Seven start-ups raise €3.15m between them to scale up

8 Mar 2012

At last April's Entrepreneur Experience were Jim Breen f PulseLearning; Mike McGrath of; Colette Twomey of Clonakility Black Pudding and Ogie Sheehy of ViClarity

Seven CorkBIC clients have raised investment and funding worth €3.15m within the past 12 months, after connecting with angel investors at the incubation centre’s entrepreneur events.

The seven start-ups that raised investment are Viclarity, Mingo, Crest Solution, Manage CO2 Software, Xpertivity, Rational Careers and Virginia Health Foods.

The Limerick-based ManageCO2 Software was just in the news last week for having raised a €600,000 investment from the AIB Seed Capital Fund. The environmental software start-up is now aiming to create 12 new jobs over the next 18 months.

One of the seven firms that gleaned investment, ViClarity is a start-up that was set up in 2008. Formerly known as YouComply, the firm has developed an automated system that collects and verifies performance/compliance data so managers can view performance in real time from a single dashboard. Boston Scientific came on board as its first corporate customer back in 2008.

Speaking today, Ogie Sheehy, CEO and founder of ViClarity, spoke about getting the investment. He said that participating in the Entrepreneur Experience was a turning point for the company.

“The advice and coaching we received there will stand to us for many years to come,” he said. Sheehy added that the company was thankful for the assistance it received from Neil Gordon in CorkBIC and Aidan O’Driscoll from the Business Angel Partnership (BAP).

“They were instrumental in orchestrating our investment,” said Sheehy, who has worked at Dell, IBM and Hewlett-Packard in the past.

Matching start-ups with private investors

The BAP itself is a joint initiative between Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and the Irish Business Innovation Centres (BICs). CorkBIC manages the BAP in the midwest and southwest regions of Ireland. The aim is to provide a matching service for private investors and pre-screened investment opportunities in start-up, early stage and developing businesses.

Four out of the seven companies who raised investment did so following their participation in the Entrepreneur Experience, said Michael O’Connor CEO of CorkBIC, today.

Entrepreneur Experience itself is a 24-hour event that reaches out to emerging entrepreneurs to apply for one of 21 places. Its aim is to reach out to start-ups and investor-ready companies that want to scale and grow.

Next Entrepreneur Experience

The next Entrepreneur Experience is taking place 30-31 March at the Trident Hotel in Kinsale, Co Cork. And the event is not just targeted at Cork-based start-ups, but is also aiming to be an all-island initiative. It also appears to be attracting start-ups from further afield.

For instance, O’Connor said the participants in the upcoming Entrepreneur Experience include five overseas start-ups, as well as six non-Cork companies.

“These entrepreneurs then get an opportunity to meet with 25 of Ireland’s most successful business leaders where they are coached, advised and gain unparallelled access to these successful entrepreneurs,” he said. – past participant

Another company that has participated in the Entrepreneur Experience in the past is Last June, the company announced that US electronics retailer Best Buy was to deploy its Locked & Found technology, a mobile product protection and recovery programme. The product takes a picture of a smartphone, laptop or tablet thief and then uses GPS and other technologies to facilitate its safe return to its owner, said Paul Prendergast, head of sales and co-founder, Yougetitback.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic