The digital business week

5 Sep 2011

The past week’s top business and technology news stories.

Enterprise Ireland’s iGap3 about to blast off – last call

Irish digital media and gaming start-up companies have been invited to enter the race for taking part in the Enterprise Ireland iGap3 programme which is due to commence in October. The deadline (9 September) for entry is fast approaching.

Considered ‘mandatory’ by those who have already gone through it, the Internet Growth Acceleration Programme (iGAP) is an intensive management development programme aimed exclusively at high potential internet/games companies.

Over six months, iGAP will equip key promoters within the Irish internet/games industry with the practical tools needed to formulate aggressive international growth plans and scale their businesses. A list of past participants of iGAP is available on request.

“If you want to accelerate your web business and compete globally then you need to be on iGAP,” Connor Murphy of Datahug who is a previous participant said.

Smartphone-based payments business is quietly booming

The ability to pay for goods using a mobile phone is set to make a huge impact on commerce, both online and offline, writes LAURA O’BRIEN. Gartner research estimates that there will be over 141.1m worldwide mobile payment users in 2011, a 38.2pc leap from 2010.

Mobile payment volume is expected to hit a total of US$86.1bn, up from 75pc from last year.

Online payments firm PayPal has already seen the benefits of mobile commerce, experiencing strong growth within its mobile payments business.

“Three years ago we did about US$25 million of payment volume via mobile. Two years ago that was US$141 million, last year was US$750 million, and this year we expect to do over US$3 billion,” said Louise Phelan, vice president of Global Customer Solutions & EU Merchant Services at PayPal.

TechCrunch founder to create US$20m venture capital fund

The founder and editor of TechCrunch Michael Arrington is to step down from the role and is to create a US$20m venture capital fund. AOL bought TechCrunch last year for an estimated US$25m to US$35m.

Arrington is to create a new fund called the CrunchFund which he will no doubt use to support his primary passion – tech start-ups.

It is understood he will continue to write for TechCrunch but will no longer have editorial control or decision making responsibilities.

AOL will also be a partner in the fund.

Fort Technologies to create 10 new software jobs

Irish software company Fort Technologies is to create 10 new jobs as part of a new €1.36m investment supported by Enterprise Ireland. The company is collaborating with Data Solutions to deliver its new cloud service SilverLine.

The cloud business management software company is hiring 10 people to support its export and Irish market development plans.

The company has committed €1.36 million investment to software development and marketing since its founding in 2008, including the latest round of €260,000 from Enterprise Ireland and private equity investors.

Fort’s MyWorld is an integrated cloud business management system designed to make it easy for data centres and other traditional ICT services providers to sell, support and automate the rollout and management of cloud services for businesses.

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