Series 4: Episode 9
Name: Fiona Wilson
Idea: Augmentative alternative communication app
Location: County Wicklow
The Pitch:"Communication app for individuals with communication disorders."
How did you come up with the idea: I work with teenagers with autism and learning difficulties who are non verbal and were frustrated at not being able to find an app to suit their communication needs.
Personal Information: I am originally from Scotland and moved over to Ireland ten years ago. I have an Honours Primary Teaching Degree from Northern College of Education in Scotland and I graduated in 1997. I taught in a primary school in Scotland between 1997 - 2001 and then decided I wanted a change so I applied for teaching jobs in Ireland. In August 2001, I was offered a position in the Boys National School in Newtownmountkennedy and then in 2007 I applied for a permanent position in St Catherine's Special School. I was successful in this application and just after Easter in 2007 I started working with teenagers with Autism and moderate - severe learning disabilities. I have been working with teenagers with Autism and learning disabilities since I started in St Catherine's. I am an enthusiastic, dedicated teacher. At home I have a partner and two young sons who, despite working long hours, will always be my first priority. I love spending time with my family and just taking each day as it comes.View Fiona Wilson's response
Name: Paul O' Connell
Idea: Flue pot plug
Location: Cork city, Ireland
The Pitch: "To manufacture and supply Ireland and UK with the product."
How you came up with Idea: I bought a house with an open chimney not in use, could never heat the house , was always draftee, had good insulation in the house but as I sat next to the fire place I noticed the draft across my feet towards the fire place and the sound of the dogs barking and echoing down the chimney I then realised that the chimney was the problem to my heat loss I then proceeded to solve the problem I then came up with the flue plug , when the plug was fitted my heat cost were reduced greatly and my heating bills decreased considerably hence I solved the problem.
Personal Information: I'm a carpenter by trade and a builder, I did employ apprentices over the years. I have been dealing with clients, architects, engineers, and accountant and with solicitor.View Paul O' Connell's response
Name: Geraldine McGlynn and Noel McGlynn
Location: Killarney and Dublin
The Pitch: "Irish travel website for the Over 55s."
How you came up with Idea: Geraldine worked in the tourism industry for over 10 years and spotted a niche in the market to bring together the numerous "golden years" offers that are widely available from hotels throughout Ireland. The concept was to bring all of these offers together into a single website, in addition to discounts offered by visitor attractions and other tourism providers. As the number of older people embracing the Internet and social media increased, the idea for www.goldenireland.ie was born.
Personal Information: Geraldine has extensive managerial experience and background in the Irish tourism industry, having worked with Dublin Tourism as Administrator of Malahide Castle and more recently in the company's marketing department. Geraldine has a BA in History and Irish from UCD and a Postgraduate diploma in Public Relations from DIT. Noel has extensive international managerial experience having worked with a number of Fortune 500 companies over the past 12 years in Europe, The US and Asia. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from UCD and a Masters in Business Studies from The Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business.View Geraldine McGlynn and Noel McGlynn's response
Name: Samantha Kelly
Idea: Funky Goddess
The Pitch: "A gift box to mark the milestone of a girl's first period."
How did you come up with the idea: I got the idea when my own daughter got her first period. I went looking for something nice to give her like a starter set and there were none so I saw the gap in the market and decided I would do it!
Personal Information: I am a Mum of two Daughters, one of whom is hearing impaired. I gave up work to care for her full time and enhance her speech so that she would be ready for school. She started in September. I have a background in Sales and customer service and also am a qualified childminder. I also have a qualification in TEFL (Teaching English as a foreign language).View Samantha Kelly's response
Name: Helen Lubarsky
Idea: Drinkoginiser - A Universal Beverage Container Marker
The Pitch: "My company produces a marker for beverage containers. This product was developed as a new hygienic device targeted to distinguish one container from another at very busy events such as wedding, anniversary, conferences and many other. Drinkogniser is universal and fits for all types of containers (bottles, wine glasses and cans) and suitable for all drinks. It is also unique and can be fully personalised and customised."
How you came up with Idea: This idea was born in a Scottish pub during a very busy engagement party. It was so difficult to find my drink? People around me were asking the same question. It was an uncomfortable situation for all of us. I started to think of an invention that would make losing your drink a problem of the past. During my student life I've been invited to many parties and took part in a lot of scientific conferences. No matter what we used to drink - water or beer, wine or coffee, the problem was the same. Gradually, I developed a Drinkogniser - the marker that fits all types of drinks.
I am Russian and I am a mom of two. My family arrived to the UK ten years ago. Last summer I successfully completed my research degree with several scientific publications and was awarded with a PhD from St. Andrews University. Now, I am a Doctor of Biology. During my student time I developed and patented this product. I've formed a company in Belfast and I am running my business on a full-time base.
Name: Patrick Keegan
Idea: Signature Golf & Bottle Umbrellas
The Pitch: "Images of Signature Golf Holes & Tourist Attractions featuring on Golf & Bottle Umbrellas."
How you came up with Idea: I saw a similar type product while residing in Austria, back in 1998 which was very popular amongst visiting tourists. I believe that there is a market in Ireland for such a product as a large number of golfing tourists visit Ireland each year and the Signature Golf Umbrella would make an ideal gift. I believe the Signature Bottle Umbrella featuring many of Ireland's tourist destinations will also be attractive to the visiting tourists as either a gift or memento to the visit to Ireland.
Personal Information: Born: 7.2.1956 in Waterford
1982 - 1985 - Asst Bank Manager, Trustee Savings Bank
1986 - 1997 - Bank Manager, Trustee Savings Bank
1998 - 2002 - Designed Irish Pubs in Norway, Austria, Iceland & Switzerland.
2002 to date - Director of Solo Arte, Art Gallery in Waterford. www.soloarte.ie
Name: Eilis Fitzgerald
Idea: Hey Baby, online baby store
The Pitch: "Online baby store offering the most innovative baby products from around the world."
How you came up with Idea: While pregnant with my first child I noticed there was limited choice of baby products on the high street in this country. I researched the market and sourced products worldwide for the remainder of my pregnancy. When my baby was a few months old, I set up the website www.heybaby.ie and the business has grew from there.
Personal Information: With over 10 years in the aviation industry as cabin crew, I found myself unemployed while 5 months pregnant. I hadn't planned to start my own business it all happened by chance. I saw there was a niche in the market for baby products and Hey Baby just grew from there. Since last August with the arrival of our second child, I manage to juggle 2 boys under 2 and Hey baby on a daily basis.View Eilis Fitzgerald's response