The Start Up Awards

By Avril McArdle, Digital & Marketing Manager

Avril from Sage with the winners of the product Startup of the year, The Handmade Soap Company and comedian Colm O’Regan.

Sage at the Start Up Awards 2012

With over 40,000 Irish businesses using Sage software, we have a great understanding of the challenges that small business owners face in their day to day working lives. Through our on-going conversations with and feedback from our small business customers, we are constantly working to help make business better through on-going development of our software and our customer experience.
Here at Sage Ireland, we are always looking for opportunities to get closer to our customers and target audience so that we can better understand their challenges and their business needs. So when Stephen and Des approached me to support the first ever Irish Start Up awards, I felt it was a great opportunity for Sage, not only to show our support for the start-up community but to also celebrate the success stories of small businesses around Ireland who are doing great things, despite the economic challenges in the Irish marketplace today.

So Sage Ireland became involved as an awards sponsorship partner and we were in good company, with other sponsors including Vodafone, Energia and Bord Bia, to name but a few. It was great to see the level of support for the awards which really helped Des and the events team to put on a great event on the night.

Our CEO Liam Mullaney, was asked to join the judging panel, and he was more than impressed by all the fantastic success stories from businesses who had written and executed excellent business plans, right through to businesses who are now exporting their products throughout the globe. The standard of entries was very high and the bar was set.

So, fast forward to Thursday 24th May. The Sage team dusted off our posh frocks and tuxes and got ourselves down to the Burlington nice and early. It was a beautiful Summers evening and everyone was in great form. Our business advice team were on hand during the drinks reception to assist with any business solutions advice that the attendees required and it was a great chance for us to mingle and meet some of our Sage customers.

Then it was time for dinner and some fun. Stephen Dillon from Startups Ireland started proceedings with a very genuine and heartfelt speech about how being a business owner can be a lonely place sometimes and how get it is to get the start-up community together to share war stories and celebrate successes. Colm O’Regan provided the entertainment and was great craic. Then Bobby Kerr was introduced to the stage and the awards ceremony commenced.

Sage were sponsoring the second award of the night, Product Startup of the year and I was delighted to be asked up on stage while the shortlist was read out. The competition was fierce but the Handmade Soap Company were the Gold Winners and well deserved winners they were as they also went on to win the Export Startup category of the year and then the overall Grand Prix Award of the night.

It was a fantastic night, the enthusiasm and positivity in the room was palpable and it was very inspiring to see so many great business ideas brought to life. Well done to Stephen and Des for organising the event and to all the entrants and winners on the night. We are already looking forward to next year’s event.

 Winners of the Start Up Awards

Digital/Online Startup of the year
Clubs to Hire – Gold
Rainbusters – Silver
Rentview – Silver

Product Startup of the year
The Handmade Soap Company – Gold
Kooky Dough – Silver
Easy Payments Plus – Bronze

Home or craft based Startup of the year
The Handmade Soap Company – SIlver
Christening Elegance – Bronze

Women in Business
Easy Payments Plus – Gold
Cherry Blossom Bakery Ltd. – Silver
Pure products Ltd. – Silver

Green Startup of the year
Ecogrinds – Gold
BIGbin company – Silver
Electricescapes – Bronze

Food & Drink Entrepreneurial Startup of the year
Keoghs Crips – Gold
Kooky Dough – Silver
Aruna sauces – Bronze

Angel or VC Backed Startup of the year
Enverian – Gold – Silver
Panorama Engineering Ltd. – Bronze

Social Enterprise Startup of the year – Gold
MyMind – Silver
Hummingbird Learning Centre – Bronze

Service Startup of the year
Hunningbird Learning Centre – Gold
Bullet – Silver
Healthcomms Silver

Retail Startup of the year
RainBusters – Gold
Bake My Cake – Silver

Franchisee Startup of the year
The Zip Yard – Gold
Pass My Test Driving School – Silver
Four Star Pizza (New Ross)

Startup Business Plan of the year
Social Gaming Ventures Ltd. – Gold
Babog Baby – Silver
Kooky Dough – Silver

Irish language
BabogBaby – Gold
Smartmail Ltd. – Silver
Foinse – Bronze

Export Startup of the year
The Handmade Soap Company – Gold
Motionfox – Silver
Kooky Dough


Grand Prix

The Handmade Soap Company