Bizimply named ESB Spark of Genius winner 2015 (video)

5 Nov 2015

Mary Collins, ESB judge and partner in Greencoat Capital, pictured presenting Bizimply co-founder Gerard Forde with the Spark of Genius Award at Web Summit. Photo: Connor McKenna

Bizimply has been named as the winner of the ESB Spark of Genius Award 2015.

Bizimply was announced as the winner live on stage at the Web Summit in Dublin this afternoon (5 November).

Gerard Forde, co-founder of the former Start-Up of the Week, accepted the award on behalf of the company.

Earlier in the day, Bizimply had pitched to the audience and judges live on stage alongside fellow finalists Ayda and Soapbox Labs.

Bizimply will now take home a €25,000 prize fund after it was chosen as the winner by a panel of judges including Mary Collins, partner in Greencoat Capital, Tony Zappala, Partner Highland Europe, Shay Walsh, MD at BT Ireland and Stephen Rae, group editor-in-chief of Independent News and Media.

Bizimply is an all-in-one people and shift management solution for the service industry, including restaurants, retail stores, bars, hospitality, salons and healthcare industries.

From more than 175 entries, Bizimply battled against a range of start-ups that included healthcare and beauty apps, marketing and gaming development services, people management solutions and job marketplace services.

Bizimply was founded by Forde, Mikey Cannon and Norman Hewson in 2012.

It is now operating in about 400 locations in 11 countries.

The Dublin-headquartered company is planning to open a Boston office and Forde said some of the prize money will go towards putting a deposit down for that.

“We hope to build a global company out of Dublin,” Forde told after he was presented with the prize. “I think we’re going to be the best HR software company in the world.”

Speaking at the announcement, Mary Collins, ESB judge and partner in Greencoat Capital, said: “It was an honour to judge the ESB Spark of Genius Award and I’m delighted to present the award to Gerard and the Bizimply team. The passion, enthusiasm, business acumen and creativity that all finalists all brought to the final pitch was extremely professional.”

Now in its sixth year, the ESB Spark of Genius Award is one of Ireland’s most prominent start-up competitions. Past winners of the ESB Spark of Genius include SmartThings, Viddyad and Love & Robots.

Brigid O Gorman is a former sub-editor of Silicon Republic.