FabAllThings wins DCU Ryan Academy overall company of the year prize

20 Jun 2014

Winners Aoibheann Daly (left) and CEO Emer Daly (right) of FabAllThings, with Shay Garvey of Frontline Ventures

FabAllThings, the maker start-up company founded by sisters Emer, Kate and Aoibheann O’Daly, has won the overall title of Female Propeller for High Fliers Company 2014 by DCU Ryan Academy.

The sisters founded FabAllThings in 2012 and has proven to be an innovative business that marries intricate designs with new manufacturing technologies, such as 3D printing and digital manufacturing, as well as crowdsourcing new product ideas, such as jewelry, wall art and smartphone covers through its online marketplace. Customers may personalise products and participate in the product creation process.

Along with the title, FabAllThings will receive €50,000 for investment towards further business development.

The company has already generated a supportive online community.

As one of the members of the judging panel, Shay Garvey of Frontline Ventures explained why the judges felt FabAllThings stood out from the crowd. “The judges believed this three-person founder team has great growth ambition, is highly qualified and can now build an international network with investment and support from Frontline and other contributors.

“Aside from targeting a large market opportunity, the FabAllThings team places a huge emphasis on design, which is something that Frontline sees as critical in the next wave of innovative companies.” 

The news comes soon after Silicon Republic selected FabAllThings CEO Emer Daly as one of its 100 top women in science, technology, engineering and maths as part of the Women Invent Tomorrow campaign. Emer is one of a few early stage businesspeople on the list.

‘Overwhelmed by demand’

FabAllThings’ emergence as Female Propeller for High Fliers Company 2014 is the culmination of Female Propeller, a 13-week long programme to support female-led business with growth and export potential.

A total of 12 companies took part in the programme, with other prizes going to Sheena Bailey, founder of TestReach, an online exam service. Bailey claimed the audience prize of a trip to Silicon Valley, California, to meet with mentors and potential investors. The final prize, a year’s free legal services from Peppe Santoro’s Venture Legal Services, has been awarded to Gaelic Escargot, Ireland’s only farm to breed free-range edible snails.

Ann Horan, CEO of DCU Ryan Academy – and another woman on Silicon Republic’s top 100 women in STEM list – reflected on the success of the first year of Female Propeller.

“We were overwhelmed by the level of demand for places on Female Propeller, a strong indicator of the untapped female entrepreneurial potential in (Ireland) and the appetite for female-specific supports,” Horan said. “Our objective in launching this programme was to fast-track female entrepreneurs, their leadership skills and their businesses.”

Women Invent Tomorrow is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Accenture Ireland, Intel, the Irish Research Council, ESB, Twitter, CoderDojo and Science Foundation Ireland.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic