€14m invested in 11 Shannon start-ups


13 Jun 2003

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Up to €14m has been invested in 11 start-up companies in the Shannon region, the Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Harney said today. Some €10m will come from the private sector with the remainder coming from the State through Shannon Development.

It is envisaged that the 11 companies, which have come through Shannon Development’s InnovationWorks process, will create over 200 jobs over the next three-to-five years. Already 72 of these jobs are in place.

“This clearly illustrates the level of sophistication that our industry base at indigenous level has reached. Some of these technologies, including multimedia stream server technology; remote information monitoring and access using GSM/Internet and, in-flight GSM solutions, were unheard of just a decade ago. Many of these new Irish companies will generate an even higher level of product as their businesses grow,” the Tánaiste said.

“The founders of these companies must be complemented on their achievements to-date. Entrepreneurship is not an easy option – it involves risks and sacrifices yet it’s the challenge to succeed that motivates an entrepreneur. The recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report for 2002 stated that even though only 9pc of the Irish adult population have set up or are in business since 1999, entrepreneurial activity is increasing in Ireland, which now ranks 12th in the world, ahead of its European counterparts and just behind the US which is in 11th place”, the Tánaiste added.

Harney called on local colleges and universities to ensure that research and ideas are not left in tomes or books on shelves to gather dust, but are turned into live projects and real businesses. “These colleges are a source of innovative technologies, capabilities and up-to-date knowledge and information and should be tapped into. I know that Shannon Development, through it’s Campus Enterprise and Commercialisation of Research and Development programmes is doing so, but we need to see increased activity at this critical level.

“We also need to realise that the closure or downsizing of a multinational company can have a positive outcome from an entrepreneurial viewpoint. Some of the 11 companies have been founded by former multinational employees who have used the experience and expertise gained to become employers. While the knowledge economy in Ireland relies on the multinational sector, particularly those undertaking higher value-added activity, they are also hotbeds for nurturing Irish technology entrepreneurs,” the Tánaiste stated.

The 11 firms to receive the funding, by county, are:

Limerick:

· 3d Eagleview – digital visualisation and multimedia products
· eZee Global Software – management systems for hair and beauty salons
· HomeNet Communications – multimedia streaming and server technology
· Internet Control Solutions – remote information monitoring using GSM and internet
· Taringold – data mining software
· Vlyte Holdings – LCD display technology

Kerry:

· Brandon Products – personal care products
· Metpro – corrosion inhibitors
· Altobridge – in-flight GSM solutions

Clare:

· Fraysen Systems – process management software
· XL Technology Services – financial data collection and dissemination software

By John Kennedy