Friday 19 January 2018

The Punt: Three Irish firms fight for €10,000 prize

Facebook Ireland managing director Sonia Flynn is among the judges at the Docklands Innovation Awards
Facebook Ireland managing director Sonia Flynn is among the judges at the Docklands Innovation Awards

The Punt

Three Irish companies are battling it out for a €10,000 prize in the 2015 Docklands Innovation Awards. The prize will go to the company which makes the best investment proposal. Facebook Ireland managing director Sonia Flynn is among the judges.

The companies are: Artomatix, which produces art-creation software for the video game industry; CheckVentory, which produces a stock checker for the automotive industry; and Fenestra Pro, which provides software for architects.

The man behind CheckVentory is former Fiat Group Ireland managing director Adrian Walsh. Artomatrix is the brainchild of academic Eric Risser, and Simon Whelan and David Palmer are behind Fenestra Pro.

Whelan lectures in architecture in DIT.

The companies have all come through DIT's Hothouse New Frontiers Programme for up and coming entrepreneurs.

The awards are backed by PwC.

"Recent research by PwC found that the majority of companies feel that innovation is a competitive necessity," PwC senior partner Ronan Murphy said. "Coming up with new ideas and commercialising them is not easy.

"Forging an organisational culture that promotes innovation, getting closer to the customer to find out what they really want and directing innovation accordingly is more important than ever."


New Financial Services chair

Susan Dargan, the incoming chair of Financial Services Ireland, set out her stall at the FSI's annual dinner last night at Dublin's InterContinental Hotel.

The quality of the Irish workforce was the theme of the speech by the guest of honour and key note speaker, Martin Shanahan, the IDA's chief executive.

Dargan said she was delighted to be taking over as Chair of FSI, and talked up the success of the country's international financial offering. "The success of our international financial services sector is a source of real encouragement for many young people," she said.

"There is enormous scope for growth and this will translate into many new career opportunities, both for those who have left Ireland and want to return, and those who will be leaving college and entering the jobs market over the coming years.

"We now have 35,700 people working in international financial services across Ireland, including 10,000 outside of Dublin. With the help of the Government's strategy for international financial services, I hope we can achieve even more."

Dargan thanked outgoing FSI director Brendan Bruen and welcomed incoming director Marc Coleman.


New blood in Limerick

Limerick's 200-year-old chamber of commerce has appointed three new directors to the board;  Noelette Ensko of Vistakon, George Kennedy of Holmes O'Malley Sexton and Fiona Connolly of Lyons of Limerick.

Connolly is a former Network Ireland Business Woman of the Year 2013 as well as being a member the European Parliament of Enterprise 2014. Ensko recently returned to Limerick from overseas and works on the campus in UL while Kennedy oversees the corporate and commercial team at HOMS where he advises on the sale and purchase of companies, businesses and assets.

They replace outgoing directors Gordon Kearney, Mícheál O'Laoide and Gary Rowan. Sean Lally, the general manager of Limerick Strand Hotel, has been reappointed. Chamber president Cathal Treacy also awarded an honorary life membership to Tadhg Kearney.

"Tadhg has enjoyed a distinguished career spanning over a number of decades as a contributor, advocate and promoter - not just of Limerick Chamber - but the economic vitality of this region," Treacy told the chamber's agm in the city's Hunt Musuem.

To mark the 200th anniversary of its founding, Limerick Chamber re-instated the award of Honorary Life Membership to honour persons of distinction who have made a significant contribution to the trade and commerce of Limerick or Limerick Chamber, over and above their normal profession.

Irish Independent

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