Irish start-ups head to New York for some digital networking

16 May 2013

Elaine McGarry, founder of BusyMoos, who will be pitching at the New York Digital Irish event next Wednesday

Four Irish start-ups will be in New York next week to present at a new networking event called New York Digital Irish. The idea of the event is to help new Irish ventures in the digital arena break into the US.

The Irish start-ups that have been chosen to pitch at next Wednesday’s event include BusyMoos, a booking engine for beauty treatments; Trustev, the new Cork-headquartered company that specialises in social fingerprinting technology to prevent e-commerce fraud; and Marino Software, a designer of apps for children.

Feargall Kenny, who heads up the New York-based executive search firm Glenborn, is behind New York Digital Irish. So far, two meet-ups have been held in New York, one in January and one in March.

Digital media forum

Kenny said the focus of the group is to provide a forum for Irish expats and Irish-Americans in the digital media arena.

“It’s also to build a bridge between those folks and the digital community back in Ireland.”

At Wednesday’s event, Kenny said each of the start-ups will be doing a fast pitch to the audience about their innovations and what they are looking for – be it employees, partners or investment.

“With the two events that we have held so far the idea is to have two firms from Ireland and two firms that are run by Irish expats or Irish-Americans here in the States,” he explained.

The two US start-ups that are pitching at New York Digital Irish next week are BestBuzz and BlueLink Marketing. Founded by Irish American Carrie Layne, BestBuzz is a mobile marketing and loyalty platform, while BlueLink Marketing is pioneering a new approach to search engine marketing and is run by Irish expat Brendan Delaney.

Making US connections

For Irish start-ups, the idea is to hook them up with Irish expats and Irish-Americans who might be interested in connecting them with their digital networks.

Elaine McGarry is the founder of BusyMoos, one of the Irish ventures that will be pitching at next week’s event.

Founded in 2012, BusyMoos is a booking engine for everyday services in the health and beauty sector. The company was also a participant on Launchpad programme at the NDRC last year.

McGarry said BusyMoos is now running online booking trials with businesses in Dublin.

The start-up is going after the female market because it is specifically women who make repeat appointments with businesses, such as beauticians and hairdressers, according to McGarry.

BusyMoos has recently taken on a developer who is based in New York. McGarry said the strategic plan is to start targeting the US marketplace once the company’s base testing is over.

“There are 25m appointments made in the beauty sector every day in the States so there is a larger market for us,” said McGarry.

BusyMoos is now looking for funding to build out its system.

“We’re hoping to make connections in New York who will help us roll out our service once we have funding on board,” added McGarry.

As for the New York Digital Irish, Kenny said the plan is to create a digital mission to New York for Irish firms. By this, the goal would be to bring up to 20 Irish companies to New York for an intensive three-day affair on doing business in New York, he said.

Another plan is to create a “virtual advisory board” to guide Irish firms in the digital space that are entering the US marketplace.

New York Digital Irish has a LinkedIn page for start-ups that wish to find out more.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic