Over €150,000 awarded to 17 start-ups to boost digital profile

11 Mar 2015

David Walsh, director of SME and Commercial, Eircom (centre, left), with Liam Suipéil, bainisteoir an choláiste, Coláiste na Rinne (centre, right) and its students. Photo via Dylan Vaughan Photography

A total of €151,625 in funding has been awarded to a group of 17 start-ups and schools in the first round of Eircom’s Digital Boost initiative to boost their digital presence and skills.

The initiative is a joint partnership between Eircom’s business division and some of Ireland’s largest companies and digital education groups, including Google, PayPal, Samsung, The Digital Marketing Institute, Isobar and Salesforce.

The biggest recipient of this year’s funding, receiving more than €22,000, is Coláiste na Rinne in Ring, Co Waterford, a not-for-profit educational institution whose primary objective is to promote Irish through the provision of language courses for all age groups.

The institution had been deemed worthy of funding because in the past few years, it has been successful in attracting students to attend courses at its campus largely through word of mouth. However, the institution has identified the need to develop a digital strategy, from scratch, to drive further growth for the business.

Also included in this funding are a series of digital marketing training courses, a website upgrade in association with Isobar, and an invitation to attend Google’s start-up lecturer series.

Other major recipients of the funding include Goodness Grains (€16,000), Clubs to Hire (€12,000), Shoot Booths (€13,415) and Aspen Counselling Services (€11,400).

Speaking on how this funding will benefit the college, Liam Suipéil, bainisteoir an choláiste, Coláiste na Rinne, said, “In recent years, Coláiste na Rinne has also developed new courses in response to a growing interest in the Irish language amongst adult learners, both at home and abroad.

“A strong digital presence is critical in delivering services to these new market segments. We believe this will also benefit our boarding school, as well as our summer school sessions which currently see over 1,500 students of all ages annually.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic