TECHNOLOGY AWARD: The ITLG/ Irish Times Innovation award being presented next week gives recognition to the Irish technology firm that in the view of judges is most likely to succeed on a global platform, writes JOHN COLLINS
THE SECOND annual ITLG/ Irish Times Innovation award will be presented at Stanford University in Silicon Valley on April 14th next. The award recognises the technology company, that in the view of judges from the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ILTG) and The Irish Times , is most likely to succeed on the global stage.
Last year's winner of the inaugural award was Changing Worlds, the personalisation software company which was acquired by Nasdaq-quoted Amdocs later in 2008 for €46.2 million.
This year a second award for renewable energy will be presented. It will recognise the company from the green energy sector that has the most innovative technology that is likely to break into the mainstream.
This year's shortlist of seven firms is drawn up from those who applied to pitch to financiers at the ITLG's Silicon Valley Comes to Ireland event which was held in Trinity College last November.
Twelve firms participated in a Dragons' Den-style event where they pitched to representatives of US venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Intel Capital and Venrock, as well as investment banks Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse.
Founded in October 2007, the ITLG is an independent group of senior technology executives in Silicon Valley who are either Irish or Irish-American. Members include John Hartnett, CEO of G24i, John Gilmore, CEO of Sling Media, Conrad Burke, CEO of Innovalight, Rory McInerney, vice-president, Intel, and Barry O'Sullivan, Senior Vice President at Cisco.
SEVEN SHORLISTED firms have been announced for the second annual Irish Technology Leadership Group(ITLG)/ Irish Times innovation award to be presented in Silicon Valley’s Stanford University next month.
The shortlisted firms are:
Ammado, the social network for charities; Customer Minds, a provider of online marketing management tools; Firecomms, which develops components for high speed home networks and in-car entertainment systems; Lincor Solutions, which builds bedside information and entertainment systems for hospitals; Open Hydro, the designer and manufacturer of marine turbines to generate renewable energy from tides; Powervation, a designer of energy efficient power solutions for communications, computing and consumer applications;and Wavebob, which is developing technology to convert ocean energy into electricity.
Recognising the increased interest in green technology, a renewable energy award will be given as well as a company of the year. Open Hydro and Wavebob are also shortlisted for this award.
Last years recipient of the ITLG/ Irish Times innovation award, software firm Changing Worlds, drew significant attention from the main players in the telecoms technology space and was acquired by US-quoted group Amdocs for €46.2 million.
Tánaiste Mary Coughlan will deliver the keynote at the awards ceremony which takes place in Stanford University on April 14th.
IRISH TECHNOLOGY start-ups need to develop global ambitions if they are to attract overseas investors, a panel of Silicon Valley investors and entrepreneurs claimed yesterday.
"Some of the ideas are great," said Richard Moran, a partner with Venrock Ventures, the venture capital firm founded by the Rockefeller family. "No-one convinced me they could be great."
The US delegation has been meeting local start-ups over the last two days at an event organised by the Irish Technology Leaders Group (ITLG), a Silicon Valley-based group of senior Irish and Irish-American technology executives. Twelve firms pitched to the investors, some of whom spoke at a forum in Dublin yesterday.
Mr Moran said that for US investors with large funds "size matters". "A company growing from $1 million in revenues to $8 million might be great but I want it to grow to $800 million," said Mr Moran.
Frazer McKimm, chief executive and founder of DHS, a maker of automotive technology which recently raised €500,000 in funding countered that, because Irish venture capitalists generally make smaller investments than their US or European counterparts, entrepreneurs were scaling their ambitions back to match.
Seán Cunningham from Intel Capital, which has made investments in a number of Irish firms including current investments Adaptive Mobile and Powervation, said in the current environment firms seeking funding had to have a "must-have" product rather than a "nice to have" one.
However, Conrad Burke, the Irish founder and chief executive of Silicon Valley-based solar energy start-up Innovalight said the funding environment was not as bad as people think.