12 new DCU internet spin-outs to hire 24 people next year

30 Nov 2011

Internet start-ups at DCU today. From left: Gavin Lockhart of Smartouch Media; Sandra Maguire of Edubills; John Pryor of Smartouch Media; Trevor Dagg of Talentevo; John Maughan of Nimble Tours; and Mannix Ryan of Maybe Video

Dublin City University is getting in on the Christmas spirit, as starting from today, 1 December, the university will be launching a new inventive internet start-up over 12 days, such as a website for people to find dog hotels in Ireland and a useful site for learner drivers.

The ’12 Business Days of Christmas’ initiative, which has been developed by Dublin City University’s Leadership, Innovation and Knowledge Research Centre (LINK), will kick-start brand awareness of 12 new internet companies that have either spun-out from the university or who have been gleaning expertise from DCU in the past while.

Between them, the companies, which provide services ranging from cloud computing, mobile application design, e-commerce, and web TV, will be hiring 24 people in 2012.

It’s a perfect example of the type of get-up-and-go university graduates in the IT space in Ireland are especially showing right now to pool their respective talents and head down the entrepreneurial path. It’s also emblematic of the way people are diversifying their business portfolios to stay apace with the changing face of the internet.

A separate business will launch on each business day (excluding 5 and 6 December, due to the Budget) from 1-20 December.  

Each day, DCU will focus on driving awareness of a company through traditional and social media. AIB is supporting the initiative.
The 12 companies are clients of the LINK Research Centre at DCU or start-ups formed by recent DCU Business School graduates, a research unit attached to DCU Business School. They are:

Smartouch Media
Smartouch Media specialises in building affordable, functional e-commerce websites and smartphone applications for the Apple App Store, the Android market and the Windows platform.

Compare Book Pass
Compare Book Pass is an online platform for learner drivers, formed by DCU graduates in 2011. The platform allows learner drivers to search, review, rank and book approved driving instructors in their localities.

Talentevo is a cloud-based performance management software. The core product allows companies to identify staff performance and implement a consistent performance management process.

Imagine Sunglasses
Imagine Sunglasses is a designer sunglasses website. It describes itself as a “one-stop shop” for the latest styles and fashion trends in sunglasses.  
Sanncus specialises in software asset management. The product offers software asset management services, consultancy and training to ensure all organisations are compliant with regard to software licensing.

AerTv is a free online platform streaming Irish channels. Channels include RTÉ 1, RTÉ 2, TV3, TG4. 3e and RTÉ jr.

Edubills is aiming for a cashless society. It’s online platform offers an online payment and ordering system to schools. The site enables parents to pay school bills and buy school supplies securely and directly into the schools’ bank accounts. 

MyDoggyHotel is an online booking website for quality pet accommodation in Ireland. The site helps pet owners to find, compare, and book online the best pet accommodation available. A description of facilities, pictures and map location of each pet accommodation is provided.

Rentview is a cloud-based rent and property management platform for the property letting industry. The software application allows estate and letting agencies manage letting and management portfolios through an online account. Rentview is aiming to help minimise and prevent incidences of rent arrears.

Nimble Tours
Nimble Tours creates professional multimedia tour guide apps for mobile devices. The platform enables tour operators to develop mobile applications more cost effectively, says Nimble, which uses GPS, mapping and multimedia capabilities to replace tour guide books, pamphlets and guidebooks.
Dairy Lims
Dairy Lims is a cloud web-based laboratory information management system designed specifically for the dairy industry. For more than 20 years, the company has designed and developed software for the agricultural sector in Ireland. The product aims to help improve the accuracy of lab reporting, increase transparency and offer secure online lab access through the cloud-based offerings.  
Maybe Video
Maybe Video says it is Ireland’s first online space for video producers to connect with individuals or businesses demanding high-quality video. 


The LINK approach

LINK itself is an applied research centre that works closely with entrepreneurs, start-ups and established businesses. Businesses and individuals are supported and mentored to help develop their ideas into fully viable business start-ups and grow these companies once established.

Dr Theo Lynn, director of Industry Engagement at DCU Business School, today described DCU as “Ireland’s University of Enterprise”.

“We believe small business is big business, and SMEs will play a crucial role in Ireland’s future economic growth,” he said.

“Universities, whether through research, education or engagement, should and can play a much more tangible role in helping entrepreneurs and start-ups develop and grow their businesses. We are delighted at the support we have received from throughout DCU including the staff, DCU Student’s Union, the Media Production Society and AIB,” added Lynn.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic