Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) was strongly represented at Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Ups Showcase “Class of 2011” which was held in the Mansion House on Wednesday 29th February 2012.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr. Richard Bruton and Chairman of Enterprise Ireland, Mr. Hugh Cooney hosted the showcase event to highlight the important impact that start-up companies are having on Irish economic recovery. It is the largest event in the High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) calendar year, commending the 92 HPSU companies and 55 Competitive Start companies that received Enterprise Ireland investment during 2011.
WIT’s presence at the event illustrates the Institute’s substantial input into the creation of grass roots enterprises. These companies require a range of supports which are provided by WIT through various schemes from basic through to applied research and through commercialisation activities. The companies vary from direct spinouts of WIT to second generation spinouts, to those whom have successfully participated in the South East Enterprise Platform Programme while others have benefited from engagement with WIT research teams or the use of the facilities in the WIT ArcLabs Incubation Centre.
Dr. Willie Donnelly, Head of Research & Innovation at WIT stated:
“Over the last ten years Waterford Institute of Technology has developed a unique research and innovation platform aligning research, business development and entrepreneurship on its west campus at Carriganore.
“The Arclabs community of ICT and Business researchers and entrepreneurs has created more than 600 new high valued jobs within that period. It validates not only the value and academic leadership of the Institute’s research but more importantly the ability of our researchers to translate the outputs of their research in to real commercial and economic impact.”
Almost 6% of the companies present at the showcase have engaged with WIT ArcLabs highlighting the impact of WIT both regionally and nationally in the creation of start-up enterprise.
Dr. Donnelly continued “Our success at the showcase event is testament to the hard work and innovation of the research team and everyone at ArcLabs. The ArcLabs model is working and we are now going to replicate that beyond the South-East. The Institute is engaged in a major expansion of its services with the established of a new Arclabs innovation centre in Kilkenny.”
The HPSU companies associated with WIT are as follows:
• Betapond – currently partnering on R&D with WIT under Enterprise Ireland’s innovation Partnership programme
Based in Arclabs and a past participant of SEEPP, Betapond is a VC backed Facebook technology company that specialises in Facebook mobile marketing mechanics for brands with physical locations and footfall. Betapond is a Facebook Preferred Developer Consultant.
• FeedHenry Ltd – a direct spin out from WIT licensing core technology
Feedhenry provides a cloud-based Mobile Application Platform that simplifies the development, deployment, integration and management of secure mobile apps for business.
• Global Business Register Ltd – a spin in benefiting from the transfer of staff and skills
GBR connects virtual identities operating on the internet to real identities in the real world. GBR make it safer for people to do business online by identifying who is the party they are dealing with on the other end of a transaction.
• Wini Technologies – worked on an Innovation Voucher with WIT to develop core technology
WINIcabs is the world’s first fully automatic, location based taxi dispatch system. The system receives the customer’s location and re-routes the call to an available taxi driver who is nearby.
Also in attendance at the event were more than 55 companies which received funding though Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund Programme. This initiative provides vital early stage funding to test the market for their products and ideas. A number of these companies who have participated on WIT’s SEEPP programme or have utilised the services of Arclabs include:
• Intellehealth
• SeniorsAtHome Ltd
• NoGo Smartlock
• RWorks
• Scurri.com

Pictured at the Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start Up Showcase in the Mansion House, Dublin are Hugh Cooney, Chairman, Enterprise Ireland, Ben Cronin, CEO, Global Business Register Ltd. & Frank Ryan, CEO, Enterprise Ireland. Picture by Fennell Photography.