Series 3: Episode 6
Name: Packie O'Callaghan, Frank Twomey
Idea: Surviving Santa Ponsa
The Pitch: To promote and market nationwide 3 fully produced and already performed comedy shows.
Came up with the Idea: Packie and Frank first developed the characters and their families into a radio soap which went out on their local station 96 FM in 30x3min episodes. The idea developed from a short sketch featuring two power walking women obsessed with the trappings of Celtic Tiger Ireland, body image, botox, overseas property, foreign holidays, sports mad husbands etc. Arising from the success of the radio soap The Everyman Palace Theatre asked them if they could produce a theatre show based on the two dysfunctional families who featured in the soap. They wrote a stage version of the show and it became an instant hit. They then wrote two follow up shows which have become the most successful home produced shows in the Everyman Palace Theatre's 25 year history.
Personal Information: Frank Twomey has been a professional actor 30 years. He has vast experience in stage, radio and tv. Franks experience in TV goes back to his time as presenter on RTE'S long running and hugely popular Bosco. Other TV work includes Nitehawks, the Dermot Morgan show and Bull Island. Radio credits include short circuit, under the goldie fish. Frank is a regular reader on RTE's the book on 1. Frank is currently a cast member of Joe Duffy's Funny Friday.
Pakie O'Callaghan has been a stage performer in his native Cork since his school days. He is best known for his portrayal of Charlie McCreevey in RTE's Bull Island and has been doing the political voices, Bertie, Cowen, Michael Noonan, Joe Higgin's etc on Joe Duffy's Funny Friday.
Name: John Burke
Idea: It's about time Inventions Ltd.
The Pitch:The grooming kennel product combines both a kennel and a wash area for your pet. Heated Seat is a heated exterior seat, which has a wide range of potential users and offers significant unique selling points.
Came up with the Idea: John came up with the grooming kennel through a bad experience of washing his dog in the shower. Halfway through his dog lept out of his grasp and ran through the house soaking wet and covered in suds. John thought there had to be something out there that solved this problem. He didn't find anything and so began inventing the Grooming Kennel. And the heated seat came about as John is a smoker, and his wife will not allow him to smoke in the house. So after many cigarettes in the freezing cold he decided he would try make something that would provide a bit more comfort and warmth.
John is thirty two, he is married for five years to Paula and they have one son john William and a second child on the way. John likes most sports and has many medals for gaelic, hurling, soccer, clay shooting, fishing ,basketball, boxing but his true love at this stag is golf.
John is a qualified plumber and has run his own heating and plumbing business for the past ten years employing eleven at the height of the so called boom.
Name: Martin Commins
Idea: Perfect Ring
The Pitch: Perfectring.ie is a unique and innovative search based website which allows individuals search conveniently for engagement, wedding, and eternity rings from a number of jewellers across Ireland.
Came up with the Idea: From discussing with friends and family, Martin found there was a need for more information concerning the purchase of diamond rings. Websites for houses and cars existed which provide information on what is for sale from different providers. So Martin created Perfectring.ie which does this for jewellers rings. A jeweller can upload images, descriptions, prices of their rings for sale. An individual can conveniently search for their ideal ring in the market throughout Ireland in a matter of seconds and find the ring which they will wear for the rest of their life. He discussed the idea with a number of Dublin based jewellers, and they expressed an interest for such a service which would allow them to post images and details of their stock of rings. Many did not have a web presence and they felt Martin's perfectring.ie would provide one for them. Given the current age profile of people getting engaged are heavy internet users, a web presence is essential for jewellers to succeed in this though environment. So, he took the view that if this service existed, he would use it so concluded it was a good idea based on that.
Personal Information: Martin has an honours degree in Economics and Business Studies from Trinity College, Masters in Accounting from UCD. He trained as a Chartered Accountant in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accountancy firm for four years. He is currently working in the finance department of a large Irish organisation. He has a diploma in web design and a diploma in advanced web development from DBS (Took course in evenings part time while in full time employment). He created perfectring.ie after researching the concept for two years. He developed the concept further while in full time employment which allowed him to fund the development of the website. He learnt skills relating to search engine optimization to achieve a page 1 ranking on Google for his website for numerous key terms. The website went live in September 2010 and had attracted interest from 25 jewellers across Ireland and hosts over 600 rings. Over recent months jewellers are contacting him requesting to host their rings on the website.
Name: Sarah-Jane Hanton
The Pitch: Beauty Team is a structured supportive network of freelance professional beauty therapists, make-up artists, hair stylists and photographers that provide top class services at affordable prices.
Came up with the Idea: Sarah Jane had been treating and teaching many clients in spa's, and started working in a freelance capacity after she had her 3rd child. She went on to develop and run her own Beauty Courses in various schools around Waterford city initially for the Waterford Schools Completion Programme and eventually hosting this course in hotels. Sarah Jane offered her professional services to the hotels with no major cost incurred to them. She asked other freelance therapists to join her and with a great team behind her she could begin offering services and create packages for the hotels to sell on to their guests and could also treat individual clients . Having the mobility to service hotels - when and where they need treatments and therapies - Beauty Team created a niche in the market to plug-in to existing customer and guest-driven amenities, previously unavailable. Sarah jane collaborated with several different companies in Waterford and sold "Beauty Team" Hen parties packages. These parties were a success and she then began to offer the client a photographic service so they could document their time with the Beauty Team. After securing a premises ,"Beauty Team Studio's" she converted it into a headquarters for Beauty Team and a photographic studio.
Sarah Jane is ITEC and CIBTAC qualified beauty therapist with over 10 years experience.
She lives in Tramore with her husband Brian with 3 children Caoilfhionn, Paddy and Ria and also another baby due soon! Sarah Jane loves vintage dresses, pearls ,fashion photography , red lipstick, clotheswap's ,fur coats and chillis.
Name: Darrach Cawley
The Pitch: 'A website where Consumers come together to request Deals and Bundles from Businesses online and where the Businesses respond with Customized and Exclusive Deals'.
Came up with the Idea:
While organising a holiday trip, Darach wanted to pick specific activities and accommodation and create his own customised package all on one website. He also wanted to be sure he was not getting ripped off, but found it difficult to know, as he was going to a different country. That is where he thought of the idea of a website that would do just that, allow you to pick a combination of services (you wanted) in one place and know you were getting a good deal.
After a while the idea grew and evolved into the idea of a website that would allow groups of people come together, pick combinations of services they would like offers on (e.g. Hotel + Theatre + Restaurant) and have businesses respond (i.e. compete) for their attention with relevant offers.
Because his background includes a BSc and MSc in IT and a majority of his professional experience is in developing IT solutions, Darach knew he could develop such a service. His also knew that in order to make it successful, he would need to understand the business side of things, so in 2006 he completed an HDip in Business Management by night.
Personal Information: In 2009, Darach was made redundant from his full time job and decided to take this as an opportunity to pursue his dream of starting his own business, albeit early than expected. He took his idea and personified it into the brand now known as Bundlebee. Darach founded his company in 2009 and completed a Post Grad Dip in Enterprise Development in 2010 to aid him while developing the business. He has been working hard to develop all aspects of the business, from branding, marketing, development, finance and sales. He is developing his idea in stages over time until he can raise the finance needed to grow the business to a large scale quickly.
Name: Peter Costello
Idea: Reasons 4 Rhymes
The Pitch: Verses for greeting cards and personalised verses for special occasions.
Came up with the Idea: Peter started doing verses for functions and fundraisers, and got a great response from people. Then he started doing personalised verses for retirement's (A framed verse of a person's life story with their picture on it). This is a unique gift that cannot be bought in a shop. Peter then went on to do an exclusive range of greeting cards with up to 200 meaningful words in each of them. They are in the shops now. All of his work is 100% Irish, written, printed and framed in Mayo.
Personal Information: Peter Costello is from Co Mayo. He has worked in the construction business for over 30 years, but has always had a great passion for writing poetry and verses. It has been a hobby of his for years and now he has turned it into a business. Peter believes that his cards are the best on the market anywhere at the moment.
Name: Dermot Heffernan
The Pitch: A unique 1000 litre wheeliebin trailer, which will fill a niche in the Irish waste management business.
Came up with the Idea:
Dermot has a small business outside the city, and the standard wheelie bin collection service did not meet his requirements, so he had to use the standard builders trailer to take the rubbish to the tip head for disposal. The rubbish bags would be torn from rodents and dogs, it would also be wet which would, add to the weight and therefore the disposal charges. However his biggest problem was due to handling wet dirty rubbish bags.
So he designed a trailer to take a large 100 litre wheelie bin which is hinged within the trailer frame. The wheeliebin kept the waste sealed within, dry and without odours. The hinged mechanism allows you to tip the load at the tiphead without coming in hand contact with the waste. It was economical, convenient and user friendly.
Dermot trained as an electrician and automatic control systems technician within the E.S.B. He has always been interested in technical and engineering systems, and has over 30 years experience in same. He designed and built machines for his own business, which he eventually sold to an English company, and continued to design and build for them for a few more years. Dermot intends to roll out the jiffitip rental business during the spring months. He is also working on a prototype drill which will have worldwide appeal.
Dermot is married for the second time; his wife's name is Lakkhana. He has three children, Shona (33), Tammy (31), and Sean (28).