Ray Nolan NICK WEBB
Ray Nolan wasn't away for long. Probably the country's most successful internet entrepreneur, Nolan stepped down as chief executive of online room reservation group WRI last year.
The hugely profitable website was strongly considering a flotation and having got the company to its planned exit mechanism, Nolan moved on. But then the markets cratered and WRI didn't go ahead with the float or a muted tradesale. Preliminary valuations would have seen Nolan's 25 per cent worth somewhere close to €100m. But times have changed.
The 43-year-old Dubliner was already working on his next big idea. Nolan has just launched worky.com -- completely reinventing the internet job search market.
Worky -- the domain name was bought from somebody in the US with the same nickname -- uses a serious bit of technology to differentiate from the older job websites.
The site launched last week with a big marketing oomph. Already "thousands" of people have signed up. The rugby playing Nolan believes that the website has the potential to become a worldbeater, an ebay for jobs. Sporting a mashed schnoz from a crunching tackle last week, Nolan says that much of the backroom stuff is being done in Poland.
The iPhone-toting Dubliner is one of the few entrepreneurs to actually make money out of the internet. He founded software firm Coretime in the late 1980s, before selling to Sage in 2004. His hotel reservations firm WRI was set up in 1999, backed by the likes of U2 manager Paul McGuinness and former Baltimore executive Paddy Holohan. It is now one of the web's leading room reservation sites.
Worky is not Nolan's sole focus. He bought boo.com and is also involved with medical search firm Revahealth.com