David Manley emerging finalists announced

17 Jan 2011

The three finalists up for a prize package of more than €100,000 in the 2011 David Manley Emerging Entrepreneur Awards have been announced.

There are three categories – social, arts and business — and the winner will be unveiled this coming Thursday, 20 January.

Anne Bedos is the Emerging Social Entrepreneur finalist. She founded Rothar – a bike shop with a social focus – in 2008, after working in the charity and community development sector for more than 10 years.

Rothar is a not-for-profit organisation that recycles discarded bikes and provides training and job opportunities to people from disadvantaged communities.

Operating from Phibsboro, Dublin, the shop sells refurbished bicycles, accessories and second-hand parts and offers classes on bicycle repairs. 

Originally from France, Bedos moved to Ireland in 2004. A political scientist specialising in social inclusion and gender equality, she is also an enthusiastic cyclist.

Since May 2008, Rothar has salvaged more than 250 bikes, diverting 4 tonnes of waste from landfills.

Rothar works closely with youth groups to train at-risk youths in bicycle mechanics, as well as building skills in basic business concepts. With a steady revenue stream from the sale of refurbished bicycles, Rothar is financially self-sustainable. 

Spotting a festival opportunity

Angel Luis Gonzales is the Emerging Arts Entrepreneur finalist. In 2008, just a year after graduating from Dublin Institute of Technology with an honours BA degree in photography, he had the ambitious idea of staging Ireland’s first photographic festival. 

He noted that recent photographic exhibitions had attracted far greater numbers than anticipated plus there has been a proliferation of photography degrees and the creation of specific research centres around the medium.

Despite this, there was no international festival of photography in Ireland – so Gonzales developed one. Born in Madrid, Spain, he has been in Ireland for 12 years and lives in Donnybrook. The festival operates out of Lower Mount Street, Dublin.

The PhotoIreland Festival successfully engaged with more than 60 organisations to develop 35 exhibitions in 35 venues showcasing the work of more than 250 photographers. It attracted 45,000 visitors. 

It was funded by private sponsorship (25pc) with the remainder being provided by the Department of Tourism, Culture & Sport. ‘Dragon’ Bobby Kerr mentored Gonzales.

A UCD spin-out

Equinome, a University College Dublin spin-out company headquartered at NovaUCD, was established in 2009 to assist the bloodstock industry to maximise the genetic potential of thoroughbred horses. 

Traditionally, thoroughbreds have been selected using only a mix of visual assessment combined with historical bloodline data to infer their likely genetic composition. However, research led by Dr Emmeline Hill at UCD in 2009 resulted in the world’s first successful identification of a performance-related gene in thoroughbred horses.

Following this breakthrough, Equinome was co-founded by Hill (the Emerging Business Entrepreneur finalist) and Jim Bolger, the well-known Irish horse breeder and trainer, and the Equinome Speed Gene Test was commercially launched last January.

The company has already secured major clients in Ireland, Australia, France, the UK, Singapore, New Zealand, South Africa and the US and has new products scheduled for 2011 and 2012.

Article courtesy of Bizstartup.ie