Dylan Collins, the 30-year-old entrepreneur who sold one of his first companies to Activision for US$15m and whose latest venture has been acquired by Gamestop – the largest gaming retailer on the planet – has been given Ireland’s Net Visionary Award for 2010.
Collins, the entrepreneur who three years ago sold his Dublin-based technology company, DemonWare, to the world’s biggest computer-game firm, Activision, for $15m, has built up JOLT Online to be one of the most pioneering free-to-play browser games firms on the planet.
Gamestop, the world’s largest games retailer, bought JOLT last year for an undisclosed sum.
FarmVillain, an irreverent take on Zynga’s FarmVille, co-created by JOLT and new Dublin gaming firm Silly Goose has emerged as one of Facebook’s fastest-growing apps, with more than half a million people playing.
In providing Collins with the award, IIA chair Maeve Kneafsey said: “He is the embodiment of all that is great about this industry – ingenuity, pace and determination.
“Yet of all these qualities, it is his unstinting generosity in mentoring other internet start-ups and his commitment to the industry as a whole that truly sets him apart as a most worthy winner of this industry accolade,” Kneafsey said.
This was the 12th year of the IIA awards and there were more than 20 categories. The winners for the various categories were:
Best Business Blogger – sponsored by Ireland.com – Amy Dillon: Makeup and Beauty.ie
Best Business Video & Podcasting – sponsored by Muzu.tv – Marcus O’Doherty: RTE Player
Best Online Financial Service – sponsored by Data Electronics – Elaine Murphy: insure.ie
Best Online Trader– sponsored by Enterprise Ireland – Daragh Murphy: HairyBaby Clothing Company
Best Use of Social Media – sponsored by Elucidate – Michele Neylon: Blacknight Solutions
e-Government Award – sponsored by AIB Merchant Services – Joanne Grehan: Western Development Commission for LookWest.ie
Innovation Award – sponsored by RTÉ.ie – Ed Hendrick: Sonru Ltd
Internet Entrepreneur – sponsored by IE Domain Registry – Dr Des O’Mahony: Bookassist
Internet Marketer – sponsored by Graphedia – Vanessa Johnston: Pigsback.com
Journalist Award – sponsored by ICAN – Mark Little: Mark Little News
Mobile Internet Innovation – sponsored by Siliconrepublic.com – Bob Nixon: Georgina Campbell’s ireland-guide.com
Online Tourism Award – sponsored by Fáilte Ireland – Bob Nixon: Georgina Campbell’s ireland-guide.com
Social Contribution – sponsored by IE Domain Registry – Ruth Kearney: DIT Hothouse
Web Designer Excellence – sponsored by HostelWorld.com – Lisa Westermann: Fusio
Web Developer Excellence – sponsored by Microsoft – David Henry: Modus
Overall Net Visionary 2010 – Dylan Collins
By John Kennedy
Photo: Dylan Collins, the winner of Ireland’s Net Visionary Award for 2010