Sonru wins BoI competition, €100,000 interest-free loan

5 Mar 2010

Online video tool developer Sonru has been named as the winner of Bank of Ireland’s Bright Ideas Challenge competition and the recipient of a prize of an interest-free €100,000 loan, as well as mentoring from Smarthomes’ founder Sean Gallagher.

The €100,000 interest-free five-year loan is from the Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund, which is managed by Kernel Capital.

The Enniscorthy-based company, which won the South-Eastern regional final competition in 2009, competed against the other regional winners, RendezVu from Dublin, Eventovate from Mayo and ResourceKraft from Limerick, for the top prize.

About Sonru

Sonru was formed in 2007 by Edward Hendrick along with the company’s CEO Fergal O’Byrne, who is the former CEO of the Irish Internet Association (IIA). The company supplies an online video tool that can be used for conducting remote interviews or assisting job hunters to prepare for interviews.

“With 85 applications received in total, the competition has clearly proven that drive and passion are two fundamental qualities that Irish businesses require in order to develop and grow,” said Mark Cunningham, head of Bank of Ireland Business Banking. “We are very committed to the future of Irish businesses and are approving over 1,000 lending applications each week for SMEs, with drawdowns of over €55.5m per week. Last week alone we supported 637 small business customers.”

“In these difficult economic times the ability to sift in recruitment through a thorough on-line video interview process, which is proven to be satisfactory to both interviewer and interviewee, is a valuable contribution to cost and time savings,” said Dr Daniel McCaughan, chief technology adviser (ICT), Kernel Capital. “Sonru has a very strong management team, excellent client validation and a highly scalable product amenable to an international client base. We expect to see significant market growth in the future.”

Photo: Mark Cunningham, head of Bank of Ireland Business Banking; Edward Hendrick, founder and director of product development, Sonru; Fergal O’Byrne, CEO of Sonru; and entrepreneur Sean Gallagher

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