Haxlr8r, a seed venture fund backed by Dragon's Den star Sean O'Sullivan, plans to shake up the sex-toy industry by supporting an earth-shattering new vibrator firm.
Founded by Singapore entrepreneur Dema Tio, Vibease, has hired Offaly-born Angela Mahon as brand strategist to help his company crack the $15bn US sex-toy market.
Vibease has made a $99 device which couples living in different countries can control using their mobile phone, or users can hook up to an app that delivers varied audio-erotic scenarios synced to their product. Tio told the Sunday Independent that O'Sullivan's Haxlr8r had helped them prepare to ship their first devices in July.
"From prototypes to manufacturing, they helped us to navigate through China's manufacturing process," Tio said. "At the same time [they] taught us to avoid costly mistakes. One of the biggest challenges for hardware start-ups is to bring prototype to production."
Mahon said she joined the company because "it grabbed my attention from the start and for obvious reasons. I saw it as a fun and challenging experience". She said Vibease had worked hard to ensure their products were "sophisticated and classy".
Asked what her friends in Offaly back home thought, she said: "Let's say, it breaks the ice. There was certainly a few laughs, giggles and red cheeks from family members and friends but the reaction would always veer to an inquisitive nature."
Haxlr8r was co-founded by O'Sullivan, along with three other technology entrepreneurs. Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton appointed the entrepreneur as chair of the Government Entrepreneur-ship Forum yesterday. O'Sullivan who lives in Cork is the managing director of Avego, a US/Ireland/China-based operation that enables transport efficiency.