Techcrunch awards – top Irish tech start-ups shortlisted

25 Jun 2009

Voting has opened up for the inaugural Europas Awards organised by influential news blog Techcrunch and several young Irish technology companies have been nominated for the prestigious gongs.

The Europas, the Europe-wide Techcrunch awards for technology innovation, will be held on 9 July.

The purpose of the Europas awards are to honour young tech heroes and heroines from across Europe’s web and mobile scene.

After being filtered out of the Crunchbase database, the nominated companies will be up for public vote, and the final award winners will be decided based on website voting and by the Europas Advisory Board.

It’s a testimony to the quality of tech start-up in Ireland that at least seven companies have been nominated for five out of 15 categories.

Dublin-based Locle and Cork-based MaxRoam have been nominated for the Best Mobile Application. Created by Peter Oonk and Ronan Higgins, Locle’s app enables internet and mobile phone users to discover on a map where friends and colleagues are at any time. Pat Phelan’s MaxRoam SIMs enable travellers to make affordable voice and data communications anywhere on the globe.

Cork-based LouderVoice, led by Conor O’Neill, has been nominated in the category of Best Web Application or Service. LouderVoice allows anyone to write reviews on pretty much anything and publish them online. The company has also launched an Android app version of the service.

Limerick-based Mobanode and Dublin-based have been nominated for Techcrunch’s Best Mobile Start-up Award. MobaNode is a mobile services company that provides various technologies to enable the deployment of an “off network” mobile communications platform that can be deployed on either a permanent or temporary basis to provide rich media content directly to (and from) mobile phones., a spinout from Dublin software firm Rococo, has developed a hands-free voice system that allows you to get things done while you drive.

Muzu TV, Ireland’s answer to YouTube which has struck deals with EMI, Warner, Sony and Universal has been nominated for the Best Entertainment App or Service. Muzu TV allows fans to create, watch and share music-video playlists. Users can create video playlists from thousands of videos and embed them on their social- networking sites. The site generates its revenue by sharing ad revenues with artists and labels.

Joe Drumgoole of Putplace has been nominated for the Best Start-up Founder category. The company’s platform effectively allows consumers to make use of Amazon’s S3 storage platform for anything from songs to photos and email.

Robin Blandford’s Decisions for Heroes has been nominated for the Best Social Innovation category. Decisions for Heroes provides technology to manage all the elements of a rescue team from analytics to training. has been nominated the Best B2B/Enterprise Start-up. The Limerick-based company’s service is a new kind of project-coordination platform that turns communications into action. It is currently on beta trial among 50 organisations in the US and Europe.

The Irish connection continues as Barry Maloney’s Balderton Capital, an investor in players like Bebo and 7digital, has been nominated for the best Venture Capital Player Award.

In fact, the entire voting engine on which the Techcrunch Europas is being run is based on Sligo company Polldaddy’s voting software system. Polldaddy was bought last year by blogging software giant WordPress. To vote for the company you believe deserves a gong click here.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years