Series 3: Episode 2

Broadcast: 27/02/2011

Isabel O'Donovan

Name: Isabel O'Donovan
Idea: Issie's Handmade Chocolate
Investment: ¤20,000
Equity: 50% on the day, but reducing by 5% per annum for the first three years, on the condition that I double turnover annually.
Location: Castletownbere, West Cork

The Pitch: To sell Irish handmade chocolate and build the brand of Issie's Handmade Chocolate as a premium brand, competing in independent stores and also in the mainstream stores in every county in Ireland.

Came up with the Idea: Issy lost her job to the recession (she previously owned a ladies boutique in Castletownbere that had to close) and needed something to do. She did a chocolate course in January 2010 and loved it. She studied the market and saw an opportunity for premium, Irish, handmade chocolate and started making and selling Issie's Handmade Chocolate in her local supermarket in March 2010. It grew from there and she now has 13 products with more coming on line this year. Issie's Handmade Chocolate is now available in over 50 stores nationwide and a web shop will be launching in February 2011.

Personal Information: Issy is 34 years old. She has been married over 10 years to Dave, a secondary school teacher. She has two children, Thomas 6 and Joshua 3. Issy was born in Castletownbere and is living there now. She has an Honours Degree in Business Studies, and an Honours Diploma in Image Consulting. She has been self employed nearly all her working life. She has worked in various jobs from singing in pubs to a cash office girl in Dunnes Stores! Her first official summer job was when she was 13 years old. Issy bought her first car at 18, and had her first house at 22. Issy comes from a small, close family. She has one brother who is a self employed diver, pilot and part time fireman. And her parents are also self employed business people in the marine industry.

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.


Dave Carthy

Name: Dave Carthy
Idea: Ideal Voice Control
Investment: ¤40,000
Equity: 10%
Location: Dublin

The Pitch: 'Control of the home including TV, DVD, curtains and doors using voice'.

Came up with the Idea: Dave has worked in the disability field for 15 years and specializes in the supply, installation and distribution of home and industrial automation systems. I have concentrated on Assistive Technology Installations where the home automation is set up to address the issues of the disabled. Main stream home automation is not easily accessible to disabled individuals. He recognized this and set out to offer an improved system. I have been working on a Voice Control system for 8 years and he believes he has a potential product to address the shortcomings that exist.

Personal Information: An electronics engineer with extensive technical experience, Dave Carthy has been in business for several years as a sole trader, originally trading as Sound Security, a company specialising in the installation and servicing of security products. Later he branched into the provision of automated Assistive Technology installations for people with disabilities and it was this business that was funded by way of FCEB Capital grant in 2003. More recently he has been recognized as a leading company in his field by his appointment as an NHS Supply Chain Vendor in the UK for our goods and services. They are the only Irish company on this much sought after list.


David Kelly

Name: David Kelly
Idea: Non Grip Fencing
Investment: ¤100,000
Equity: 13%
Location: Ballyfermot, Dublin

The Pitch: 'We manufacture and supply the only fence system that can be described as a Non Grip Fence. Our patent pending system does not allow for grip on the upper part of a climb-able substrate.'

Came up with the Idea: David had noticed that many customers were dissatisfied with current anti-climb fencing products. Many had asked for a product less expensive than other rotating fence products and that could stop a would-be intruder from gripping the upper part of a wall or fence etc, and there was not a product available that met these criteria. He began working with various designs for fence products and developed four different products. He then chose the best all round product for patenting and further development.

Personal Information: David is 44 years old and has two children. He had worked within the security fencing industry for over 20 years and has vast experience fence supply and installation. He designed and developed a successful fencing product when he was 19 years old.

After leaving the company he worked for at the time he moved to the USA, full of drive and ambition, and he then worked for the next 5 years at The University of North Texas as a construction specialist. He returned to Ireland and began to work for a security fencing company in 1996 as Contracts Manager. He worked there until 2008.


Brian Leslie

Name: Brian Leslie
Idea: Prima debt
Investment: ¤50,000
Equity: 10%
Location: Killarney, Co Kerry - business sis nationwide

The Pitch: 'A new and unique Debt advisory and management service, advising and assisting clients with financial difficulties, to re-structure and re-organise their finances and handle all the associated monthly payments and administrations associated with bank loans, debt collection firms, solicitors and all other creditors, for our clients.'

Came up with the Idea: Brian saw that this was a very common service in the UK, mainland Europe and in the US. He realised that, unfortunately, a rapidly growing segment of our population, are severely effected by financial difficulties and the vast majority need professional advise and help to manage this extremely stressful and serious situation. They set up Prima Debt Management, as a division of Prima Finance, which is an experienced financial advisory company and is regulated by the financial regulator.

Personal Information: Brian is a first class honours Agri Business graduate from UCD. He also completed an honours degree in finance from the Smurfit Business School in UCD and is a qualified Financial Adviser. He worked with Bank of Ireland, Bank of Ireland Private Banking and in 2000 set up Prima Finance. Prima Finance, regulated by the financial regulator, went on to become one of Ireland most successful mortgage and insurance brokers, dealing with clients across the Country. Prima Finance's debt specialist division, i.e. Prima Debt Manage, is rapidly becoming Irelands most respected and specialist debt advisory and debt management company.


Tony O Brien

Name: Tony O Brien
Idea: Stopcock Cosy ltd
Investment: ¤60,000
Equity: 10%
Location: Bishopstown, Cork City

The Pitch: "The Stopcock Cosy is a device to solve a problem which can leave a home without a water supply caused by freezing weather conditions".

Came up with the Idea: Tony's son is a plumber and has received so many calls around winter time, from neighbours and friends that had no water supply, that Tony decided to develop a solution. Whilst helping his son, it became clear on each call out the stopcock valve was frozen solid. After spending 4 hours on his knees defrosting a neighbour's stopcock valve getting nowhere, it only made him more determined to restore their water supply and solve this reoccurring problem. He began to think about different ways of preventing this happening. The idea of using a water proof / flexible insulation to protect the valve came to mind at about 2.30am one morning. He knew instantly it was going work. Next morning he made a prototype and installed it in his neighbour's house and they had no problems afterwards. Tony then developed the design and made it into what is now known as 'The Stopcock Cosy'.

Personal Information: Tony is 50 years old. He is married to Margaret and they have two children. His interests include fly fishing, gardening and any type of DIY. He has over 30 years experience working in the industrial insulation industry. He has been self-employed for over ten years in this field up until December 2009 and he is unemployed since July 2010.


Robert Rae

Name: Robert Rae
Idea: New design of bicycle with two new suspension designs.
Investment: ¤70,000
Equity: 10%
Location: Sligo

The Pitch: 'A new design of bicycle that gives the breakthrough in cycling technology of no bouncing motion (no energy loss) when pedalling with rear suspension.'

Came up with the Idea: Robert developed a front suspension system for motor crossers 20 years ago. He was left with the question of where to attach the shock absorbers which led to directly connected suspension. This design proved to be more successful than he imagined. In recent times two different types of linkage front suspension have been developed where the most successful of which, with only three structural components, is utilized in prototype mountain bikes.

Personal Information: Robert had a background in racing motorcycles. After a car crash he started developing ideas just to pass the time when laid up with injury. Up until then he was a cabinet-maker. Since then he has done jobs but continued to develop Two-Stroke Engines and Constantly Variable Transmissions. He has also been working on suspension designs with many notable achievements in this field.


Daudi Kutta

Name: Daudi Kutta
Idea: Pitchside Products/ DKSUB
Investment: ¤50,000
Equity: 10%
Location: Clare

The Pitch: A sports utility bag that provides perfect and separate compartments for easier organisation and management of sports gear, particularly for hurling, camoge, softball, baseball and cricket players' gear.

Came up with the Idea: Daudi came up with the idea having observed the problems and difficulties associated with players carrying their gear using the present sport bags. Having observed two boys on a bike struggling with carrying hurleys, helmets and sports bags, Pitchside engaged in active collaboration with universities and research groups to develop a solution. Research development and innovation based on in-depth knowledge of consumer needs is vital to Pitchside while collaboration with athletes and institutions is also crucial. Over two and half years ago Pitchside examined the range of hurling and camogie sports bags on the market for young people and adults.

This new sports utility bag has been designed with special attention paid to easier and handy carriage, organization, flexibility and convenience needs of players. The aim was to create the best possible product for all including enthusiastic beginners, active sports participants and top athletes. Market tests and feedback from users, retailers and investors were very positive. Pitchside is now in the process of commercializing the Sport Utility Bag on the Irish market.

Personal Information: Daudi Kutta hails from Uganda. He played soccer both in college and professionally. Daudi is the founder of Clare Intercultural Network and for the last six years, he has been organizing summer sports events in Ennis, County Clare. He is also the Chairperson of Clare Intercultural Futsal League. As an ardent sports person, Daudi was inspired to develop a sports utility bag as a result of his fascination with hurling. Daudi Kutta began his career as a software developer and client support specialist leading to managing IT projects in Africa, Asia and America. Having interacted with people from different back grounds, through his work and passion for sport, the idea of developing a sports utility bag caught his interest.

Daudi earned his primary degree in Computer Information Systems from Colorado Christian University, as well as a post graduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship Management and a Masters in International Entrepreneurship Management from the University of Limerick.


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RTÉ One, Sundays, 9.30pm


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