Social web dominates Eircom Innovation Fund

12 Aug 2009

The social web and cloud storage are key elements of the future of Irish tech success stories if the four winners of the second annual Eircom Innovation Fund are anything to go by.

Eircom’s Innovation Fund, at €100,000, will be split amongst the four winners to help them develop their technology concepts into fully-fledged, commercially viable businesses.

his year Eircom partnered with the Telecommunication Software & Systems Group (TSSG), a research and innovation centre inside the Waterford Institute of Technology.

The winners will benefit from free consultancy and training as well as entrepreneurial training and incubation space at WIT’s Arclabs business centre.

One of the four winning start-ups is, provider of online calendar services with a heavy sports focus.

The idea is to give users content rich, ready to go downloadable calendars that would keeps fans of GAA, Rugby, Barclays Premiership and the like up-to-date, while integrating with Microsoft Outlook and social networking sites like Facebook and Bebo.

Pieter Oonk is another of the Innovation Fund winners and his business idea combines the social web with your inbox. is a plug-in for web mail (Gmail, Hotmail etc) users that will transform their inbox into both a social network and search engine for social content hidden in their archives.

SocietyMail is a new kind of application for the social web space of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Bebo that is increasingly becoming an integral part of everyday life. It is a Personal Relationship Management (PRM) application as the individual begins to generate as much data as a small business would.

Winner Beeherd is another social application with a sports focus: it is a platform that allows online publishers or website owners to turn their sports content into interactive social widgets full of news, pictures and video that their readers can use and distribute online.

Meanwhile is a digital locker in the cloud for sorting, tagging and storing your valuable documents such as credit card bills or tax receipts, and having secure access to them from anywhere.

“Eircom is delighted to announce the winners of the 2nd Eircom Web Innovation Fund and we congratulate each of the four winners in achieving this significant milestone,” said Mark Taylor, head of content and services strategy, Eircom Online.

“The judges were so impressed with the calibre of entries that they had difficulty in selecting just four winners – the standard has certainly exceeded all expectations.”

By Marie Boran

Pictured above: Mark Taylor, Head of Digital Content Services, eircom with representatives from each of the four winning companies from left Pieter Oonk, SocietyMail, Austin McGinley,, Pat Walsh, and Bartek Czerwinski, BeeHerd.