CorkBIC Celebrates Cork’s High Growth Companies

22 June, 2015

CorkBIC recently celebrated Entrepreneurship in Cork in the historic venue of the Port of Cork. Entrepreneurs and the business community gathered in the presence of Minister Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine and Defence, serial entreprenur Ger O’Mahony, Actionpoint & Voxpro and a panel of High Growth Companies; Michael Eilliot, Over-C; Olive O'Driscoll, Aventamed; Kieran Walsh, WhatSalon and Denis Coleman, Work Compass.

Pictured at the the Port of Cork were Olive O'Driscoll, Aventamed; Ger O'Mahony, Voxpro and ActionPoint and Michael O'Connor, CorkBIC


These company founders, who have recently attracted investment told their story from start-up to raising capital, inspiring others to explore the possibilities of starting their own company. Ger O’Mahony, recent recipient of the CorkBIC Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, spoke about how he is focused on helping established technology companies to scale and grow in Irish and International markets. In particular, Ger spoke about high growth businesses Action Point Technology Group and Voxpro Communications both of which have achieved revenue growth in excess of 50% year on year over the past three years.


Speaking at the event Minister Coveney commented that “Many of us have ideas, but only some of us are in a position to go forward and build great companies. Its great to hear the passion and commitment from the entrepreneurs here today; WhatSalon, Aventamed, Over-C and Work Compass. I think it is fair to say that in Ireland, and in partiuclar Cork, we have a vibrant start-up community, helped in no small part by the wide range of supports and initiatives in place, (like CorkBIC and Enterprise Ireland).”

Minister Simon Coveney TD speaking at the Port of Cork

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.


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


This event is all about encouraging people to consider an entrepreneurship journey and discover if they too could be part of the new economy. Emerging Entrepreneurs got the opportunity to meet and hear from real companies employing significant numbers with capable innovative people.


CorkBIC plays a hands-on role helping these entrepreneurs navigate the minefield of raising finance, sorting out business propositions, arranging agreements with shareholders and investors.


  • Between 2011 and 2014 CorkBIC delivered 44 Growth Companies (HPSUs) to start-up and raise seed equity funding
  • Since inception in 2007,  CorkBIC Business Angels have delivered 55 investment deals raising over €25m equity investment
  • In addition CorkBIC has worked with over 40 Enterprise Ireland scaling companies


GER O’MAHONY is an entrepreneur who has accumulated significant experience mainly in technology but also in other industry sectors. He has been involved in a number of successful technology start-ups including being the founder of the software business Engage Technologies Group and its subsequent sale to NorthgateArinso (a FTSE 250 company) and also being the co-founder of the networking systems integrator Bridgecom Group and its subsequent sale to Denis O’Brien’s Esat Telecom. He has completed funding rounds, identified and successfully completed and integrated company acquisitions and negotiated company disposals during this period. Recently Ger has focused on helping established technology companies to scale and grow both in Irish and International markets. These include the high growth businesses Action Point Technology Group and Voxpro Communications both of which have achieved revenue growth in excess of 50% year on year over the past three years.



Olive O’Driscoll – Aventamed

AventaMed is an emerging medical device company focused on simplifying surgical procedures to reduce healthcare costs and improve patient safety. AventaMed's first product is a novel ENT device for the placement of tympanostomy tubes (grommets).  This device will place a grommet in under 1 second and will allow the procedure to be carried out in a doctors office without the need for traditional general anaesthetic. Olive O'Driscoll, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, is a biomedical engineer with 14 years medical device experience in industry, academia and the NHS. She is an inventor of several medical devices, one of which was successfully licensed in 2013.  Olive has held key management position in multi-nationals and a VC backed Start-up Company and has led, designed and managed international clinical trials with more than 15,000 patients in 200 countries. She has worked as a field based research engineer and was a member of a large sales force in the EU responsible for launching cardiovascular medical devices. Olive also has excellent commercial, clinical, R&D and regulatory medical device experience and a wide network of international clinical and commercial contacts.


Michael Elliot, Over-C

Over-C is a business utility that connects management directly with remote workforces, whilst monitoring the performance of their tasks, in order to deliver real-time operational transparency – globally. The ability to monitor and record operational tasks completed in real-time is invaluable to prove adherence to mandatory operational procedures. However manual (paper based) communication practices are still employed and are open to abuse in particular by outsourced contractors. Over-C uses simple technology to automate the way staff report. By touching NFC (Near Field Communication) tags, or by passing a Bluetooth beacon with a smartphone, a secure and direct communication channel is opened. Information on task status and location is sent instantly to Over-C back-end monitoring systems. Data is also sent to staff updating their instructions. In 2002, Michael filed a patent application to add Radio Frequency Identification (RFid) into mobile phones. Working alongside Nokia, Cambridge Consultants and Ericsson, Michael was the first person to transmit a live NFC event to Nokia in Finland. Over-C subsequently built a remote workforce management platform which utilises mobile devices, GPS, NFC, Beacons and WiFi to capture and transmit data globally in real-time.


Kieran Walsh, WhatSalon

WhatSalon is a mobile application that allows the user to find and book last-minute hair & beauty appointments in their local area at the touch of a button. The Sunday Business Post called WhatSalon “Hailo for Haircuts”.  They have developed an innovative solution that combines handset geographic location with other data to provide a real-time and value-added experience to both consumers and salons alike. WhatSalon offers a robust, scalable, and real-time platform that both salons and their clients can use to access last-minute hair and beauty appointments in high-quality, local salons. In return, salons can generate additional sales, fill up spaces in their appointment books, utilise staff (where wages account for 35% of operating costs) and facilities more efficiently, as well as negate the effects of last-minute cancellation. WhatSalon recently raised €400K led by SOSventures and supported by Enterprise Ireland.

Kieran Walsh, co-founder of WhatSalon is responsible for the success of company. Kieran is an e-commerce entrepreneur with particular expertise in the beauty industry. In addition to co-founding WhatSalon, he is also co-founder of National Beauty Distribution; one of Ireland’s leading distributors of beauty and cosmetic products. They service the majority of department stores, airports, pharmacies and boutiques in the country. Kieran was also the 2011 recipient of the Eircom Spider Award for "One to watch".    


Denis Coleman, Work Compass

Work Compass turns management theory into high-performance practice. We have distilled the people management practices the behavioural scientists say improve team performance into a single, intuitive, software solution. Set up in 2012, the company has built up a customer base in Ireland and the UK of over 70 clients and 5,000 users. Customers include Deloitte’s Best Place to Work and Best Managed Companies. The company was identified by Enterprise Ireland as a High Potential Start-Up in 2014 and has been both a National Software Award finalist and National Enterprise Award finalist in the past 6 months.

Denis Coleman, founder of Work Compass, has previously held positions as Director of Finance responsible for €800m turnover, a Global Accountant Manager responsible for €600m turnover and a Management Consultant with large Irish practice. Denis has led teams in Ireland, Czech Republic, Austria and the US and has spent 6 years managing HR & IT functions.Denis received 2nd highest results in final exams out of 3,500 candidates worldwide.


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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