Cork entrepreneur Pat Phelan’s Maxroam last night picked up the Best Hardware or Gadget Startup Award at the TechCrunch Europe awards, The Europas.
Established by Pat Phelan, Maxroam, a low-cost roaming SIM card provider, enables mobile phone users to make low-cost calls anywhere in the world and the company has struck deals in a number of verticals that enable users to make calls on land, at sea and in the air.
For Maxroam’s winning category, the judges remarked: “By creating a SIM card anyone can use globally, and a service which cuts roaming charges, Maxroam has become the European start-up entrepreneur’s SIM of choice, and deservedly so.”
Indicative of the direction the company is taking, its MAXRoam division last year forged a €10m partnership with global maritime charity Mission to Seafarers to provide voice and data packages to 1.7 million seafarers at the 250 Mission to Seafarers ports around the world. In a recent deal, Ryanair’s 73 million passengers can now also significantly cut the cost of making and receiving calls, text/SMS messages or mobile data by buying a Maxroam SIM card. In another first, the company launched the first low-cost roaming solution for the Apple iPhone 4, which allows users to access the internet, make calls and send SMS messages anywhere in Europe.
The winners of other categories at the awards were:
Best Startup Founder/Co-Founders 2010 – Errol Damelin, Wonga
Best Angel Investor of the Year 2010 – Stefan Glaenzer
Best Startup Adviser/Mentor of the Year 2010 – Sherry Coutu, Angel