Colm Lyon, Silicon Republic founders honoured by IIA at Net Visionary Awards

10 Oct 2015

2015 Net Visionary Award-winner Colm Lyon with David Curtin, CEO, IEDR and Joan Mulvihill, CEO, IIA. Photo via Mel Maclaine/The Photo Project

Realex Payments founder Colm Lyon has been honoured as a Net Visionary and inducted into the Irish Internet Association’s inaugural Hall of Fame along with Silicon Republic founders Ann O’Dea and Darren McAuliffe.

The 2015 ceremony marked the 17th for the Dot IE Net Visionary Awards from the Irish Internet Association (IIA).

Colm Lyon was awarded the top prize on the night, the Net Visionary Award, joining previous recipients Eamon Leonard, Mark Little, Michele Neylon, Dylan Collins, Pat Phelan and many more.

The founder of Realex Payments, which was this year acquired by Global Payments for €115m, Lyon is continuing his fintech pursuits with new start-up, Fire Financial Services, and as chair of the newly established Fintech and Payments Association of Ireland.

“How delighted we are to be able to honour Colm Lyon in this way,” said IIA CEO Joan Mulvihill.

“Notwithstanding his incredible success as an entrepreneur, his contribution as the chair of the IIA for many years is immeasurable.”

Ann O’Dea and Darren McAuliffe inducted into Hall of Fame

Lyon was also inducted into the inaugural IIA Hall of Fame, along with 10 other Irish entrepreneurs, including Silicon Republic founders Ann O’Dea and Darren McAuliffe.

Through, Silicon Republic has been reporting on Ireland’s tech sector for more than a decade and was considered by the IIA as being “amongst the greatest champions of Irish tech success”.

O’Dea and McAuliffe were also commended for the founding of Inspirefest, a unique sci-tech event that took place for the first time this summer with 75pc female speakers – effectively changing the ratio for typical tech conferences.

Last year, O’Dea was given the Outstanding Contribution from an IIA Member Award for her work through the Women Invent Tomorrow campaign in highlighting the need for greater diversity in the technology industry and, in particular, encouraging young women to pursue STEM subjects in education and rewarding careers in technology and science.

Ann O'Dea at IIA Net Visionary Awards

The 2015 IIA Hall of Fame inductees with IIA CEO Joan Mulvihill (centre, with Silicon Republic CEO and editor-at-large Ann O’Dea). Photo via Mel Maclaine/The Photo Project

More Net Visionary honorees

The inaugural Hall of Fame was established to recognise the top Irish tech entrepreneur visionaries from the past 20 years.

Also inducted were entrepreneur and investor Ray Nolan; Trustev founder Pat Phelan; Tweak founder and CEO Jerry Kennelly; angel investor and tech community champion Eamon Leonard; Blacknight founder Michele Neylon; Adforce CEO and IIA co-founder Colm Grealy, entrepreneur and venture capitalist Brian Caulfield and former IIA CEO Fergal O’Byrne.

As well as the Net Visionary Award, another 16 gongs in different categories were doled out in front of an audience of more than 300 people in Dublin’s RDS on Friday, 9 October.

‘We predict we will see the next generation of Net Visionaries come from sectors completely unrelated to the tradi-technology in the coming years’

“The categories are reviewed each year by the IIA and reflect a real understanding for the changing nature of the technology industry and the innovation it has brought to education, healthcare, finance, agriculture and food,” said Mulvihill.

“Technology is not just an industry vertical. It is for all industries, all sectors. We predict we will see the next generation of Net Visionaries come from sectors completely unrelated to the tradi-technology in the coming years.”

Awardees were selected by a combination of judging panels and a public vote.

The Dot IE Net Visionary Awards are supported by headline sponsor IEDR, which will host the ICANN 2015 Global Conference in Dublin this month.

The IIA membership represents more than 40,000 people working in technology nationwide and Mulvihill claims it to be the largest, non-profit and independent voice for technology in Ireland.

“As a non-profit, the proceeds from these awards all go back to the community to provide these supports,” she said.

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Join us again from 30 June to 2 July 2016 for fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity.

Full list of IIA Net Visionary Award winners 2015

Best Website: Bloom in the Park (IDEA)

Best Web Development Agency: CKSK

Best Cloud Services for SMEs: Magnet Networks

Best Mobile Application: Qstream

Best International Scaling Irish Business:

Best Start-up: Webdoctor

Best E-commerce Execution by a Retailer: Life Style Sports

Best International Newcomer:

Best Social Media Campaign: Yes Equality: The Campaign for Civil Marriage Equality

Best Brand Marketing: Coors Light Great Rocky Mountain gaming app (CKSK)

Best Use of Video for Digital Marketing: Aviva/Focus Ireland Cub Reporter campaign (Javelin Group)

Best Use of Technology for Social Good:

Best Innovation for Financial Services: Juggle

Best Innovation for Health: Restored Hearing

Best Innovation for Agri/Food Sector: Herdwatch

Best Innovation for Education Services: PixelSoup

Net Visionary Award: Colm Lyon

Hall of Fame inductees: Ann O’Dea, Darren McAuliffe, Colm Lyon, Ray Nolan, Pat Phelan, Jerry Kennelly, Eamon Leonard, Michele Neylon, Colm Grealy, Brian Caulfield, Fergal O’Byrne

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.