Series 5: Episode 6
Name: Mary Gallagher
Idea: Learn Chinese with Pat and Dan
Location:Green Dragon Tuition Ltd is registered in County Louth
The Pitch:"An early-learning package to teach young children conversational and written Chinese through activity books, CDs, speaking toys, etc."
How did you come up with the idea: We noticed that there was a gap in the early language-learning market for a really authentic, imaginative, child-centred learning package and we knew that Mandarin Chinese would allow us to test an approach that would not rely on native speaker teachers. Any method that depends on a native-speaker teacher may be as authentic as ours, but it will be hugely costly compared with what we offer.
Personal Information: The company has three director/shareholders. I teach French at third level, have written a number of books, and am married with four children aged 9 to 17. I have no business background. One of my partners also teaches languages and has written textbooks and the third has a business background.View Mary Gallagher's response
Location: Trim in Co. Meath
The Pitch: Nurish is a small Irish company with a big dream - Making Healthy Eating Easy.
How you came up with Idea: I have a keen interest in healthy eating myself, and I find it difficult to eat healthily when I don't have time to cook for myself. For this reason, I decided to set up a business that could produce meals that would be an alternative to cooking for myself at home. The meals will be low in carbohydrates, gluten free and only natural ingredients you would find in your kitchen will be used. Consumers will be able to purchase them in their supermarket and eat them at home.
Personal Information: I hold a BSc Sports Management (First Class Honours) from University College Dublin, where I graduated in 2009. After graduating, I joined Dell in Sandyford where I worked for two years in Corporate Sales. I started in Dell as a sales support representative, but was quickly promoted into an account management role, and was then subsequently promoted to a product specialist role. After two years in Dell, I took a year out to travel around the world, visiting all 6 continents. I have now returned home to focus on establishing nurish as a respected and trusted brand in the food sector.View Conor Murphy's response
Name: Eoin O'Hagan
Location: Scariff, County Clare
The Pitch: www.clarevirtually.ie - Promoting Co. Clare's tourism products in a different, innovative and entertaining way.
How did you come up with the idea: I moved to Co. Clare with my wife and children and fell in love with the beautiful scenery as I went fishing on Lough Derg. I also volunteer my time on the organising committee of the successful "Scariff Harbour Festival" and also I am Vice-Chair of East Clare Tourism which promotes Lough Derg and East Clare generally as a tourism destination. I also volunteer my time on The Clare Tourism Forum, which promotes the whole County of Clare.
I have worked as a lighting electrician and lighting gaffer in the Irish film Industry for the last 18 years and have worked with many award winning Cinematographers and directors. Whilst at a Clare Tourism Forum meeting I came up with the idea for www.clarevirtually.ie. Using my many years of experience in the film Industry I could make virtual tours of the tourism product and so promote them in a different, innovative and entertaining way. I then spoke with a website designer and we came up with the format for www.clarevirtually.ie. Sixty- second virtual tours of the tourist product be it a pub, restaurant, accommodation or attraction. Some shots of the exterior with scenic views. Some shots of the interior; bedrooms, dining rooms etc. Some shots of elements of the menu (where relevant). The most important shot though is the Céad Míle Fáilte from the owner or manager for this is whom the virtual visitor will meet at the door or reception when they arrive. Accompanying the sixty- second digital video tour is a soundtrack supplied by local musicians which adds to the virtual tour and makes it a pleasurable sensory experience. The hook for www.clarevirtually.ie is "Look then Book" The visitor comes onto the website and decides where he/she would like to go or stay. They then click on an icon on the map or link to the relevant virtual tour. When the sixty second tour is over they can then book it through the link to the tourism product providers own website.
www.clarevirtually.ie is a template for the rest of the country and the intention is that virtually.ie will cover the whole island of Ireland. To that end I have purchased the domain names for the other thirty- one counties for example; www.dublinvirtually.ie or www.galwayvirtually.ie
I am 49, married to Ruth and have three children; Daniel, Tara and Grace. We live in the small Co. Clare town of Scariff, which is beside Lough Derg on the river Shannon.
www.clarevirtually.ie was launched late 2011 and has grown since then. Our clients find it a very different way of promoting themselves and are pleased with the increase in business that it brings them. I have recently enlisted Martina Minogue as a project manager. Martina, from Scariff also, is a mentor for Enterprise Ireland and I was thrilled to be able to offer her a position in my business. We then drew up a business plan, which in 3 years will see us becoming a successful brand. A brand known and trusted throughout the world as a source of tourism information for the visitor to Ireland and in the longer term the wider tourist industry throughout the world.
In fact in the twelve months to the end of December 2012 the website had 115,000 visitors from Ireland and all over the world. In the last quarter of 2012 the number of visitors from the US grew and overtook domestic visitors to reach 30% month on month. This shows that www.clarevirtually.ie is doing what I intended it to do. It is reaching out and attracting people with this different, innovative and entertaining form of tourism promotion.View Eoin O'Hagan's response
Name: Tina Reid
Idea: Organeq....recycling horse manure and waste bedding
Location: I am from Howth, but the business would be based in Meath & Fingal area
The Pitch: My name is Tina, founder of Reid Recycling. My brand is ORGANEQ: a process to produce a sustainable bedding material, compost & a line of solid bio fuel products from waste equine bedding.
How you came up with Idea: Redundancy and unemployment gave me an opportunity to access my career. My background in Sales, a love of horses and a keen interest in sustainability gave rise to an idea and with the aid of Ryan Academy and the Green Way I conducted a preliminarily feasibility analysis & established viability for this process and these products. This process creates a closed loop sustainable process in the handling of the waste while also providing a zero waste recycling of the waste.
The plan is to grow organically and when the company has reached the benchmark stage of 12 yards, to incorporate an expansion to handle the extra volume; upgrading the capacity of the original plant, open additional depots and entry to the exports markets of mainland Europe and the UK. Minimal start up capital is required and indications are for a financially sound proposition reaching break-even point & profitability within this time. Investment opportunities are available and enquiries welcome.
Personal Information: I am a divorced mother of two daughters who has always had to work and enjoying both these aspects of life. My ambition is to achieve the perfect work life balance by having the business run from a converted for purpose residential farm. I have a strong sales background with competencies in internal, field sales and account management and customer service. I bring an innovative mindset with a solid potential for challenging, specialized roles, offering a practical task focused methodology and unwavering desire to achieve. Targets have been achieved and often surpassed and I have forged excellent customer relationships.
I have many transferable skills and the ability to adapt to change quickly and with ease and carry a wealth of knowledge, diversity and competencies. The past year has seen me graduate from DCU with a level 8 Certificate in Innovation and New Product Development with which to enhance my employment offering.
My main background was over 10 years with Irish Merchants were I dealt with packaging, catering disposables, hygiene and beverage systems to the healthcare, FMCG and catering sectors and remained there until redundancy in 2009. My family had a business in the sales and processing of seafood and competencies are high in this area too. Successfully Completing Level 8 certificate in Business Innovation/Marketing Feasibility Analysis Winning Green Business Plan Competition in DCU Sales Team of the year taking on an under performing area, bringing it in on budget with in my 1st qtr, and maintaining this standard. Being awarded a Bachelor of Arts.View Tina Reid's response
Name: Oliver Fegan
Location: Dublin, Ireland
The Pitch: Hailo of the hospitality world focusing on bars, restaurants and clubs.
How you came up with Idea: I worked in the foodservice business and realised bars and restaurants were going out of business because of the unpredictable nature of the business. I also knew as a consumer it was next to impossible to find bookings at the last minute. Temptster is a hybrid which solves the problem of both the consumer and the venue which adds value to both.
Personal Information: I worked as Sales and Marketing Director for Fegans Foodservice for the last 5 years. Before that, I was a management consultant for leading IT consultancy firm, Accenture in London. I also worked for Enterprise Ireland as a marketing executive helping Irish companies develop export strategies. Temptster is the product of these 3 experiences.
In my personal life, I have a huge passion for sustainability and African development. I cycled from Cairo to Cape Town in 2008 which was a great personal challenge. I also am a board member of an NGO, Shareholders Alliance for Corporate Accountability, which work to make extractive industries more accountable to the communities they work in. It is based in the Niger Delta.
I love sport, learning new things and making the most of my limited time on this planet.View Oliver Fegan's response