Archive for October, 2008

IIA Award Winners

conor 31st of October 2008 by conor

Fantastic set of winners at last night’s IIA Net Visionary Awards. Well done to all.

They were (in reverse order):

  • Overall Net Visionary: Pat Phelan of MaxRoam
  • Web developer excellence: Jennifer O’Brien of Webtools Software
  • Web design excellence: Karen Hanratty of
  • Social Contribution: Niall Devine of
  • Mobile Internet Innovation: Johnny Beirne of
  • Journalist Award: Marie Boran of Silicon Republic
  • Internet Marketer: Michele Neylon of Blacknight Solutions
  • Internet Entrepreneur: Derek Quinn of
  • Innovation: Niall Devine from
  • Educational Contribution: Paul Whelan for
  • eGovt: Cathy Clarke for
  • Best Use of Social Media: Marcus Mac Innes for
  • Best Online Trader Ireland: Brian Fallon 
  • Best Online Financial Service: Martin O’Leary, RaboDirect
  • Online Exporter: Lulu O’Sullivan
  • Best Online business use of Irish: Niall O’Driscoll, vStream
  • Best Business Podcaster: Alex Gibson for
  • Best Business Blogger: Michele Neylon

Irish Technology start-ups face funding hurdles

admin 24th of October 2008 by admin

John Collins has an excellent piece on the Technology funding landscape in today’s Irish Times.

Still don’t know where all the Irish VC monies goes to – please help us by updating your company profile on Crunchbase.

The Irish Times also has an article on Business Expansion Schemes – and gives a mention to Loudervoice – we should see quite a few Irish technology companies availing of BES schemes this year.

Related to funding matter – Saul Klein presented at web2europe this week – an excellent presentation which you should check out.

Thoughts on European Start Ups
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: startups vc)

Irish Online travel service makes €18.3m profit

admin 20th of October 2008 by admin

Web Reservations International (WRI), owner of the site, made a pre-tax profit of €18.3 million last year, as almost 83 million people visited its network of websites to book hostel accommodation around the world.

The SBPost article also has details on

WRI has about 90 staff, with overseas bases in Shanghai and Sydney. As well as Mooney and the co-founders, its directors include chairman Fintan Drury, former Aer Lingus chief financial officer Brian Dunne and Mark Opzoomer, the former managing director of Yahoo! in Europe.

The company was valued at about €400 million in 2004 when it raised external funding from Summit Partners, a US venture capital company. However, it bought back some of Summit Partners' shares in 2006 as part of a corporate restructuring.

The 2007 accounts show the firm paid €35 million to Summit Partners for those shares. As part of that process, a total of €12.2 million was paid to trusts owned by Nolan, Kennedy and fellow director Paddy Holahan, and a further €1.5 million was paid to WRI directors and key management.

Contrast launches Qwitter – for Catching Twitter quitters

admin 18th of October 2008 by admin

The lads in Contrast have launched a cool twitter related serviceQwitter: Catching Twitter quitters


Lots of press coverage – do check out venturebeat and other coverage from techmeme

Ireland certainly has quite a few twitter mashups @ twitter API – check twitterfone, loudervoice and tweetrush

Roomex and IQContent get Fast 50 Awards

conor 17th of October 2008 by conor

The Deloitte Fast 50 Awards were held last night in Dublin.

Two friends of Web2Ireland did very well.

First won the Deloitte Technology Rising Star Award for 2008. With growth of over 3,100% over the last 3 years, is fast becoming one of the most widely used booking hotel portals in Ireland and Europe.

IQContent came in at Number 8 in the top 50. The team there have built a fantastic business with a focus on usability and accessibility in building great websites for an impressive range of clients.

I’ll update this post when Deloitte actually publishes the full list!

Automattic Moving to Sligo

conor 16th of October 2008 by conor

OK, they aren’t really but Sligo is actually their first commercial office outside of the US. The coverage of the PollDaddy acquisition has been amazing in a few short hours. Here’s just a sample:



It’s currently top story on Techmeme.

Lovely picture of the crew on Donncha’s blog:

Polldaddy acquired by WordPress

fergus 15th of October 2008 by fergus


Congratulation to Lenny aka David Lenehan and Eoin Gallagher on Polldaddy team – and Toni, Matt and Automattic team.

Polldaddy is the default online poll service for leading blogs, social networks and websites – and the acquisition by WordPress parent – Automattic – makes total sense – and the team dynamics is brilliant.

Only 2 developers [Lenny and Eoin] on polldaddy – which was initially incubated within Infacta.

It was spun out as a seperate entity late in 2007 – with angel investment provided by Infacta and Polldaddy founder, Jonathan Hill.

Polldaddy also recruited Scott Rafer as an advisor in 2007 – and Scott played no small part in assisting the project in getting to its current scale.

The Polldaddy is great validation for Web2Ireland – especially given the level of investment, the operations, and the acquisition result.

Given the recent news on Facebook setting up in Ireland – it perhaps set a new model for the IDA/EI – International operations get setup via acquisition [which is what Israel have done for years].

To add more context in terms of WordPress scale – see this post from Fred Wilson on Facebook vs WordPress – and the Polldaddy numbers will drive this further forward.

facebook vs wordpress

Disclosure: I’m a personal friend of Lenny, Jonathan and Scott

Irish Web Awards Winners

conor 15th of October 2008 by conor

The IWA08 was an enormous success for Damien Mulley. Already looking forward to next year. The winners were:

  • Best Online Publication – sponsored by Red Cardinal
    • Irish Times
  • Best Radio Website – sponsored by IGOPeople
    • Phantom FM
  • Best Podcaster – sponsored by Irish Mortgage Brokers
    • Playlist Mix
  • Best Videocaster – sponsored by eType Ireland
    • RTE
  • Best Sports Site – sponsored by
  • Best Music Site – sponsored by
    • State Magazine
  • Best Entertainment Website – sponsored by
  • Best Technology Site – sponsored by BH Consulting
    • Silicon Republic
  • Best New Web Application/Service – sponsored by InterTradeIreland's SeedCorn
    • Poll Daddy
  • Most Innovative Website – sponsored by iQ content
    • Pixenate
  • Best Discussion forum – sponsored by Brand Ignite
  • Best Government Website – sponsored by Interactive Return
    • Aras Kids
  • Best Council Website – sponsored by Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd
  • Best Third Level Website – sponsored by the Irish Computer Society
    • Access NUI Maynooth
  • Best Education website -
    • FIS Book Club
  • Best eCommerce / Services Website – sponsored by Cybercom
    • Spicendipity
  • An Suíomh Gaeilge is Fear – sponsored by Edgecast Media
  • Best Practice – sponsored by Lightbox
  • Most Beautiful Website in Ireland – sponsored by
    • Twitterfone
  • Most Useful Website in Ireland – sponsored by
    • Irish Times
  • Most Accessible Website – sponsored by iQ content
    • Kanchi
  • Grand Prix Best Website – sponsored by

Two in one month! | Open Coffee Club Limerick

conor 15th of October 2008 by conor

Two in one month! | Open Coffee Club Limerick

Posted using ShareThis

LeWeb’08 StartUp Competition – Web2Ireland participation

admin 11th of October 2008 by admin

A call out to Web2Ireland community – the LeWeb’08: StartUp Competition is a great opportunity for folks to connect with the web community in Europe [Le Web is one of the top events globally - so here is your chance].


SeedCamp is helping to select the companies – and facilitating the competition during the conference – 30 companies will be selected from the applications submitted and will demonstrate in front of a panel of expert judges. The winners of this competition will then have a chance to present their companies on the LeWeb main stage during a special session on December 10.

Applying for the competition is free of charge – and the deadline is October 20, 2008.

Check out video from Loic

Present your startup at LeWeb 1500+ people expecteddetails