Name: Kate Carmody
Idea: Beal Organic Cheese - An organic cheese company
Location: Beal, Asdee, Co. Kerry
The Pitch: "I am passionate about organic farming and cheese. With 20 years experience in cheese making I have seen a gap in the market for an Irish organic cheddar cheese. I will produce 2 organic cheddar cheeses and have already secured major distribution".
Came up with the Idea: Kate's love for cheese making made it clear that this is what she wanted to do and her knowledge of the market told her that it was possible.
Personal Information: Kate was born in England and grew up in what was known as the real the capital of Ireland, Liverpool. When she completed her degree in bio chemistry she moved to Ireland in 1980. She worked in the health service until she married in 1994. Her husband ran a dairy farm and started making cheese in 1987. Kate has four daughters and because of this cheese making was on a small scale. Kate's husband retired from farming in 1997 on health grounds and she took over the farm. Kate decided to convert it to organic production and the farm achieved full organic status in 2000. Since then Kate has actively been involved in environmental groups such as IOFGA and An Taisce.
Outcome: In an unusual twist Kate Carmody turns down Bobby and Niall's offer of 50k for 40% of the company. The disappointed Dragons ask her to reconsider and eventually Kate accepts their offer.
Name: Ciara Crossan
Idea: WeddingDates.ie - This connects engaged couples searching for their perfect wedding venue with venues that have availability on their chosen date.
Location: Nationwide, but based in Cork
The Pitch: "WeddingDates.ie has been in operation for just over a year and has attracted over 80,000 visitors in that time. We are ranking number one on Google for the Keyword "Wedding Venues" which is searched 18,000 times a month. We add real value to our customers (venues) by delivering them leads giving them the opportunity to convert these to sales".
Came up with the Idea: While working in a large HR department, which is predominantly a female environment, Ciara saw many of her friends and colleagues go through the stress of planning their wedding and spotted a gap in the market for a web based availability engine for hotels and wedding venues.
Personal Information: Ciara graduated from UCC with a degree in Business Information Systems in 2004. After a number of years travelling and working abroad, she returned home to Ireland and worked for two international companies in a HR role. Having always wanted to run her own business and with a family background in the hotel industry, Ciara identified a gap in the market and started WeddingDates.ie in 2008.
Name: Torsten and Delia Webster
Idea: Pixy Cubes - set of engraved colourful cubes which form patterns and designs. These cubes are used to create pictures and patterns.
Location: Co. Cork
The Pitch: "We are looking for ¤60,000 in return for 25% of our company"
Came up with the Idea: Torsten studied graphic design and came up with the idea while working in the exhibition industry. Initially the patterns were created from two dimensional magnetic squares. The cubes were incorporated to allow for fewer pieces.
Personal Information: Torsten and Delia are married with one twelve year old daughter. Currently living in Cobh, Co. Cork, Torsten works part time in the airline industry and uses his spare time to grow the business. Delia is working full time for an Irish charity.
Name: Melanie McGuirk
Location: Co Donegal
The Pitch: "Petzone is a web based community for animal lovers, crammed with the latest products and useful services. I am looking for ¤20,000 in return for 10% of my business."
Came up with the Idea: It was while looking for a breed of dog on the internet that Melanie realised there is no where that you can find reputable breeders with their dogs for sale, which is when Petzone was first conceived.
Personal Information: Melanie is married to Liam and has 4 children, Megan (13), Liam (10), Holly (6) and Beau (3). She breeds Miniature Pot Bellied Pigs on her five acre farm in Co Donegal. She is a pet lover and has 5 dogs, 2 cats, a horse, goat, pigs and chickens and fosters animals when there is a need. She worked most of her life as an administrator but her dream was always to work in the pet industry. She completed the CEIM and Know Business Programmes which are run by Enterprise Ireland. She went on from there with the Petzone idea and has built up the company from scratch.