Series 5: Episode 1

Broadcast: 4/03/2013

Sarah Nic Lochlainn and Sarajit Chanda

Name: Rob O'Reilly
Idea: IG guitars (
Investment: ¤50,000
Equity: 25% dropping to 20% if sales targets are hit
Location: Killarney, Co.Kerry

The Pitch:"A fashion guitar that you can personalise the appearance through a transparent body."

How did you come up with the idea: I designed my first guitar when I was 15. Since then, I always wanted something cooler, more functional and more appealing than anything out there. I sketched a pair of sunglasses in the shape of a guitar one day and that was it! I developed it by building it myself over a 3 year period.

Personal Information: I have a passion for Richard Branson style business. With that I've set up the Pay As You Please restaurant in Killarney, the band Hot Tramp and now IG guitars.

View Rob O'Reilly's response


Pat Toner

Name: Gareth Hanlon
Idea: Hype Games
Investment: ¤50,000
Equity: 20%
Location: Kilkenny

The Pitch: "Multi-Directional Word Game"

How you came up with Idea: Through his work with dyslexic children- Hype is a dyslexic friendly game that trains the visual memory of the players while encouraging lateral thinking.

Personal Information: Gareth, 37, is a grinds teacher, teaching maths and chemistry to 2nd level students. He has three children.


Alex Sasic

Name: Orlagh Denneny
Idea: Yellowbrick Career Transitions Solutions
Investment: ¤50,000
Equity: 30%
Location: Carrick on Shannon

The Pitch: Yellowbrick is a Personalised Premium Career Development Solution with a Multidisciplinary team that helps candidates clarify their strengths, develop a personal brand, publish CVs online, compose compelling cover letters, present their "best self" at interviews Out technology partners have invested heavily in making the process as systematic as possible and can link them instantly online with the business community through a sophisticated IT Platform. Our education and consultancy partners have developed the psychometric tools that allow us understand our candidates in a rich way and match them to the right opportunities.

At Yellowbrick we provide:

  • Solutions for the Career Changers
  • Solutions for Business
  • Solutions for Government

At Yellowbrick we have developed a comprehensive career transition model which allows you to:

  • Participate in a three month programme with your peers in a friendly, professional, club room styled facility
  • Full use of your own dedicated work space with computer, internet access, phone and printer for the duration of your stay
  • Access to experts in the field of Career Development; Psychology; Marketing; Business Development; Training and Education and Relaxation
  • Unlimited use of our unique Career Transition Software
  • Avail of the support of a dedicated Team/Career Coach

The usual cost of the programme is ¤2,500 per candidate. After participating in the Yellowbrick Career Transition Programme we believe candidates will have progressed into employment, education or business start up.

How you came up with Idea: It really was a combination of a few things: my experience and my job; the current economic climate and lots and lots of hard work and research.

I could see that gaps were emerging in the delivery of employment services and that existing products available to employers and job seekers could be both costly and lacking significance. At best these packages are only for a few days and job seekers can often then drift for months before beginning to engage with Government services. At this point bad habits may have developed and confidence has often been affected.

I believed that a lengthier customised programme set in a club room styled facility would yield the best results for job seekers, businesses and Government. While on the programme candidates have access to a multidisciplinary team of experts who can support their passage from one job to another. The programmes addresses the usual challenges associated with unemployment poor job searching skills; low self esteem and social exclusion as well as helping with the national unemployment crises. I discussed the notion with a few close associates and we began to build a team of experts from various backgrounds - Career Guidance; Occupational Psychology; Business Development & Management; PR & Marketing and Training & Education.

Knowing the sector and the issues surrounding it at the moment it became apparent that a lot of the challenges like limited resources; accessibility; traceability; accountability and connectivity with industry could all be overcome with the use of the appropriate technology. We then set about finding the perfect IT solution, and have now incorporated it into our overall package.

Personal Information: Orlagh is a director and founder of Yellowbrick. Having studied in Bolton Street she is a qualified Surveyor. After completing her studies she worked on Canary Warf with the French construction company Spie Batignolles. From there she went on to spent 10 years in IDA Ireland managing their property portfolio as a Property Marketing Executive.

In recent times and after a move west she has spent her time in work involving capacity building, community development and training & education in various Government Programmes e.g. LEADER & Skillnets. She currently works as a Manager of the Mayo Local Employment Service.

View Orlagh Denneny's response


Ollie and Jean Boyce

Name: Joseph Hyland
Idea: Crush Chute Gate
Investment: ¤100,000
Equity: 20%
Location: Portarlington, Co. Laois

The Pitch: Unique labour saving systems to safely inspect cattle while reducing the stress levels for the farmer and animal.

How did you come up with the idea: When my son emigrated to Australia, I had no help in handling cattle. I looked for ways to make the inspection, testing and dosing of cattle a 'one man operation'.

Personal Information:

  • Went to England in the 1980's and had a successful construction company.
  • Following the property crash in 1990, returned to Ireland and bought a farm and pub.
  • Ran a small construction company for the past 20 years until the Irish property crash.
View Joseph Hyland's response


Fran O'Brien

Name: Siobhan English
Idea: Country Cards
Investment: ¤20,000
Equity: 20%
Location: Athgarvan, Co Kildare

The Pitch: Greeting cards (featuring my own images) for the field sports enthusiast

How you came up with Idea: I am a photographer specialising in horses and field sports. Over the course of a year conducting research and pilot studies, I found there was a major gap in the market for Irish-produced greeting cards for this area.

Personal Information: I am a native of Carrick-on-Suir but I have been living in Kildare now for over 15 years. I have been involved with horses for most of my life. As well as a photographer, I am a journalist and a former editor of the Irish Horse World, the sport horse section of The Irish Field. I am now freelance and combine both professions in the course of my work.

View Siobhan English's response


Fran O'Brien

Name: Aideen O'Grady
Investment: ¤30,000
Equity: 5%
Location: Carrigaline, Co Cork

The Pitch: STARCAMP is Ireland's only nationwide children's performing summer camp in operation since 2007. It is now ready to expand through the development of franchised stage schools, an increased number of summer camps, an introduction of further camps, children's parties and merchandise.

How you came up with Idea: STARCAMP's core ethos is to instil confidence and self-esteem, something that I believe should be encouraged in all children. I was extremely fortunate to attend stage school throughout my childhood and I know how much it has benefited the person that I've become today. I also attended every summer camp that ever existed as a child but there were none that offered singing, dancing and acting under one roof. I combine the performing arts with the building of self-esteem and confidence and it is a dream formula that I aim to offer in every town in Ireland.

Personal Information: I was born and raised in Carrigaline with one brother to the most encouraging and amazing parents a child could dream of. I began Stage School at the tender age of about 3. I performed in many shows in Cork Opera House, The Everyman Palace and The Gaiety amongst others. After school I began a career in the media which started out in Hotpress Magazine because of my love for music and bands. I went on to own a Woman's glossy publication called IQ for women. Unfortunately the untimely death of my business partner ended this prematurely. I have travelled the world and done so much to date in my life - all of which have lead me to where I am today. I am now doing exactly what I should be - running my dream company that is STARCAMP and going home to my wonderful Husband Paul, who I have finally roped in to play an active role within the company and our two amazing baby sons, Dean aged 1 and Lachlan, who's 7 months.

View Aideen O'Grady's response


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