Five Irish start-ups selected to pitch at Dublin Web Summit

26 Oct 2010

Five young technology companies have been selected to pitch at the Maples & Calder Spark of Genius competition at the Dublin Web Summit this Thursday night, where some of the world’s most influential web entrepreneurs and investors will gather.

The competition, which was previously won earlier this year by TechCrunch Europe Awards nominee GetitKeepit, aims to identify innovative web and web-related tech companies and help the winners make it to the next stage of their development.

Selected finalists will pitch their business plans to more than 350 people at the Dublin Web Summit, as they compete for the significant prize. Web luminaries including Niklas Zennstrom of Skype, Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Michael Birch founder of Bebo, will be among the attendees.

The competition winner will receive a significant prize, comprising a range of professional services from providers including Maples and KPMG, amongst others.

“The quality of companies entering the Spark of Genius was extremely high this year,” said Colm Rafferty, corporate partner, Maples and Calder.

Quality and sophistication

“Many of the entrants had significant potential for international success and accordingly our judges found it difficult to narrow the field to just five finalists. I was encouraged by the quality and sophistication of the entrepreneurs and their ideas – no doubt some of these companies will be names we are talking about for some time to come,” he said.

The five finalists (in no particular order) going forward to pitch at the Dublin Web Summit on 28 October are listed below.  The winner will be announced on Friday night at the Dublin Web Summit.

GeoDealio – Roland Gropmair

GeoDealio – A web and smartphone application to deliver real-time, high-frequency, location-based deals to users in their current location. The core concept behind GeoDealio is to augment the existing advertising space, enabling business owners to expand the scope of their current advertising mechanisms to reach a much larger group of potential customers, in both the local area and in real time.

Vennetics – John Hamill

Vennetics enables mobile operators to provide a revenue-generating presence on PC screens through an engaging PC client that offers exciting and innovative communication features.

TripInquiry Shane Hayes

Currently, an accommodation seeker uses a combination of search engines and vacation rental accommodation listing sites to identify properties. Once a property is identified, all communication moves to email and telephone. Once found, the seeker often has to send up to €3,000 (in high season) to someone they have never met. Most hosts do not qualify for credit card facilities, so cheques, bank transfers and cash are the norm. TripInquiry helps consumers shop across multiple sites and communicate with hosts. It will soon offer a secure payments service to take the risk out of transactions.

Profitero – Igor Protsenko

Profitero is helping retailers maximise profits via actionable competitor analytics. We monitor competitor prices, stock availability, shipping costs, new products, and much more.  Profitero automatically monitors competitive information (price, shipping, web presence, customer feedback, etc) on a daily basis, benchmarks each product against competition, suggests priority products to work on, actions to take, and monitors sales impact from actions already taken.

DataHug – Connor Murphy

DataHug answers “who knows who” and “how well they know them” using the data in emails. DataHug was founded in 2009 by two software consultants to solve a problem they faced every day for seven years – “Who do we know at Company ABC?” Despite having a global CRM system, LinkedIn and other research tools, the problem was difficult to solve. DataHug solves this pain. Imagine you are selling to Pfizer. You type Pfizer into the search bar and immediately see which of your colleagues have relationships there. These results are sortable by the strength, depth and quality of their relationships. The ‘HugRank’ is automatically calculated based on who is emailing who, how often they interact and who else shares these contacts.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years