Archive for July, 2009

First video from Facebook Garage 2

conor 26th of July 2009 by conor

When Michael Clyne of offered to record the second Irish Facebook Garage, we had no idea what to expect. It certainly wasn’t this.

Facebook Live Music Mashup App – Gig Monkey (Mobile Phone, Last FM, Bebo, Amazon, iLike, Facebook) – Facebook Garage Ireland from Path Pacific on Vimeo.

Wow, amazing work on the GigMonkey talk Michael. We can’t wait to see the other segments!

p.s. We’re just turned on the Disqus commenting system here. It is much more powerful than the built-in WordPress one, particularly when it comes to showing the distributed conversation on sites like Twitter about your posts. Let us know if you have any problems with it. It syncs with the built-in system so if there are any issues, we can just turn it off.

Maxroam on a roll – now in Asia

admin 20th of July 2009 by admin

Pat Phelan pinged us earlier to let us know about their latest deal – Buzzroam, which is a strategic partnership between Global Roaming Solutions Ltd (Hong Kong) and Cubic Telecom (Ireland).

“Buzzroam is the only GSM SIM card available in Asia which not only allows you to access cheap voice and data roaming using one dedicated international number, but also gives you the ability to forward your regular mobile number to your Buzzroam SIM card. Using strategic partnerships in over 200 countries around the world Buzzroam has the potential to save thousands of dollars on the cost of roaming charges just about anywhere in the world.”

Delta backs another Payzone Alumni

admin 15th of July 2009 by admin

SiliconRepublic reports on the latest startup to come from the Payzone Alumni, Zapa Technology.

Zapa has also raised €2.5m from Delta Partners, which follows on from Delta’s investment in the MBO of Payzone, Branded Payment Solutions.

The founder of Zapa, John Nagle, has experience of rolling out mobile payment services in stores around Ireland and the UK with Payzone, so it will be interesting to see if the NFC based approach will replace existing in-store payment options.

The article describes this new service as

Near Field Communication is a technology that will feature on every mobile handset in the world within a few years, and will transform these devices into virtual credit and debit cards. One enterprising start-up is ready to pounce on the opportunity.

Zapa Technology will soon launch a pioneering customer loyalty technology across Europe that will take advantage of the Near Field Communications (NFC) opportunity.

The company has just received the backing of veteran Irish venture capital (VC) company Delta Partners, which is putting €2.5m-worth of investment into the company.

NFC is a short-range, high-frequency, wireless communications technology that enables the exchange of data between devices over about 10 centimetres (four inches) apart. The technology could enable the growth in the market for contactless credit cards and other forms of identification and transaction.

Zapa is the first company in Europe to deploy NFC technology in a scaled environment via the ZapaTag.

Decisions for Heroes wins the IQPrize

conor 11th of July 2009 by conor

We’re a little slow with the news but it’s still worth mentioning and giving some extra background. Robin Blandford of D4H won the €10k IQPrize last Wednesday and Plink won the audience award of €1k for their elevator pitch.

As one of the judges I can honestly say it was both a privilege and a joy to listen to all 8 pitches on Wednesday. Making the final decision was very very difficult due to the quality of all of them.

If you are an investor, I recommend you study each of the 8 very closely. It is our belief that several of them will have massive exits in the next 1-2 years. All of the others will have very successful businesses and I look forward to being a customer.

The most important aspect of the IQPrize which seems to be impossible to get across to those in power was that it was entirely bottom-up with no cherry-picking or high-potential-labelling or expert-selection or jobs-for-the-boys or who-you-know or what-you-have-done-in-the-past.

Anyone could enter. Anyone.

And because of that we saw the depth of the entrepreneurial spirit in Ireland and the eagerness and hunger to build great businesses as the Zombieconomy collapses around us.

The other critical thing we saw was that many of the applicants had amazing ideas or technology but didn’t have the business background needed to make it a huge success. Incubation programmes like Genesis and Hothouse are critical here but perhaps many of those who benefited from the the boom of the past few years might like to give something back? They could offer to do more than mentoring and actually come on board with some of these businesses and help them go global. CEOs and VPs of Sales in particular could help enormously.

In 249 biz plans there were maybe 5 lunatics. I hope at least one of those proves to be a visionary and we just didn’t see it.

If you didn’t make the final 8 this year, tighten up your biz plan and have another go when the next event like this appears. There will be some feedback later in the summer from the judges overall on what worked for us and what didn’t in terms of biz plan. It was interesting that despite our wildly diverse backgrounds, we usually agreed on those points. Hopefully that will help everyone who applied to build a newer better kick-ass plan.

Well done to D4H, well done to Plink and well done everyone who applied.

IQPrize Party Tomorrow Night

conor 7th of July 2009 by conor

The IQPrize pitching and judging will run from 9am-5pm tomorrow. Good luck to all the finalists.

The winner will be announced at a party afterwards which is on from 7pm-9pm in the Source Bar, Level 5, Guinness Storehouse. Each of the finalists will give their elevator pitches before the winner is giving the giant cheque. All attendees can also vote in the People's Choice award where one of the shortlist can win an extra €1,000.

If you’re interested in coming and seeing who wins the €10k prize please RSVP to

The Tuesday Push is

conor 7th of July 2009 by conor

Head on over to cmypitch, have a poke around and maybe write a few words about them.

Fergus covered them here last week. And I covered them on the Cork OpenCoffee blog too.

Another full house for Facebook Garage Ireland 2

conor 4th of July 2009 by conor

The first Facebook Garage was so popular we had to have another one pretty soon after. On Thursday we had 150+ people crammed into a room in the Radission SAS to hear 5 speakers talk about different aspects of their experiences with Facebook.

It opened with Sean O’Sullivan from Rococo presenting their GigMonkey App. Plenty of technical meat in there about the various challenges they faced and some interesting comparisons with Bebo.

Robert Mao then gave a broad overview of build FB Apps/Connect and hosting them on Google App Engine.

I spoke about our integration of Facebook Connect into the LouderVoice reviews widget.

After the break, Flavien Charlon took everyones breath away with his description of the growth of My City. He currently has close to 500k active monthly users on this Facebook App. His talk covered everything from technical issues to growing a userbase and monetizing.

Finally Colm Long who runs Facebook EMEA gave us an insight into where Facebook was going, theeir approach to ads and the shocking growth figures for Facebook in Ireland. One important point that he highlighted was what a small company Facebook is (~900 people). So when development slows in one area e.g. Groups, it is only because they are resource strapped.

Michael Clyne took video footage of the entire event which we hope to post here next week. If you have any photos or videos, please post links to them in the comments.