In 2020 ThinkBusiness launched a new way of sharing business stories featuring a wonderful mix of entrepreneurs and business leaders shaping the future.
John Kennedy interviews Rosanne Longmore, CEO of the Irish medtech start-up Coroflo, which plans to launch its groundbreaking breastfeeding device in late 2020. Coroflow recently raised €1m in funding as well as a €2.2m accelerator grant from the European Commission under its Horizon 2020 programme, bringing total invest
John Kennedy interviews John Beckett about his views on entrepreneurship, building the original Ryanair website while in school and his new plan to take 250 tonnes of carbon out of the atmosphere by bringing native tree species back to Ireland.
ThinkBusiness attended the National Enterprise Town Awards and talked to Marian Acremon and Deidre Shine from the overall winning town Kilkenny as well as Ann Conlon, John Mulroy and Bernard Hughes from Rising Star award committee for Castlebar.
John Kennedy talks to scale up coach and author Nikolai Ladanyi from scale up Academy Europe and Paul O’Kelly from Scale Up Ireland about why we are great at starting businesses in Ireland but we need to get better at scaling businesses.
Live Tiles is setting itself up for success in Sligo and what better way to make an impact than to bring a global UN conference focused on AI for Good to boost the local economy. John Kennedy talks to Elaine Murphy and Paul Conneally about the company’s vision for Sligo, how AI can be used for good and the role Yeats and lake isles will play in the global event.
Led by John Cormican, the talented workforce at Jaguar Land Rover in Shannon is driving the future of cars and the world of transport as we know it. He talks to John Kennedy about the software-driven future of cars and how Ireland can steer this vision.
National Enterprise Town Awards 2018 Rising Star Award-winning Mark Smith from the Sawmills Printworks in Kells tells ThinkBusiness about joining the dots between 1,400 years ago when the Book of Kells was created and reviving recent centuries’ proud traditions of printing for future generations.
Shannon Group chief operating officer Ray O’Driscoll talks to ThinkBusiness about how the group plans to invest €150m over the next five years to help the Mid-West region and its industries take off into the 21st century.
Niamh Costello from Galway Technology Centre tells John Kennedy about how the social enterprise has made a real difference and how the new AcademyWest will help scale the West’s innovation-led firms.
This is the story of Comfort4Covid, a crowdfunding campaign that has raised thousands of euros to put tablet computers in the hands of hospital and nursing home patients who cannot see their loved ones because of the Covid-19 outbreak. One of the organisers, Ciara Close, tells John Kennedy how the campaign sparked the imagination of the public and businesses and the goal is to get 1,000 tablets into the hands of patients keen to stay in touch with loved ones.
Online scamming has become a major issue for people buying online all over the world, be it a car, concert tickets or work equipment. Stephen Larkin spoke to Conor Lyden who is the founder of Trustap – a secure transaction platform that protects people from being scammed when buying or selling to someone they don’t know.
Over the next 10 years hundreds, if not thousands, of ‘baby boomer’ business owners will be looking to retire in Ireland and pass the reins of the business on to the next generation. How well-prepared are their succession plans? John Kennedy talks to Financial Wellbeing expert Frank Conway from Moneywhizz about preparing for succession.
US tech firm GrandPad is a provider of tablet devices for older people and has chosen Gorey in Wexford for its European HQ. It has an interesting business model considering the majority of its staff work remotely. John Kennedy talks to Edwina Dunne and Geoff Rochford from GrandPad about isolation during Covid-19 and how to effectively run a remote workforce.
Covid-19 could change how we do business forever, ushering in new trends in retail and health and safety when it comes to social distancing and contact tracing. John Kennedy talks to Feargal O’Neill, CEO of Gamma Location Intelligence about how location data is going to be a game-changer for business.
John Kennedy talks to Devan Hughes, the serial entrepreneur who never gave up. After four failed start-ups Devan Hughes created Buymie which became one of the moments of light in the Covid-19 saga as it raised €2.2m and generated 200 jobs to facilitate online grocery shopping in Ireland and the UK.
As the Covid-19 crisis hit businesses all over the country a group of local professionals in Limerick felt they had to do something to protect the independent businesses they loved. Lean on Me, which allows the public to buy vouchers to boost the cashflow of local firms whose doors are closed but whose costs are mounting. John Kennedy talks to local Limerick solicitor Miriam O’Connor about the initiative and how it is gradually going nationwide having spilt over into Clare and Galway.
As communities across the world begin to transition out of lockdown, Irish software company ParkOffice.io has adapted its software to ensure employers mitigate risks for employees who are commuting to offices. Its founder Garret Flower is a serial entrepreneur who has already established companies like Krust Bakery and ParkPNP. He tells John Kennedy all about his latest venture and his thoughts on entrepreneurship in Ireland.
Many businesses have had to pivot to stay alive. One business that has not only pivoted but that is also helping the environment is Cork-based RashR, headed by Tom Cotter, which went from making sportswear to essential face masks from plastic bottles that litter the world’s oceans.
John Kennedy talks with John Collins, one of the key investors in Ireland’s indigenous tech scene who in May experienced two exits of two companies he backed – Singlepoint and Opening.io – in just two weeks. He talks about his own entrepreneurial career and his own successful exits and why he believes in backing Irish start-ups.
John Kennedy talks to Dr Rich Ferrie, director of UCC Innovation. Rich oversees GatewayUCC which has 55 spinout and start-up companies that employ 330 people full-time, IGNITE which has worked with 100 start-ups and UCC Consulting which is just about to launch.
John Kennedy talks to Sarah Daly from Creative Spark, Breanndan Casey from The Mill and Thomas McEvoy from Louth LEO about how the M1 Corridor region holds the key to new ways of working in the new normal.
John Kennedy talks to Norman Crowley, arguably Ireland’s answer to Elon Musk. As well as making his fortune from successful tech exits and a passion for driving the future of electric cars through his business Electrifi, the similarities end there. Through his global ventures Crowley Carbon and Cool Planet Crowley has a vision for a safer, greener planet and as a consummate entrepreneur has built a global business focused on reducing the carbon footprint of entire industries. He talks about his road to entrepreneurship, surviving the dot.com crash and almost selling a business for a billion dollars.
COVID-19 has has an impact on every employee and organisation in Ireland, with new ways of working being established over the last four months. One this episode of the podcast, we are joined by Ruben Hamilus, the co-founder and managing director of Business Games, an international corporate events agency that helps businesses realise their strategic objectives through experiential and game-based learning and training. Here we discuss Ruben’s career and the importance of training employees during times of uncertainty.
Despite being a beginner in the world of tech, Brendan Kiely co-founded software company ThinScale in 2013 with his brother-in-law and has successfully guided the company from day one, experiencing 20pc annual growth year-on-year. He gives John Kennedy some valuable insights on entrepreneurship, scaling companies and the future of work as remote working is here to stay.
A young Irish precision engineer one day decided to impress a girl by making her a ring. This propelled act him to becoming one of Ireland’s pre-eminent jewellery designers and goldsmiths. John Kennedy talks to Nigel O’Reilly about fostering skilled craft and artisan industries in regional Ireland and his collaborations with renowned designers and the fashion industries in Europe and New York, including making jewellery for Irish actress Saoirse Ronan.
John Kennedy talks with Tracy Sweeney, a visual artist in Mayo about the importance of fostering a creative sector in Ireland’s regions and how she has managed to cultivate a global online business selling her art.
John Kennedy talks with Dr Sarah Bourke, CEO of an Irish company called Skytek whose technology is used on the International Space Station, about how Irish technology is playing a role in space exploration and how her company’s technology has a myriad of further uses, including in areas like insurance and risk.
When it comes to golf, Ireland has a rich history in the sport – producing some of the best players in the world, including Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry.
But away the course, innovation plays a hugely important role within the game.
On this episode of the podcast, we speak to Dean Klatt, founder of Seed Golf, a Carlow-based company producing golf balls that’s popularity is rapidly growing right across the sport.
John Kennedy talks to Daithí de Buitléir, co-founder of Borradh, a business network of Irish speakers from all levels and sectors of the Irish business world, locally and globally, from SME owners and directors to corporates. He explains how the filter of business in the 21st century could prove pivotal in preserving and growing Ireland’s national language and identity.
John Kennedy talks to Thrifty founder Rónán Ó Dálaigh who is leading the digital transformation of the charity shop sector, helping traditional charity shops sell everything from fashion to books in a dynamic and sustainable way. Like many sectors of business, the charity shop sector was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic but thanks to Thriftify these businesses can now serve the public online.
John Kennedy talks to Leonora O’Brien, founder of Irish software company PharmaPod which has developed a platform to reduce medication errors for patients. Close to raising €3.5m in funding the company has created a secure application that enables pharmacists to record and share medication-related incidents and cut down on medical mistakes.
John Kennedy talks to Alan Swan, creator of Oldernotover.com, a newsletter and podcast series aimed at inspiring people in their 30s and 40s who are pondering changing career. So far, he has interviewed Jack Reacher author Lee Child and Richard E Grant, to name a few. Swan calls for a more positive attitude to ageing and career development.
Expleo managing director in Ireland Phil Codd talks with John Kennedy about the collaboration with NearForm that saw Ireland produce a world-leading contact tracing app for Covid-19, the creation of a €100,000 fund for SMEs and why Covid-19 has been the perfect storm for businesses to embrace digital transformation.
Led by Claire Finn, Lighthouse Studios in Kilkenny is a 2D animation studio based at the Hogwarths-like building that is Kieran’s College. Lighthouse employs 165 people and is currently working on major productions including ‘The Cuphead Show’ for Netflix as well as productions for other major platforms including Warner Bros and Disney, to name a few. Finn talks to John Kennedy about Ireland’s thriving animation sector, attracting talent and growing a major animation studio from Kilkenny.
A decision to expand into the UK four years ago prove to be an astute business decision for Dublin tech firm Data Solutions. Its operations there now account for 50pc of the overall business. But with a no-deal Brexit looking likely, what does the future look like for the company. MD Michael O’Hara tells John Kennedy how he intends to navigate the Brexit headwinds.
In what was its ninth acquisition Irish digital transformation agency Granite Digital recently acquired creative marketing agency Connector for an undisclosed sum and setting the firm on a road to €10m in revenues. Co-founder Conor Buckley tells John Kennedy how the company grew from a small office in west Cork to a scaled up business with offices in Dublin, Cork city and Limerick, and how Irish SMEs need to embrace the promise of digital.
Google Ireland has committed to supporting 60,000 Irish SMEs as they embark on recovery from the financial impacts of Covid-19. On this episode of the ThinkBusiness podcast, we chat to Alice Mansergh, who is the director of small business at Google, as she tells us about the Grow with Google initiative and the trends she is seeing in Ireland at the moment.
ThinkBusiness talks to Barry Kennedy, CEO of Irish Manufacturing Research which operates research facilities in Dublin and Mullingar. He talks about the value for money and return on investment that Irish Manufacturing Research has delivered so far for the Irish economy, how Ireland is home to a community of amazing tier-1 manufacturers but he warns if we are not careful Ireland’s manufacturing sector faces a technology timebomb.
ThinkBusiness talks to Samantha Kelly, also known as Tweeting Goddess and founder of the Women’s Inspire Network, who as a single mother started and sold her first business Funky Goddess before going on to keep inspiring women founders. She talks about entrepreneurship, diversity and social media.
ThinkBusiness talks to 256 Content CEO Karen Hesse about why content marketing is the future of marketing and publishing. 256 Content recently won three international awards at the Content Marketing Institute’s annual award event. It was also identified as the CMI’s agency of the year globally.
Beginning life as a pure-play accountancy software business, Big Red Cloud evolved to the cloud in 2012 and today has more than 75,000 customers across the UK and Ireland. ThinkBusiness talks to CEO Marc O’Dwyer about growing his business, the importance of the cloud and what lies ahead for Irish SMEs.
Frank and Sinead Scott-Lennon explain why performance conversations are the natural successors to the dreaded annual review.
Ireland’s telecoms industry is complex at the best of times, but somehow Pure Telecoms’ Paul Connell has navigated the choppy waters brilliantly.
By John Kennedy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published: 28 December 2020