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DateMonday, February 07, 2011

Tech Entrepreneurs in Docklands Contest 

Three of Ireland's Best Emerging Tech Entrepreneurs Battle for Docklands Innovation Park Enterprise Awards





The Docklands Innovation Park, the cradle to many of Ireland's most successful entrepreneurs, has announced the three finalists of its Enterprise Awards 2011. They are Foxframe, an innovative online video ad producer, Front Square who use Social Media to promote the adoption of Lean processes, and Nootrol who operate in the supply chain field.



Now in its ninth year, the Docklands Innovation Park Enterprise Awards is the initiative of the Bolton Trust and DIT Hothouse and is aimed at showcasing the innovative companies emerging from Docklands Innovation Park to start-up investors.



The CEO's of the three finalist companies, Grainne Barron (Foxframe), Geoff Beggs (Front Square Solutions) and Mark Kearns (Nootrol) will each have 20 minutes to present their investment proposals and be questioned by Damien Callaghan, Investment Director, Intel Capital; Brian Caulfield, Entrepreneur & Partner, DFJ Esprit; Dr Ivan Coulter, Founder & CEO Sigmoid Pharma Ltd and Diane Roberts, National Director, Halo Business Angel Network, who together make up the judging panel. The winner will be awarded the title of "Best Investment Proposal for 2011" and a prize of €10,000.



Foxframe is creating a Content-as-a-Service (CaaS) software application which automates the entire video production and distribution process, and will enable businesses worldwide to create their own professional video ads online. The company was founded by Grainne Barron, a media industry professional with more than 15 years experience in traditional video advertising, production and digital media.




Front Square enables accelerated and sustained Lean transformation programmes through social media technology. Using online simulations, employees learn how to improve processes through experimentation and collaboration. Their solution is both engaging and scalable across large numbers of employees, thus facilitating the spread of Lean across the organisation. Co-Founded by Geoff Beggs, who has 10 years experience in the ‘Lean' industry with many global blue chip organisations, Frontsquare has recently graduated from the Hothouse Venture Programme.



Established in 2008 and current participants of the Hothouse Venture Programme, Nootrol enables businesses to connect, collaborate and monitor the sustainability of their entire supply chains in real time. Customers access an online self-forming network of suppliers, allowing them to connect, collaborate and monitor the sustainability of their supply chains. The company is led by Mark Kearns, an entrepreneur and technologist with 20 years experience building and running start-ups and multinational organisations in the UK, US and Ireland.



The Bolton Trust was established in 1987 is committed to helping the growth of indigenous Irish enterprises and fostering entrepreneurship. It operates the 14,000 square metre Docklands Innovation Park on Dublin's East Wall Road, home to 70+ companies who collectively employ 350 people. Since 2001, DIT's Hothouse Venture Programme, which is currently recruiting entrepreneurs for Hothouse 2011, has supported over 250 entrepreneurs at the early stages of their business development including Movidius,, Mick's Garage and iQ Content. Hothouse claim that its firms have created over 1,000 jobs and attracted more than €50 million in external investment.



Chairman of the Bolton Trust, Rea O'Neill, commented: "At this particular time it is more important than ever for strategic investment in young innovative companies who represent growth opportunities for our economy. Last year's DIP Awards saw the investment of over €1.4 million in three excellent companies. This year's finalists present equal opportunities with global potential for investment."



Ronan Murphy, Senior Partner, PwC said: "In the current environment it is critical to foster a culture of innovation across all areas of business. It is from new ideas that new products will emerge and future businesses will develop. Supporting our young entrepreneurs, many of whom will be our future business leaders, will contribute to the future success of our economy. PwC is delighted to support these Awards and wishes the candidates every success."



Last year's Award was won by Kinesense (more) who's founder and CEO Mark Sugrue last week won Entrepreneur of the Year at the DIT Hothouse Annual Start-up Showcase (more).



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