Celebrating Cork’s High Growth Companies

14 June, 2013

Is the Entrepreneurship Journey for You?

14th June 2013 - Today CorkBIC celebrated Entrepreneurialism in Cork in the historic venue of the Port of Cork. Entrepreneurs and the business community gathered in the presence of Minister Simon Coveney, T.D. Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine along with a panel of High growth start-ups. These new company CEOs, Arun Kapil, Green Saffron; Pat King, OneLook Systems; Mark Griffin, ODG Technologies and Alan O’Herlihy, Everseen who have recently attracted investment told their story from start-up to raising capital to the 150 attendees.

Speaking at the event Minister Coveney commented that “Ireland is on the right path to recovery and changes are happening; things are improving in the banking system; Ireland is seeing growth on a continual basis and deposits in the banks continue to increase. Entrepreneurs, you are looking at innovative and new ways of doing things and you are critical to this recovery. But Start-ups need to be aware that their product or service is only a small factor of their success; it is the business planning and relentless drive and energy that it will take to see business across the line.”

100 years ago Cork’s Port was one of the busiest in the world. In 1912 Winston Churchill as First Sea Lord of the Admiralty addressed the Commissioners of the Port of Cork in the same Board Room where our event took place.  Now, in 2013, from the same venue a new breed of crusader is taking on world markets, with knowledge, ingenuity and skills.

Also attending were Cork County Manager, Martin Riordan; Cork City Manager, Tim Lucey; Chairman of the Port of Cork, John Mullins; CEO of the Port of Cork, Brendan Keating; Cork Chamber President, Gillian Keating, Cork Chamber CEO, Conor Healy and Enda McDonnell, Regional Director, Enterprise Ireland; as well as members of Cork Chamber, all the major Banks and businesses in the area.

Partners with CorkBIC for this event were The Port of Cork, Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Cork Chamber and Enterprise Ireland.

This event is all about encouraging people to consider an entrepreneurship journey and discover if they too could be part of rebuilding the economy. Emerging Entrepreneurs got the opportunity to meet and hear from real companies employing significant numbers with capable innovative people, who see no recession.

Over the past three years CorkBIC have worked with many emerging entrepreneurs, delivering:

  • 47 HPSUs developed to start-up and raised funding with CorkBIC and Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) fund
  • 25 companies directly raised investment through CorkBIC Business Angel Partnership with our investor network
  • €22.5m investment raised
  • In addition CorkBIC worked with 38 Enterprise Ireland scaling companies

To view some photos of this event; view our Gallery



For more information contact Fionnuala@ or 087 6055689


Background Information on CorkBIC and the participating Companies

About CorkBIC

CorkBIC is a private-sector led organisation, specifically set up to identify and build knowledge intensive companies based on promising technology and capable innovative people. It plays a hands-on role helping entrepreneurs navigate the minefield of raising finance, sorting out business propositions, arranging agreements with shareholders and investors, and, perhaps most important of all, finding customers. Over the past 20+ years CorkBIC has worked with nearly 300 start-ups and is part of a network of 200+ BICs throughout Europe, called The European Business & Innovation Centre Network (EBN).

For raising finance for these emerging companies, The Business Angel Partnership (BAP) was established and is a joint initiative between Enterprise Ireland, InterTrade Ireland and the Irish Business Innovation Centres (BICs). CorkBIC manages the BAP in the Midwest and Southwest region of Ireland providing a matching service for private investors (Business Angels) and pre-screened investment opportunities in start-up, early stage and developing businesses.

Since inception, in 2007, the BAP has continued to grow, closing 110 deals raising over €46million in investment for Entrepreneurs across all sectors with a rapidly increasing component of cross border and international business angel seed capital investment. Of this €21m was sourced from private equity business angels registered with the Irish BICs. The deal sizes ranged from €30k to €1.2m and the average angel investment was €400,000 per deal. In 2012 the Irish BICs completed 25 deals raising €14m seed capital equity investment in Irish Start-Ups

Green Saffron – Arun Kapil –
Green Saffron is an award winning family business, based in Midleton, which brings the highest grade whole spices direct from “farm to fork” in the shortest time possible.  Arun Kapil, CEO, a master spice-blender has become well-known in food circles and is a regular contributor to Irish and UK TV, radio, newspapers & publications. Initially these 100% traceable, wild-harvested spices were sold through farmers markets and specialty food shops, but Green Saffron has grown rapidly securing retail listings with Tesco (Ireland), Superquinn (Ireland), and SuperValu and Selfridges in the UK. 

Green Saffron is currently in the process of closing a round of funding which will see €500k injected into the company, including €250k in HPSU funding from Enterprise Ireland. CorkBIC has worked in partnership with Arun and the Green Saffron team in building a high-grade investor-ready business plan, was instrumental in the company‘s achieving HPSU status, and continues to provide advisory and other services on an on-going basis.

OneLook Systems – Pat King –
OneLook Systems is a software company, located in Cork that develops a state of the art electronic permit to work system and contractor management system, OneLook SafePermit. OneLook SafePermit streamlines the process of bringing people onto a site, obtaining a permit to work, checking qualifications and insurance requirements, and provides a comprehensive suite of reports that allow an organisation to make more informed decisions.

OneLook SafePermit is used by some of the largest and most heavily regulated pharmaceutical and medical device companies in the world. In 2012 OneLook Systems raised 500k in private equity and HPSU funding. CorkBIC has worked extensively with Onelook Systems to define their business proposition, obtain HPSU approval and then helped find investors.

ODG Technologies – Mark Griffin –
ODG Technologies is a design based company with expertise in First Response communications and firmware development, and considerable experience in the Land Mobile Radio industry.  Founded in 2010 by Enda O’Dowd and Mark Griffin, the company develops smart accessories for the critical communications market in North America. 

The company’s first product, an active noise cancelling speaker microphone, combines technology from Audience Inc, a leading provider of voice processor IC’s to the mobile phone and tablet industry with innovative and patent pending software from ODG Technologies, to enhance the clarity and quality of critical communications for police, fire fighters and other first responders.

In 2011 the company established a sales office in North America and in 2012 the company completed a round of investment comprising of private equity and HPSU funding from Enterprise Ireland. CorkBIC has worked extensively with ODG Technologies to define their business proposition, obtain HPSU approval and then helped find investors. ODG also participated in the most recent Entrepreneur Experience® in March 2013.

Everseen – Alan O’Herlihy –
Everseen develop world class point of sale video analytics. The Everseen system covers all Point of Sale configurations and is able to detect and report on non-scanning activity across many retail industry sectors. The Everseen automated video analytics system identifies irregular transactions at the Point of Sale and puts retailers in a position to identify the causes and take remedial action. Retailers improve their gross margin through a reduction in shrinkage and profit-loss and better employee management systems.

CorkBIC has worked extensively with Everseen to develop their business plan, while also assisting them in raising private equity investment and obtaining HPSU approval with Enterprise Ireland.


Contact CorkBIC today to talk about starting your business and turn your ideas into reality! CorkBIC will supply you with a step by step guide on starting a business.

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