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DSO News: November, 2014 Archive

Cork technology start-up to create 120 new positions

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Announcement today for company established in 2011 with just eight staff

A software development company set up by three Irish entrepreneurs in2011, is to grow its staff by a further 120 over the coming year, it was announced today.

The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, attended the announcement of the expansion of the skilled technology workforce at Xanadu, a global technology and services provider based in Cork which focuses on the online gambling industry.

The Irish startup, founded in 2011 with eight employees, is now an international market leader in the area of technology and service provision to the online sports betting market. It provides data analytics, programming, back office and technical support as well as 24-7 monitoring for online clients.

“Xanadu is a great example of an Irish company that has grown its business to become an international market leader,” Mr Kenny said. “ I am delighted to welcome the creation of 120 new jobs at the company in its Cork HQ. These highly skilled jobs will provide great opportunities for ICT graduates and tech sector workers.”

He said the growth of successful new Irish companies such as Xanadu was making a significant contribution to the recovery of the Irish economy.

The chief executive of Xanadu, Mark Brosnan, said that to meet the growing demand for its services, the company has to scale up its team significantly.

“Our continued expansion is a reflection of our absolute focus, international customer wins, invaluable client feedback and increasing market demand,” he said.

Mr Brosnan set up the company with colleagues Cian Nugent and Esme O’Flynn after they were asked by Matchbook. com to find experts who could develop software for the sports gambling sector, an area with which they already had experience.

When they found it difficult to locate people with the required skills, they made a pitch to Matchbox that they build the software themselves.

Since then they have built relationships with other operators in the sector and have also developed products they they develop for for the online gambling industry.

The company already employs 106 people full-time and between 15 to 20 on a contract basis. It now plans to grow total employee numbers to 220 over the coming twelve months. All the roles will be based in Blackpool in Cork.

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24 novel business ideas vie for young entreprenuer award

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Bruton unveils shortlist for inaugural Best Young Entrepreneur competition

Portable wind turbines, hydration bottles for runners and sprouting crops are among the shortlisted businesses for the inaugural Best Young Entrepreneur competition.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton today unveiled the 24 finalists, chosen from over 1,000 entries, which have made it through to next month’s national final at Google’s European headquarters in Dublin.

The competition, which is being run by Local Enterprise Offices, has a €2 million prize fund, with county and national winners each able to win up to €70,000 to further their businesses.

Winners will also be offered a place on the Google “Adopt a Startup” programme.

The final eight in the ‘Best Established Business with Add On’ category, features medical devices for monitoring breathing rates, youth communications and on-line fitness services.

Among the eight ideas shortlisted in the ‘Best New Idea’ category are portable wind turbine machines, hydration bottles for runners and sprouting barley for animal feed.

In the ‘Best Start Up Business’ category, the shortlisted candidates included businesses involved in electricity exchange, reconciliation software for the funds industry and stallion breeding services .

The three category winners all have a chance to be crowned Ireland’s overall “Best Young Entrepreneur”.

Announcing the names of the finalists and meeting them at their one-day business bootcamp in Wayra’s startup academy in Dublin today, Minister Bruton said: “Two thirds of all new jobs come from start-ups in their first five years of existence – that is why we have put in place a range of measures through our jobs plan to encourage more people to establish and grow new businesses in Ireland. ”

“A key part of this is encouraging more young people to consider starting a business as a career choice, and that is why we have put in place IBYE – to support, encourage, and celebrate our brilliant young entrepreneurs.”

“The sheer energy and quality of the 24 entrepreneurs who will compete in the IBYE national final, having come through a competition involving over 1000 applicants, is hugely encouraging. I look forward to seeing more of them over the coming weeks as they compete to be named as Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.”

Sheelagh Daly of the Local Enterprise Offices highlighted the year-round supports that are on offer to young people thinking of setting up their own businesses.

She said: “The network of Local Enterprise Offices is a first stop shop for any new start-ups or small businesses looking to grow and expand. As well as one-to-one mentoring support and specialised training, the Local Enterprise Offices can also offer access to grants and loan facilities, to help get more businesses up and running.”

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Poor web speed costs Ireland in startup league

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Ireland has the third-lowest business startup costs in the world — a distinction we share with Britain — but weaker internet services mean the UK substantially outranks us in a global index measuring opportunity and entrepreneurship.

While Britain ranks eighth in the entrepreneurship category of the Legatum Institute’s global prosperity index, we lag eight places behind even though we share the same business startup cost of 0.3% of gross national income per capita. 

Where Britain fares far better, however, is in the area of ICT — for instance its number of secure internet servers per 1m people is 66% higher than in Ireland. 

Here, we have 718.6 secure servers per 1m, compared to a far superior 1,193.5 in the UK. Internet bandwidth — the greater the bandwidth, the more efficient the transfer of data — is also streets ahead in Britain. 

Not only is internet bandwidth in Ireland — at 479 Mbps (megabytes per second) — well below the global average of 997.74 Mbps, it’s nowhere near the UK figure of 20,000 Mbps. 

Against this backdrop, our lower ranking when it comes to opportunity and entrepreneurship is more understandable. 

When it comes to mobile phone ownership, Britons possess 123.8 per 100 people, higher than both Irish ownership at 102.8 phones per 100 people and the global average of 106.8 per 100 people. 

We spend less on research and development than the UK at 1.8% of GDP compared to 2.3%. However our ICT exports are higher, representing 5.8% of all exports compared to Britain’s 4.2%. 

Our unemployment rate is also far higher, 14.7% compared to 7.9%, as is our percentage of non-performing loans — 24.6% compared to 3.7% in Britain. 

So how do the citizens of Britain and Ireland rate the two countries when it comes to potential for starting a business? Here, six in 10 of us think Ireland’s a good place for entrepreneurs, while in Britain the figure is nearly seven in 10. Britons also have a stronger belief in working hard to get ahead (83.7% compared to 81.4%). 

Belief in getting a job is also greater among our neighbours. Just one in 10 of us believes its a good time to get a job compared to nearly two in 10 of across the water. 

The London-based public policy think-tank ranked 142 countries across eight categories. Ireland’s economy ranked 12th while Britain ranked 13th.

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