Thursday 14th November saw six of Ireland’s most promising and exciting start-ups enter a real life Dragon’s Den Competition. The six finalists pitched their diverse business ideas and competed for a prize worth €25,000.
After careful consideration, The LINC (Learning and Innovation Centre) at the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB) and main sponsor AIB, was delighted to announce the winner of their annual business competition ‘AIB JumpStart 2013’ as Lucky Sods. Gavin Curran, from Malahide, launched Lucky Sods just over seven months ago. Lucky Sods are offering a little piece of Ireland. They have created a premium selection of products made from genuine Irish peat and straw which has been sourced in the west of Ireland. Each piece of turf will delight you with its creativity and nostalgia. Lucky Sods – A True piece of Irish heritage.
Bobby Kerr said of Lucky Sods, “I think Gavin Curran of Lucky Sods is a really worthy winner of the AIB JumpStart Competition. The product is artistic in its origin using Irish turf and why technology and an excellent manufacturing process based in Ireland. This can become a world brand. I look forward to seeing Lucky Sods become a huge Irish brand.”
John Farragher, Regional Director, AIB said of the winning company “Lucky Sods have a fantastic Irish product that is both creative and innovative will grow globally. AIB are pleased to be associated with this innovation and enterprising venture. We are delighted to be the main sponsor to the LINC and wish all the participants every success!”
Louise Phelan said of this year’s shortlist, “I think the calibre of people in the final today was very strong. We saw great ideas and amazing innovation. I am delighted to be a part of the judging panel and felt that all of the participants gave it their best shot and the best person and product was picked.”
It was decided that there would not only be a winner but also a runner-up, such was the quality of business ideas, resulting in a Special Runner Up prize was also awarded to Beat Your Manager! Fantasy Games Ltd.
Bobby Kerry said of the Runner Up “Padraig Doolan was a worthy contributor and someone who would benefit hugely by having the support of the LINC facilities in Blanchardstown”.
Padraig Doolan formed Fantasy Games Ltd just over a year ago with Beat Your Manager! A Fantasy Football which is a smartphone app-based gaming platform, where users select their favourite club, pick line ups and make substitutions during the live match. By tracking game activity, this is the first product to deliver real-time consumer information (“fanalytics”) on what fans are thinking about the broadcast match.
Also short-listed for the final were Performance Metrics Ltd, Cortechs, My Money Platform and Creeper Crawlers.
The Judging Panel for AIB JumpStart 2013 consisted of Bobby Kerr, Louise Phelan, VP, Global Operations EMEA, PayPal; Ronan Foley, Manager, Allied Irish Bank, Lorraine O’Mahoney, Allied Irish Bank, Oisin Geoghegan, CEO Fingal County Enterprise Board and Declan Lyons, Technology Infrastructure chaired by Assumpta Harvey, Manager The LINC, ITB.
AIB JumpStart 2013 is proudly supported by The LINC, AIB, Fingal County Enterprise Board, and Enterprise Ireland.