Series 3: Episode 1
Name: Danny Lordan
Idea: The Cosy Collector
The Pitch: A simple apparatus that recovers up to 4 kWatts of otherwise wasted energy from the flue pipe of a stove / cooker / open fire
Came up with the Idea: Danny has been in the Heating / Plumbing business for over 40 years. He is creative and entrepreneurial by nature. The whole world knows that if you have a stove / cooker / open fire that alot of the heat is wasted going up the chimney. Danny dreamed up the concept. He drew elementary sketches. He engaged an engineer and patent agent. He made a test model and carried out preliminary testing myself. He then produced test prototypes. He has installed one at home and carried out tests on that. He has recovered very positive performance.
Personal Information: Danny was born in Clonakilty 2/8/51. He grew up as a participant in a family run, heating / plumbing business. He was educated at the local national School and at St. Mary's College, Clonakilty where he did his Leaving Certificate in 1970. He was called for national Teacher Training but decided to stay at home and support his father Connie Lordan in the family business that had been in existence for over 125 years. He served as chairman of the Festival of West Cork (1985), Chairman of Clonakilty Town Twinning Committee from 1988 - 1994 and 1996 - 1997, Elected to Clonakilty UDC in 1999 and served as Chairman from 2000-2001, was chairperson / founding member of Clonakilty / District Chamber of Tourism from 2000 - 2002.
Danny developed Clonakilty Town House in 1998 as part of the Coastal Resort Scheme. He went on to develop Golden Meadows Nursing Home in Clonakilty in 2000/01. He developed Golden Meadows Retirement Village in Dungarvan in 2004/5 as well as further developing Clonakilty the Clonakilty facility into a Retirement Village during the same period. He is entrepreneurial by nature, full of ideas and a very positive person in spite of a few adversities and many challenges. He utterly believes that whatever we can perceive we can achieve. God would not give us the ideas unless they were viable and that we had the ability to manifest them.
Name: Fiona Hoban
Idea: Take a weight off your mind
Location: Westport, Co Mayo
The Pitch: "Take a Weight off your Mind is a psychology based education programme for those who are sick of dieting and sick of their weight yo-yoing'"
Came up with the Idea: As a counsellor Fiona works with a lot of people who struggle with food and weight. She spent most of her teens and twenties dieting, always trying to get to that illusive 'ideal' weight. It was a cycle of weight loss followed by weight gain. Coming up to her 30th birthday she realised that the dieting lark was a waste of time and effort. She was also noticing the vicious cycle of dieting was a common theme throughout her patients. In 2008 she organised a holistic programme and ran it locally with small groups of people and got a great response. Following on from its success she decided to write a book about this whole area and found a publisher in 2009 who was willing to take her on. The book helped to 'formalise' the programme and is based on three key principles: Stop Dieting, Eat Mindfully, and curb Emotional Eating. The book was launched in 2010. Her plan is to roll out the delivery of the programme nationally by hiring counselors to facilitate the delivery of the programme.
Personal Information: Fiona was born in the UK and was brought up in Castlebar, Co Mayo. She went to college in Dublin and then got into PR & Marketing. She worked overseas in the Middle East and Florida before coming back to Ireland over 10 years ago and retrained as a counselor and hypnotherapist. She is currently self-employed.
Name: Robert J Service
Idea: Secure-Ring Ltd
Location: Ballygowan, Co.Down
The Pitch: 'Secure-Ring is designed to reduce forced door access and is the only door Chain / Restrictor in the World to acquire Full Secured By Design Accreditation from the UK Association of Chief Police Officers'.
Came up with the Idea: Two years ago some elderly Friends of Robert's were having some problems sourcing a security door chain for their uPVC front door. They asked him for help, and hence he developed this idea. He tested and did a lot of research, to find that no other product existed. His original idea was just a chain and eye bolt with a ring over the handle. Once the design was completed he spoke with some door manufacturers and received 'Secured by Design' Accreditation making Secure-Ring the only Accreditated door Chain / Restrictor in the world, with no market competition.
Robert is 40 years old, has 4 children and lives with his partner Jennifer on the outskirts of Ballygowan, Co.Down. He trained as a Kitchen fitter and went into a self employed sales role. He has worked within the different industries for 20 years. For the past 8 years he has been developing products and has put some of them on the market. His attitude in life is never to give up, keep pushing and you will get there.
He set up Secure-Ring last year to market and promote it as a crime prevention product. The company is relatively small but through time he hopes to see it grow in both staffing levels and market size. Secure-Ring is a specified component for Social housing in the UK as well as local councils, Government bodies and Police forces around the UK.
Name: John Joyce
Idea: Seoige Technology ltd "Savvybear.com"
Location: Dunboyne, Co. Meath
The Pitch: Savvybear.com is a free, fun and safe game, with an educational twist for children aged between 5 and 12.
Came up with the Idea: The idea to create a children's game online came to John having watched his three children, aged 6, 8 and 10 playing games with their friends on the internet. He did some research and studied the existing competitors, Club Penguin, Panfu, Fantage, and knew he had the technical and creative skills to make his own. He came up with the name Savvybear one night on the sofa. He wanted a good word for clever, that is not being used in this space. He came up with the word Savvy and the following week he bought 14 domain names like Savvybear.co.uk and so on and that's how it all began. He always wanted there to be a strong educational element to the game, and knew before he started building the game that there would be 3 bears and some type of school in the game, and he has since been developing it from there.
John is originally from Ballymun where he lived for 5 years. He then moved to Santry. John has 3 Sisters. John put himself through Kevin Street Institute of Technology and studied computer programming. He then went onto Trinity College and studied computer Science, he paid his way with part-time jobs in Pubs and Supermarkets.
John worked in Superquinn Head office for 7 years within the IT department as a project manager and that's where he met his wife Sandra. They are married 12 years and have 3 children, 10 year old daughter Alex, 8 year old daughter Zoe and son Calvin who is 6. John left Superquinn 9 years ago and has been self employed as an IT consultant specialising in SAP. Just over a year ago he started planning Savvybear.com. John is over the moon that he had three dragons offering their money and support. He is delighted that Norah is now part of the Savvybear.com voyage and is looking forward to having Norah help him steer this ship in the right direction.
Name: Marian Moloney
Idea: Irish Mythological Dolls
Location: Limerick City
The Pitch: 'Irish Mythological Dolls are based on the Goddesses and Powerful Women in Irish History. They come from the time of Cú Cullen and the Tuatha De Danann.'
Came up with the Idea: Marian has a background in sewing and she has a great love for Irish history. A few years back she wanted to be financially independent and put her talents to use. After many prayers Marian had the idea to make an Irish doll based on old myths and legends of Ireland. She used clay and Plaster of Paris to make the dolls from her own moulds. She did some research and came up with several dolls each based on a particular story, and each carries their own book about that story. When the dolls were finished complete with handmade gowns she designed the packaging that was suitable for display and shipping.
Marian trained as a Utility Worker. She has been sewing, knitting, and doing various craft works for more than forty years. She is highly skilled in the art of dressmaking and design, and has done this work on a small scale using all types of materials. Marian worked very closely with one of Limerick's leading doll manufacturing companies in the 1990s and attended art classes since October 2005 to brush up on her art skills.
Marian successfully completed a Business appraisal course that ran for just over two Years this helped her develop strong business skills. She wants this to be an international success and has no difficulty knocking on doors or lifting the telephone to promote her product.
Name: Martin Hendricken, David Roberts
Idea: Grow Rings
Location: Martin from Portmarnock, Dublin and Dave from Sligo
The Pitch: We manufacture a range of patented flatpack solutions for the homegrowing of plants & organic vegetables.
Came up with the Idea:
Dave is a keen gardener, and this year an article in the Irish Independent really inspired them. It stated that "Now more than ever, people want to grow and eat fresh organic vegetables; and quoted a statistic stating that in Ireland alone more than 50% of the adult population between the ages of 25 & 45 are aspiring gardeners.
As an Industrial Designer, Dave recognised the potential business opportunity in this article and began to look for a design solution to help people to grow organic plants & vegetables in the simplest way possible.
Dave looked for barriers as to why people don't fulfil their gardening aspirations and found that the main reasons were - the limited availability of viable growing space in a modern garden and lack of gardening knowledge and the perception of the serious physical effort involved in breaking ground for planting. Their product ' GrowRing' can provide the solution to all these barriers in a simple cost-effective flatpack that can be assembled by anyone, man or woman without any DIY tools
Personal Information: Martin Hendricken operated his own acrylic fabrication business from 1990 to 2004, when he sold it out to a competitor. He has spent the last 6 years working as a sales director for the same company. A new business opportunity came along when a friend approached him with a series of flatpack container solutions for the gardening market. He has been happily married for 14 years and has 4 children ranging from 3 - 13 (all boys). His main relaxation is playing golf.
David Roberts is 54 years of age and has been a full time 3rd level lecturer in Design for 21 Years. He has participated in the development of various innovative products and has particular experience in the design and fabrication of retail displays. He originated this project by trying to find a simple way of making raised beds for himself. He is quite experienced at growing vegetables, first as a small boy with his grandfather and more latterly with his parents. He started growing his own vegetables only two years ago. Being a designer David's tendency is to question the validity of why we do everything. His initial reactions to growing stuff were that he doesn't see why he should get his shoes muddy or have to bend too low when vegetable gardening. His main relaxations are DIY and designing.
Name: Ann Kelly
Idea: Treasured Memories
The Pitch: 'Wooden memory boxes for children.'
Came up with the Idea: As a mother of three children, Ann had kept all the memorabilia for her kids since the day they were born. She went looking for a good quality memory box that wasn't cardboard, and would last a lifetime. When she couldn't find anything she saw this as an opportunity to start her own business. Firstly she did a business course, then she designed her own wooden memory box in the shape of a treasure chest. Ann sourced an excellent manufacturer and received her first order.
Personal Information: Ann's business background is in accounts and quality control for various companies and she always wanted her own business. She is also a housewife and mother of three children. They have brought so much joy to her that she is passionate about storing their childhood memories for them so they can see that joy for themselves. In her spare time she enjoys walking and amateur dramatics.