I was at the Docklands Innovation Park Awards tonight to see Jonathan Mulligan of OpenPlain receive a cheque for â‚¬10,000 as the overall winner of the event.
OpenPlain is a subscription service that allows businesses to track the productivity of their employees by getting them to install a piece of software that monitors which applications are running and being used at any given point in time. It differs from the usual employee spyware in that it offers the user the ability to modify their own behaviour by showing them the stats that have been collected and comparing those stats with their peers. Yes I know, lots of people don’t like the idea of this kind of software, but so does Jon and more importantly he quantified it. 30% of customers won’t touch which leaves a very healthy 70% market share thank you very much.
Two other companies were up for the big prize. Pedantix (warning website has annoying audio), represented by Frank Fowley, and The Wealth Shop represented by Ray Langan.
Pedantix have developed automated software called FlightPAD. FlightPAD connects flight information display systems (aka, FIDS, the big board at the airport) with personal address systems and converts FIDS messages to PA messages that can be routed to wherever they are required. The software has been sold successfully to several Irish Airport authorities and their are obvious cross over markets to Malls, Train stations, bus stations etc.
The Wealth Shop is a retail play offering flat fee (â‚¬200) financial advice and planning to middle income earners (30-80k bracket) . They have software package that can produce a financial plan for each customer and they opened their first retail outlet in the OmniPark, Santry in Dec 2006. They have plans to open several more retail outlets over the coming year. I want Ray to do my presentations in the future, he was fantastic.
In general the quality of offerings and presentations were excellent and what was most encouraging was that all these businesses are currently revenue generating.
Three companies also won highly commended awards on the night, PutPlace.com (blush!), G20 Technologies and Tochar Technologies. The commended companies only got to do a 90 second elevator pitch, so I encourage you to visit their websites for the full story, as opposed to compressing it even more here.
The standard was universally high and it’s a crying shame there isn’t a dollar of VC available at the moment from the big players in the Irish market.
Enterprise Ireland where is that 175m when we need it?