Series 4: Episode 8
Name: Eoghan O'Sullivan
Idea: Von Bismark
The Pitch:"Virtual wardrobes that allow consumers to physically try on digital clothing."
How did you come up with the idea: I came up with the idea after I saw the release of the Microsoft Kinect camera.
Personal Information: I am the founder and owner of Von Bismark. I Have 7 years experience as a director of a successful Digital Agency - www.pixel-lab.ie prior to founding Von Bismark. I also Co-Founded www.tender3d.com which was launched in early 2010 as a global software as a service platform to find, purchase, manage, pay and rate 3D content. Tender3D has over a thousand professional 3D artists and animators on its books from over 70 countries around the world.
Through my work with Pixel Lab I was the creative lead on over 100 projects and worked with some of the brightest new start and some of Irelands leading blue chip multinationals like the IDA, Aerogen, Clearstream and Johnson and Johnson.View Eoghan O'Sullivan's response
Name: Karen & Frank Daly
Idea: Slender Choice
Location: Mullaghbawn Co Armagh
The Pitch: "Healthy yet incredibly delicious ready meals, burgers and sausages."
How you came up with Idea: Being a busy working Mum Karen found it difficult to source convenient meal options that also delivered on taste and this is where Slender Choice was born.
Personal Information: We are passionate about what they do and are also passionate about good food. We have immense pride in their Irish roots and regional heritage. We have passionately researched our product and now have the support of local producers. We have two young kids.
I completed a BTEC National Diploma in Construction and undertook two years of a Quantity Surveying Degree in University of Ulster Jordanstown. On my year out I was offered full time employment with a local electrical engineering company, I accepted it and never looked back. I spent over 13 years working in the electrical industry developing strong communication and sales skills along the way, working in both sales and management roles.
Karen was educated in Queens University in Belfast (Hons Degree Information Management & Economics) and spent over ten years working in the Recruitment industry. Karen worked for a leading agency as operations manager from 2002-2010. The skills gained in this role have been invaluable and have only added to Karen's high levels of commitment, dedication, motivation and her competitive nature! Karen lost her father in 2000 and sights him as her entrepreneurial inspiration - her dad started his own Joinery & Roofing business which employed over 20 people.
"Choose a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life" and even with all the hurdles over the last 12 months we have enjoyed every minute of working together and for ourselves and although highly challenging at times it has been an amazing year.." Frank & Karen DalyView Karen & Frank Daly's response
Name: Austin Kenny
Location: Co. Wicklow
The Pitch: "We sell 'experience gifts' - vouchers for other companies' services in a beautifully packaged gift box."
How you came up with Idea: I first saw the product in Portugal, I thought it was a great idea and I was sure it could be replicated for the Irish market. With PerfectGift I felt strongly about attracting excellent companies who would provide their services, and furthermore that the product had to include great value.
Personal Information: I studied computer science at Trinity College, graduating in 2002. I worked as a programmer in ICI/ADP New York City for two years. I returned to Ireland in 2004 to complete a research masters, again in Trinity College. In 2006 I started working for an Irish technology company. Also in 2006 I got involved in a building project which unfortunately did not succeed; then late in 2010, I started PerfectGift.View Austin Kenny's response
Name: Noel Joyce
Idea: Breezy Gardening
Location: Tullamore, Co.Offaly
The Pitch: "Breezy Gardening products that are a breeze to use."
How did you come up with the idea: As a wheelchair user I cannot get to the ground to garden therefore I garden in pots which I can place at a height I can reach. Soon I began to run out of space to put these pots and also had difficulty with a dog who kept destroying any of the plants he could reach. This led to me realizing that if I had suffered with these problems then others may be having the same difficulties. This is how the breezy gardening plant holder came about. After a while of testing and developing the idea I arrived at a solution which solved the problems and was easy to use. It was then I realized that this product would be great for everyone to use regardless of their abilities.
Personal Information: I am wheelchair user of the last six years. I graduated with a first class honours degree in product design innovation in 2010. I went back to study product design in the Institute of Technology Carlow after a mountain biking accident left me paralyzed and ended my career in the Army. I had served in the Irish Army for 5 years and had done a tour of duty in Liberia. With my new career path determined I realized it would be difficult to get work in ireland so I established with 3 other design graduates a collaborative called www.designhub.ie Our goal was to work with people to help them establish their ideas for products or business's thus having an income for ourselves and to link other graduate designers with clients to get some work. We also worked on our own projects. One of mine was Breezy Gardening which is what I spend the majority of my time working on currently.View Noel Joyce's response
Name: Morag Kelly & Michael Duggan
Idea: Greenieland Interactive Ltd.
Location: Morag lives in Galway and Michael lives in Tipperary.
The Pitch: "Greenieland Interactive Ltd. inspires an interest in nature using innovative, educational and engaging children's products."
How you came up with Idea: I initially came up with the 'Greenieland' concept after completing a diploma in Garden Design as a mature student (2009). I saw there was a need for a set of fun children's horticultural products geared directly towards the child that help young children (aged 3-10) connect/re-connect with nature.
Greenieland is an imaginary magical world where all stories are centered on the key character 'Greenie'. Greenie's purpose is to engage, inspire and educate in a gentle and implicit way considering all elements of nature (e.g. growing your own, the seasons, eco-systems, sustainability etc.)
Mike and I set out to produce our first product, the 100% Irish self-published book Gordon Goes to Greenieland, and launched in Galway November 2010 with the companion website www.greenieland.ie. I am the author/illustrator, Mike managed story development. This is an environmentally focused fun book. There are a number of underlying messages and revolves around the relationship between a young boy (Gordon) and his grandad. Broken into seasons it shows the young reader the importance of trees (in particular native trees), introduces the concept of eco-systems and the natural cycles of life.
When launching the Greenieland concept nationally at Bloom 2011 the response was fantastic. Morag was delighted to be sponsored by Galway City & County Enterprise Board to participate in a SME development program with the IiBC in GMIT Galway which she completed in November 2011. Morag & Mike are now developing this idea further with Greenie merchandising and interactive media - all centred on storytelling and producing fun, educational and innovative products.
I am originally from Limerick and grew up in the countryside with my parents and five siblings. I spent the majority of play time outdoors and it wasn't unusual to head out after breakfast and not arrive home until we were hungry! I also enjoyed a lot of 'make and do' indoor activities with my very creative parents. A lot of our food came from our back garden and I was brought up with a very strong connection and appreciation for nature and the arts.
I developed an interest in Information Technology after completing a poor(!) Leaving Certificate in 1985. In 1990 I went to university as a mature student and obtained a degree in Computer Systems (this is where I met Mike!) From there I went on to work in the IT sector initially as a computer programmer working my way up to project and eventually global product management. In 2003 I received involuntary redundancy. At that point I decided to explore my creative/social side more and worked in the Charity & Craft Sectors up until the time I returned to college to complete my diploma in Garden Design (see above).
I now live in Athenry with my partner Rob and Flossy the Dog. I am working on the Greenieland project full-time and love putting my creative and business skills to good use in such a fun way!
I am originally from Tipperary, and grew up working on the family farm alongside my parents, brothers and neighbours. When not outdoors I always had my head stuck in a book.
I love learning new things, a passion maintained to this day. I studied Computer Science at the University of Limerick (with Morag!) and recently completed a Postgrad in Computing Knowledge Management in DIT. I have worked as an IT professional for over 20 years in the Manufacturing, Food, Insurance and Craft Sectors. In particular I worked as an Application Development Consultant in Europe and USA and as a Business/Data Analyst and Project Manager in Galway.
In recent years, I have worked mostly with volunteer organisations. As well as travelling and teaching children in Thailand, I worked with the disabled as an Information Communication Technology consultant in Kenya with Volunteer Services Overseas (VSO).
I am now working on the Greenieland project full-time and delighted with the opportunity to combine my love of storytelling, learning and the outdoors. It provides a sense of fulfilment that we are having a positive impact on the next generation, and having lots of fun along the way.
Name: Raquel Noboa
Location: Lahinch, Clare
The Pitch: "The Trip Advisor of Pet Services."
How you came up with Idea: The Idea came about when a friend of mine got a dog for the first time. Bringing your new best friend to the vet, leaving them in kennels, or choosing a groomer can be stressful experiences for any pet owner, and not choosing the right one can often mean your pet will suffer the consequences this is when we realized there was a gap in the market for a website like Mypetreview.com
Personal Information: Originally from Spain, I first moved to Ireland in 1998, at 17 years of age, to learn English. I joined Fitzpatrick's Hotel Bunratty where I started cleaning rooms wanting to improve my language skills. The management team soon saw the potential in me and enrolled me in the Fitzpatrick Group Trainee Manager program. After 4 and a half years and successfully completing the program I became part of the management team where I met Deirdre Clohessy. I moved on from Ireland to Asia and joined the Universal Group managing one of their 5* resorts in the Maldives for 1 year. I returned to Dublin to work for Fitzpatrick's group again and together with Deirdre Clohessy we successfully opened a new extension of The Morgan Hotel in Temple Bar, increasing the hotel's revenue by double. Leaving the hospitality industry 5 years ago, I started working with Tierneys Office, and IT company that has over 200 customers all over Ireland and the UK, as an IT consultant. It is during this period I obtained a Diploma on Web Design from LIT university of Limerick. In the past year I have dedicated my spare time to one of my passions which is dogs, and became a Dog Trainer, obtaining a Level 6 Fetac certificate in canine obedience and a Diploma in Dog Psychology.View Raquel Noboa's response