Last year’s winners of the Spark of Genius Competition at the Dublin Web Summit Redeem & Get reveals how winning the competition served as a catalyst to accelerate the way the start-up was growing. The company reports strong traction among merchants in Ireland, the UK and the US and has just launched a new enterprise solution.
Last year Redeem & Get was one of five finalists that pitched at the Web Summit last October and emerged the overall winner. The start-up was awarded a business support package worth €40,000 along with an investment of €100,000 from ACT Venture Capital at this year’s Dublin Web Summit.
The support package consists of €5,000 cash, €10,000 of support from Maples, €5,000 of support from KPMG, €5,000 of support from Realex, €5,000 of marketing services from Cawley-Nea, €5,000 of hosting from Digiweb and €10,000 worth of advertising coverage.
A graduate from the NDRC Launchpad accelerator in Dublin, Redeem & Get is also an Enterprise Ireland high-potential start-up and has been around since 2011. Co-founded by Jade Alison O’Connor, Adrian McMahon and Gene Murphy, it is based at the NDRC in Dublin and offers services for businesses who participate in daily deals online.
The start-up has already processed more than €1.6m worth of voucher redemptions through its systems.
CEO Gene Murphy answers our questions:
What has changed for you in the time since you won the Spark of Genius competition at the Dublin Web Summit?
The Spark of Genius Award meant two things for our start-up, sales and investment. The attention that the Spark of Genius award generates both nationally and internationally led to meetings being setup with new strategic partners, more visibility from our core market of local merchant who need their daily deals managed and new business development opportunities. The 2011 Spark of Genius Award also came with a prize of a term sheet offer of investment which helped transform our company to begin scaling our team and working to close our seed round. The Spark of Genius in so many ways was a catalyst to help accelerate the way in which our start-up was growing and was a huge benefit to Redeem & Get.
Can you describe the traction your product/technology is receiving in the marketplace and the investment that you’ve taken aboard?
We have worked to develop a simple to use platform that helps local merchants manage and schedule daily deal customers to times that a merchant needs, stemming the overwhelming nature that daily deals can have on a business if they are not properly managed. We work to help merchants turn one time deal customers into repeat customers and in doing this make daily deals more profitable, efficient and sustainable for merchants. Our traction has been seen with merchants using our service in Ireland, UK and North America and this week at TechCrunch Disrupt we have launched an enterprise solution of our service to help daily deal sites bring the advantages of our redemption platform to their merchants overnight.
Has the Irish start-up landscape changed for the better or worse in the past year and from your perspective what areas need greater support/focus?
The Irish start-up scene has grown to encompass both the concepts and framework to successfully start and launch start-ups in the Irish ecosystem. Thanks to the international recognition of the Web Summit and F.ounders, supports from Enterprise Ireland and quality accelerator programs such as NDRC Launchpad (where we were participants) and others such as Start Up Bootcamp the channels to help start-ups are improving at a good pace. The entrepreneurs are increasingly push great concepts that punch at the same level as start-ups that we have met overseas equally. For these reasons the Irish start-up scene is incredibly vibrant and no doubt will be producing our own Zyngas and Instagrams in the not too distant future.
What in your opinion are the key technological trends/shifts that will impact both on your business in the coming years and the overall shape of the connected economy?
Increased smartphone usage and abilities that can unlock a friction free way for consumers to interact with merchants and brands is an area that we are fascinated with. Technology being simplified and placed at the till point such as is the case with developments in NFC technology in the future will further this goal as can be seen by the roll out of services such as Google Wallet through North America.
Entries for the Spark of Genius competition will close this Friday, 14 September. The winners will be announced at the end of the Dublin Web Summit on 18 October. Finalists will be chosen in the coming weeks and will get a chance to pitch to compete for a prize fund worth more than €100,000.