Fingal Local Enterprise Week kicked off with a business breakfast event called “Show me the Money – Raising finance for SMEs” in the Carlton Hotel Dublin Airport, at which all of the state bodies and other funding bodies participated in a panel discussion with Ian Guider of the Sunday Business Post. A panel of five entrepreneurs also featured, joining funders like Enterprise Ireland, the Local Enterprise Office, Microfinance Ireland, Linked Finance, Business Angel Networks, the SBCI, etc.
On Monday evening, the LEO joined forces with Balbriggan Chamber of commerce for a seminar entitled “Driving Sales on Social Media”, led by renowned expert Noel Davidson. SMEs learned how they can use social media to gain new customers and help them promote their brand and products.
On Tuesday morning, the Howth-Sutton-Baldoyle Chamber hosted a talk from consumer expert Dermot Goode, who explained how businesses can cut their health insurance costs saving thousands of euros in doing so. It was then over to the Linc in the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown for a “Business Pitching competition”.
Following this on Tuesday evening in Castleknock hotel, BWG Group presented to more than 120 local food producers from the Dublin Food Chain. Details were announced about an innovative new competition being run by BWG as a collaborative initiative with the Local Enterprise Office. In this competition, 10 short-listed businesses will get an opportunity to pitch to become a supplier to BWG, owners of over 1,000 retail outlets in Ireland including Spar, MACE, Londis and BWG Foodservice, among others.
This year’s Fingal LEO Enterprise Week was the biggest ever, with over ten thousand business owner/managers and aspiring entrepreneurs attending more than 300 business events throughout the country.
Fingal County Council Chief Executive Paul Reid, Mayor of Fingal Cllr Mary McCamley, MC Conall O' Móráin, Enterprise Ireland Deirdre O'Neill, Head of Enterprise, Oisin Geoghegan and Head of Dublin Chamber of Commerce Anthony Cooney.
The Fingal Enterprise Awards took place at the end of the week which saw Castleknock based WeBringg Ltd securing the overall winner award, which comes with €5,000 prize out of the total prize fund of €15,000.
There were over 1,000 people participating in the Fingal business events during which they could network and learn from business experts. In Fingal, a series of more than twenty events took place. These included seminars, clinics and workshops in business as well as networking and pitching events.
The runner-up prize was split between two companies: Dropchef Ltd. of Sutton; and ScoobyBox/BusterBox Ltd. of Baldoyle.
Chief Executive of Fingal County Council Paul Reid expressed his delight at the range of activities: “Well over 1,000 people have booked places at our events this week and this is indicative of the appetite among Fingal based entrepreneurs to improve their own management ability to explore their opportunity for growth, their management ability as well as their networks. It also demonstrates that our Local Enterprise Office here in Fingal has its finger on the pulse of the real needs of our small business community.”
Congratulating the winner of the Fingal Enterprise Award this year, Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Mary McCamley said: “I am so impressed with the extraordinary entrepreneurial talent in this competition. It is fantastic that Fingal County Council, through our Local Enterprise Office, is cultivating these wonderful small businesses and providing very practical supports to help them to flourish. Well done to WeBringg Ltd and all of the ten finalists this year.”
Speaking at the end of a long but exciting week, Head of Fingal Local Enterprise Office, Oisin Geoghegan said: “This has been the best Enterprise Week yet. I am delighted to see so many Fingal businesses availing of the services that are being provided to them. Enterprise Week is now over for this year, but our work goes on throughout the year and our doors are always open to entrepreneurs who have a good idea for a business, and to our established businesses that are seeking support services”.
2018 Fingal Enterprise Awards: And the winners are…
Fingal Local Enterprise Office is delighted to announce the finalists for the 2018 Fingal Enterprise Awards. This year, ten businesses were short-listed, all of which faced a grilling from the Fingal LEO independent panel of judges. Following their visit to the Fingal dragon’s den, the ten applicants were centre-stage at the Enterprise Awards event during Local Enterprise Week, when they were interviewed by Today FM’s Conall O’Morain. The prize fund this year is €15,000. One overall winner emerged, WeBringg Ltd., who will now represent Fingal at the National Enterprise Awards final in the Mansion House in May 2018. Last year our winner Hope Beer went on to scoop the “Best Start-Up Business” award at national level.
The runner-up prize this year was split between two finalists: Drop Chef; and ScoobyBox / BusterBox. The awards ceremony "In the Spotlight" took place on the evening of Thursday 8th March in the Atrium of County Hall in Swords. The ten Fingal Enterprise Awards finalists of 2018 are as follows:
Armor Media Ltd. Armor Media is a global export company, selling to the top 3 global Science Publishers, funding agencies, government agencies, scientific charities, as well as to the biopharma/medtech industry and the tech sector. Armor Media’s SciencePOD is a platform which helps innovative companies tell their story for the purpose of showcasing their products and activities. Their cloud-based solution uses Artificial Intelligence to automate the process of creating content suitable for delivering digital and print publications on a very large scale to their global clients. The business stems from the realisation that new discoveries and new technologies are everywhere in our lives and in our pockets. People want to understand how latest technology and new research affect them. SciencePOD was created to make sense of science and innovation. www.sciencepod.net Location: Baldoyle Promoter: Sabine Louët
Berry Be Beauty Lorna Venton set up her venture “Berry Be Beauty” to service the growing demand for handmade beauty products. She has developed and manufactures a range of high quality non-toxic products using the finest natural raw ingredients, free from chemical, parabens and SLS. Berry Be Beauty also manufactures Soy Wax Candles and natural oil diffusers which are hand-poured using 100% pure essential oils. All Berry Be Beauty products are made in Fingal and carry the Guaranteed Irish Logo. Lorna plans to expand her customer base throughout Ireland and into other EU countries in the coming years. www.berry-be-beauty.ie Location: Balbriggan Promoter: Lorna Venton
Corr Optical Ltd. Corr Optical is Ireland’s only accredited advanced Glazing Laboratory providing frames and prescription lenses to independent opticians. The business was established in 1998 first selling optical frames to opticians and optical stores, before expanding into the lens business. In 2016, Corr Optical built Ireland’s first, real time, automated, State of the Art Glazing Laboratory dedicated to independent opticians. www.corroptical.ie Location: Baldoyle Promoter: Niall McCormack
Dropchef Ltd. DropChef is a nationwide service that supplies customers with fresh pre-portioned ingredients and simple step-by-step recipe cards, delivered weekly to their home or office. A key strength of DropChef is the core management team and adjacent staff which make up the company structure. In their roles as co-founders, Roman Grogan, Ryan Scott and Sam O’Byrne all bring a variety of complementary skills to the business. Users of the service select recipes from a weekly changing menu & Drop Chef deliver all the ingredients you need, in exactly the right quantities, along with an easy to follow step-by-step recipe card. The company has plans to build their brand nationally and raise finance to fund a major international business expansion. www.dropchef.com Location: Sutton Promoter: Ryan Scott, Roman Grogan & Sam O’Byrne
LVP renewables Ltd. LVP Renewables distribute, sell and install Thermodynamic Solar Panels which offer a renewable source to obtain hot water 365 days of the year from one solitary solar panel. The company offers a full design and install service from their premises in Fingal. As the business has grown, LVP Renewables have moved to customise and design solutions and also work closely with engineers and architects nationwide to advise and support the design, sell and installation service. LVP currently employs 10 full-time staff. LVP has just been given the agency to the UK and have started in England in recent months. www.lvprenewables.ie Location: Finglas Promoter: Richard White
MW Control Solutions Ltd. MW Controls Solution Ltd., Lusk MW Control Solutions Limited supplies and installs their own fully automated control package called “Distil eIT”. The company specialises in the full design & automation of pharmaceuticals companies, dairy factories, distilleries and breweries, working with some of Ireland’s leading manufacturing brands. The company provides data management, SCADA functionality & interaction with a wide range of established PLC brands, and has the capacity to provide a factory with a full scope of automatic controls. Employing 6 engineers, the company continues to enjoy significant growth since it was established in 2013. www.mwcontrolsoutions.ie Location: Lusk Promoter: Michael Wendling
Relodata Ltd. Established in 2015, Relodata Ltd is a software business that has created “The GT Global Tracker”, designed to assist businesses with tracking their travellers for the compliance risks they generate in the areas of Taxation, Immigration and Duty of Care. By counting the days in each jurisdiction, the rules engine issues alerts as a threshold approaches – keeping their clients ahead of incidents. The service is cloud based and runs a series of algorithms on the accumulated travel data entered by travellers on their smartphone. In 2016 the company won the Technological Innovation in Relocation award at the Forum for Expatriate Management, a major achievement for this start-up. The company is on a strong international growth trajectory, with plans to recruit a further 10 staff in 2018. www.gtglobaltracker.com Location: Malahide Promoter: Liam Brennan
Scooby box/Buster Box Ltd. ScoobyBox Is a subscription service for dog parents sending a box of fun, exciting toys and healthy treats to thousands of subscribers in Ireland and the UK. The company was founded in 2016 by Liam Brennan, Paul Carrick and Gary Redmond. Their mission is to make life easier for dogs and their parents. They have 1000 active subscribers, of which 20% are in the UK and the other 80% are in Ireland. This will change in 2018 as the company is focused on growing the business in the UK. A new website is now set up to take payment in sterling & they are pushing marketing efforts to rapidly grow the subscriber base. The promoters are also seeking to expand into Germany in the near future and are targeting markets which feature a growing population of dog lovers. www.ScoobyBox.com Location: Baldoyle Promoter: Liam Brennan, Paul Carrick & Gary Redmond
Tracy Gilbert Design Ltd. Tracy Gilbert is an award winning jewellery designer with a meticulously handcrafted range, developed in Dublin with love of Irish roots, history and folklore. Tracy transforms traditional Celtic symbolism into contemporary pieces that capture the essence of Ireland’s Celtic past. Her use of translucent materials and precious metals is a striking feature of her designs. Each piece comes with a story card explaining the meaning behind the design. Tracy is focusing her marketing efforts on the domestic market as well as export markets where there is a significant Irish diaspora. www.tracygilbertdesigns.com Location: Donabate Promoter: Tracy Gilbert
We Bringg Ltd. WeBringg delivers online sales orders using their innovative technology and fleet of crowd-sourced delivery personnel. Their platform has turned the traditional 2/3-day delivery wait time into 90 minutes and has also become one of the largest food delivery companies in Ireland. WeBringg plans to increase their staffing count to 35 in 2018 as they expand into Australia, the UK and New Zealand. They have recently been awarded the title Best Start-Up at the Dublin Regional Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Awards. www.webringg.com Location: Castleknock Promoter: Alan Hickey & Sean Murray