Tech business week: Budget announcements and a win

19 Oct 2015

This week in tech business news: wins at the Web Awards 2015, Budget 2016 is announced and Virgin Media announces its new Ireland head.

Budget 2016: Changes to income and capital gains tax for entrepreneurs

Changes to Ireland’s capital gains tax aimed at incentivising entrepreneurs were announced by Finance Minister Michael Noonan TD in the Budget 2016. But there were no major changes on the BES/EIIS issue, which is deemed uncompetitive by entrepreneurs when compared to the UK.

From 1 January, a reduced capital gains tax rate of 20pc will apply to the sale of all or part of a business with an overall limit of €1m in chargeable gains.

Noonan also revealed a plan to extend the three-year tax relief for certain start-up companies for a further three years until the end of 2018.

However, the Budget was criticised by many in the start-up community, including IVCA head Brian Caulfield, as being a missed opportunity to help Irish entrepreneurs. wins Best Science and Tech Site at Web Awards 2015 won the award for Best Science and Technology Website at the Realex Payments Web Awards 2015.

There was plenty of competition at the Web Awards 2015 across many categories, but’s win cements the site as something of a favourite for the award given that in seven of the last eight years, it has won the top gong.

Held at the RDS in Dublin, the event saw the satirical website Waterford Whispers receive some of the biggest praise, picking up both the Best Daily Web Only Award as well as the most coveted award of the night, the Grand Prix Award.

Virgin Media confirms Tony Hanway as CEO for Ireland

Former O2 Ireland consumer director Tony Hanway has been named as the successor to Magnus Ternsjö as CEO of cable TV, mobile and broadband player Virgin Media in Ireland.

It emerged last week that Ternsjö was leaving Virgin Media, formerly UPC Ireland, to head up UPC’s operations in Hungary.

Hanway is a seasoned tech industry executive who, prior to his role at O2, held senior positions at AOL across Europe, including as managing director of AOL Europe Operations and vice president of AOL UK.

Irishwoman Ciara Clancy named Cartier Awards Laureate for Europe 2015

Ireland’s Ciara Clancy from Beats Medical has been named Laureate for Europe at the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards 2015.

Ciara Clancy worked for several years with sufferers of Parkinson’s in Ireland, both as a physiotherapist and volunteer. Upon graduation from Trinity College, Dublin, she launched Beats Medical in 2012, at the age of 22.

Clancy’s business created a smartphone app that provides ‘specialised cueing treatment’ for Parkinson’s patients, which is basically sound-wave treatment that enables people to regain mobility.

Clancy was a speaker at Inspirefest 2015 in June, where she gave an insight into what it took to create a viable start-up today.

Jack Dorsey’s mobile payments player Square files for an IPO

Newly-appointed CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey has filed for an IPO for his electronics payments player Square, which means he will soon be CEO of two of Silicon Valley’s hottest publicly listed tech companies.

Square filed a Form S-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday and intends to list its stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “SQ”.

The company is being advised by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan.

Twitter names former Google exec Omid Kordestani as executive chairperson

Having up until recently been Google’s chief business officer, Omid Kordestani has made the switch to Twitter where he is to be named its new executive chairperson.

In his previous role at Google, Kordestani was one of the highest-paid employees at the company in 2014, with stock options that pushed his income to US$140m.

He was also part of Google’s initial employee hirings back in 1999 when he came in under the job title of ‘business founder’ and began Google’s business model of selling advertising around its search results.

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Main image via Shutterstock

Brigid O Gorman is a former sub-editor of Silicon Republic.