. While most of the interior shots were filmed in a studio in England, most of the exterior shots were filmed around Ireland and particularly in the beautiful Clare region of Ireland.

My Craggy Island wants to be your personal gps tourguide as you embark on an adventure to discover these locations with our offline map. Visit the lonely wreck of the plassey ship on Inisheer, have a pint and soak up the atmosphere in Vaughan’s pub and of course make the pilgrimage to the remote parochial house.

My Craggy Island also includes a fun geogaming platform-by visiting Craggy Island locations, you will unlock special achievements in the digital world. After unlocking an achievement, you can then share this (and compete) with your friends on Facebook.

Features:

* Complete offline map of Ireland-so no expensive roaming charges
* Currently 11 locations to discover on Craggy Island, with directions
* Achievements:Visit locations to unlock various achievements such as a holy stone
* Facebook connectivity-share achievements with friends (requires internet connectivity)
* Personalised trips
* Real time weather tool of the clare region (requires internet connectivity)

Get the App here

Top Angel investor in Ireland

admin 27th of May 2010 by admin

HBan are looking for the top angel in Ireland. We’ve previously covered this topic before“Who is the Irish Ron Conway ?”

HBan didn’t list anyone, so we compiled our own, based on recent activity, and any tech entrepreneur who had a significant exit in last 10 years

Videos from Gateway Ireland Event

conor 27th of May 2010 by conor

In lieu of live streaming or the release of the official videos from yesterday, Darragh Doyle managed to grab some some meaty clips of the Gateway Ireland launch event.

Whilst there has already been plenty of 140 character responses to the launch, we’d appreciate it if you could leave longer thoughts and comments below.

John Kelleher, Project director introduces Gateway Ireland from darraghdoyle on Vimeo.

Neil Leyden, Project Manager, introducing Gateway Ireland from darraghdoyle on Vimeo.

Gaming Industry in Ireland

admin 27th of May 2010 by admin

At yesterday’s Gateway Ireland, this cool video was shown

With the likes of EA Games setting up in Galway, Zynga, Crowdstar, etc together with the native scene, Jolt Online, Demonware, Havok and others, we have a very vibrant Gaming scene.

Thanks Dylan for video.

Irish startup HR Locker honoured at Microsoft Paris conference

admin 25th of May 2010 by admin

Guest Post: Paul Browne is a Development Advisor at Enterprise Ireland (EI), working with  Irish Software companies to increase exports, and export led jobs. A key area is Cloud and Software as a Service)

You may have already seen the posts on Enterprise Ireland’s BestConnected blog about the work that Enterprise Ireland and Microsoft are doing to help the Entrepreneur Community in Ireland. One of the companies benefitting from this approach is HR Locker

HR Locker is a  web 2.0 provider of HR Solutions to Business. That’s HR as in Employee Records, TimeSheets and  compliance (making sure everybody has a suitable contract). Today, at the Microsoft Bizspark European Conference, John Dennehy from HR Locker got shortlisted into the Top 18 Startups in Europe.

As part of the prize, John got the chance to pitch the HR Locker Business to a panel including Brent Hoberman (founder LastMinute.com), Loic LeMeur (Seesmic), Stefan Glaenzer (former chairman Last.FM) , and 8 other seasoned VC’s and investors. On offer for the best business model / pitch from the 18 companies is a €10,000 cash prize.

Prior to founding HR Locker, John John has worked in the Internet sector for the past 14 years. He co-founded Upstart Games, a global developer and publisher of mobile phone games, which was acquired in Nov 2006. The company had offices in Tokyo, Beijing, New York, LA, Dublin and Cork.

Microsoft’s view on HR Locker and Enterprise Ireland

BizSpark Network Partner Enterprise Ireland is an excellent example of an organisation that is helping to nurture next-generation start-ups.  Microsoft and Enterprise Ireland collaborate to help entrepreneurs in Ireland to maximise the opportunities available to them. Outside the USA, Ireland is host to the largest BizSpark community.

One example is HR Locker, one of the finalists at this year’s European Investor Summit.  HR Locker has benefited from being part of BizSpark and has received business and financial support from Enterprise Ireland (see separate profile).   Other BizSpark members that work with both Microsoft and Enterprise Ireland include TradeFacilitate and InishTech.

Gary Fallon, Country Manager, Enterprise Ireland France:

Microsoft have played a key part with Enterprise Ireland’s software clients, encouraging them to innovate and helping them to access new markets. Microsoft has consistently supported many of our software companies throughout their development and is a key platform for supporting them in developing new business opportunities in the French market.

Carapay to disrupt online payments

admin 24th of May 2010 by admin

Colm Lyon’s new startup Carapay, aims to disrupt the payments space with a new service. It enables retailer to offer a payment option that “will link directly to any bank account in Europe. It can be used to pay bills, club memberships, school fees, bets with friends or any other type of money transfer normally conducted using cheques or cash. It will be free to use.”

Check out the a full depth interview from Adrian Weckler at the SBPost

You can follow Carapay on Twitter

First Dublin Startup Weekend a great success

admin 12th of May 2010 by admin

Guest Post by Sean Murphy: Sean is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Computer Science and Informatics in UCD – he’s interested in mobile and web apps. Sean’s twitter feed

I was involved in running the first Dublin Startup Weekend. Here are some of my thoughts on the experience.

For the uninitiated, Startup Weekend is an event which brings together people from different backgrounds with the objective of creating a startup over a weekend – typically, they are web and/or mobile based.

My motivation for being involved was simple. I saw some of the outputs of other such weekends, understood that new development platforms can enable a lot of functionality to be realized in a short period of time and thought that Dublin should have the right skills and entrepreneurial disposition to make an event like this a success.

Following a process of gauging interest by getting people to vote on the startup weekend website, I approached NDRC to see if they would be interested in supporting it. They thought it a very exciting format and responded enthusiastically. They provided the venue and secured  additional support through their network. Myself and Amy Neale, NDRC’s Programme Manager, worked on the ground together on the logistical stuff for the event.

By the time the event came around, over 50 people had signed up – a mix of developers, students, graphics folks and business people. They all turned up on Friday evening for the pre kick-off pizzas and the event proper kicked-off at 7pm.

The event started with an overview of what a Startup Weekend looks like given by Clint Nelsen, partner at Startup Weekend, a Seattle based not for profit. Clint outlined how it works, what Startup Weekend has achieved and what people should expect from the weekend. Following this, there were talks by Sean Baker, Technology Entrepreneur and NDRC Director, Teresa Dillon, Senior Content Manager, Inventorium and Enda Flynn of Microsoft Bizspark.

After the intro talks, the pitches started. Any of the participants could stand up and present an idea they had. 17 ideas in total were presented, many of which were very impressive. After the pitches, there was about an hour for people to discuss the ideas with each other and for teams to form. People voted for the ideas they liked and the teams were formed by the end of Friday night.

The teams in action

Photo by Ben Arent

Saturday and Sunday were spent by each team building their web and/or mobile apps and trying to determine the business potential of these systems. The teams worked late into Saturday night and the work wrapped up around 6pm on Sunday evening, when people had to show their wares.

Six teams were formed throughout the weekend:

  • GeoDealio – a primarily mobile service which enables people to find deals that nearby cafes, bars and restaurants are offering;
  • Classometer – a web based service which makes the job of administering classes such as yoga, dance, karate, music, etc easier by tracking attendance and payments;
  • Hit the Road – a web based service for finding routes between places on Dublin’s public transport system;
  • CauseHere – a web based service which enables people to gather around causes, find volunteers, organize fundraising etc;
  • BragBet – a web based service which integrates social networking and betting platforms to enable a group of friends to form a betting pool and share control over it;
  • LendUrStuff  – a web based service which enables people to share items they use infrequently and obtain some revenue from doing this.

All of the teams managed to produce some working functionality, with some of the teams producing very impressive stuff indeed.

On Sunday evening, each of the teams presented their concept, what they had done and what potential it might have to an adjudication panel. The judges evaluated the ideas based on how much was achieved and whether there might be a substantial viable business.

The Winning Team - GeoDealio

Photo by Ben Arent

The winning team was GeoDealio: the panel felt that this was an impressive implementation of an iPhone app and web based backend which had significant potential. The team was, however, encouraged to consider the intense competition in this space and should take this into account as it progresses the work further.

A special mention must also go to Classometer who launched their service at the end of the weekend. They gave a very impressive demo of their capabilities and the team is in good shape to bring this forward to generate a modest revenue stream from the service.

Hit the Road is still in prototype mode, but it is a service which would be useful to both Dublin residents and tourists visiting the city. The site went live a couple of days after the weekend.

The event was a great success and certainly exceeded my expectations: the output was very impressive, there was an excellent bunch of people involved, good networking took place and there was a generally good buzz around the room.

The one question which most people ask and I can’t answer is how the teams bring the work forward – this is something that each team must determine itself. While teams can discuss ownership to some extent during the weekend, a key point is not to get hung up on this at the outset. Now those teams who plan on moving forward need to consider who has time and energy and interest in progressing the work and divide ownership accordingly. Of course this is not simple in many cases, but I hope pragmatism will prevail.

The valuable support of the sponsors must be acknowledged. Aside from NDRC who provided organizational support as well as in-kind supports, Microsoft Bizspark gave generously, DCEB made a handsome contribution and the DHDA, Smart Telecom, Dublin Web Summit provided in-kind support. IBM also gave their support. Thanks to all of the above for making it possible.

And now it’s on to planning the next one…

Links:

Ray Nolan startup story – video

admin 12th of May 2010 by admin

Ray Nolan – founder, Hostelworld acquired by Hellmann & Friedman

FOWA Dublin 2010

admin 6th of May 2010 by admin

FOWA Dublin

FOWA Dublin 2010 – May 14th 2010 is coming soon

We’re delighted to announce 15% discount for Web2Ireland community. book now to avoid disappointment

DrupalCamp Ireland 2010

admin 6th of May 2010 by admin

A free conference on the free open source CMS called Drupal takes place in the Burren College of Art on the 15th and 16th of May.