An Irish company that designs, develops and manufactures rainwater harvesting systems that takes rainwater from any roof and returns it to your building as quality drinking water has won a Dragon’s Den style competition, at GMIT Mayo campus as part of Mayo Ideas Week.
Three new entrepreneurs: Sorcha O’ Grady (TruckScience), Denis Sheehy (Rainsavers) and Olive O’Connor (Minimate) – all based in GMIT’s Innovation Centre – pitched their business idea to a panel of four judges and the audience in St Mary’s Hall, Castlebar.
The winner was Denis Sheehy for his innovative product Rainsavers.
Denis Sheehy’s business is called Cloudbrook Water Company, based in Tuamgraney, East Clare, and the GMIT (Galway) Innovation Centre, is an innovative design and manufacturing company that develops worldwide patented products which can take the rainwater from any roof and return it to your building as premium quality drinking water.
“Now homes and business using our worldwide patented technology can tap into their own independent and renewable source of premium drinking water from naturally recurring rainwater,” explained Denis Sheehy.
Two leading Irish entrepreneurs, Niall Harbison of Simply Zesty, and Seamus McCann of ASTEC Global addressed the annual GMIT Spirit of Entrepreneurship seminar in the GMIT Mayo campus as part of Mayo Ideas Week.
Both entrepreneurs shared their start-up experiences and the many trials and tribulations along the road to success.
Niall Harbison started out his career as a chef working for some of the world’s most elite and celebrated restaurants and now heads up a social media and online marketing agency with co-founder Lauren Fisher.
Seamus McCann is co-founder and Director of ASTEC Global Consultancy, a small private firm which now specializes in ICT, International Business Strategy and Finance in over 100 countries across many sectors.
The ‘Spirit of Entrepreneurship’ event in GMIT was formally opened by Jim Fennell, Head of the GMIT Mayo campus where client companies in GMIT’s Innovation in Business Centres (Mayo and Galway) displayed their products and services.
Mr Fennell’s opening address was followed by the launch of an exciting and unique product for the retail sector called VBC Hologuide, launched by Visual Brand Communications, a client company in GMIT’s Innovation Centre on the Mayo campus.
The four judges of this year’s PitchComp were Gerry Mackey, Director of BMW Region, Barry Egan, Director, Enterprise Ireland (West Region), Gerry Barry, founder of Fintrax and Laura Hill, Business consultant, Connaught Telegraph, columnist and owner of the Castlebar O’Brien’s franchise.
WestBIC sponsored the competition with a €1,500 prize award, along with €1,000 in cash and €500 euro worth of mentoring.
The overall sponsor of the Spirit event was McHale Engineering.
Helena Deane, Acting Manager of the GMIT Innovation in Business Centre, commented: “We are delighted that the event attracted so many people as it also offered a range of information and advice on all supports and funding available to people in business and those starting out, as well as key information on the GMIT Innovation in Business Centre entrepreneurial supports.”
Pictured above: At the GMIT Spirit of Entrepreneurship seminar at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) Mayo campus from left to right: George McCourt, Manager IiBC Galway, Helena Deane, Acting Manager of the GMIT Innovation in Business Centre, Sorcha O’Grady, TruckScience, Olive O’Connor, Medi Stori, Denis Sheehy, Rainsavers (winner of PitchComp) and Jim Fennell, Head of the GMIT Mayo campus at the GMIT Spirit of Entrepreneurship seminar at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology Mayo campus. Photo: Keith Heneghan / Phocus