IEDR Announces 2014 Winners of €150,000 OPTIMISE Fund

by
on July 28th, 2014

– 15 Irish SMEs win e-Commerce consultancy, training and development from IEDR –

The IE Domain Registry (IEDR), the managed registry for Ireland’s official Internet address .ie, today announced the 15 winners of its OPTIMISE 2014 Fund. The winning companies include micro-enterprises, SMEs, emerging and established companies from the retail, travel, tourism, charity and service sectors (full details below).

The IEDR’s OPTIMISE e-Commerce Website Development Fund provides €150,000 worth of professional consultancy and support to help 15 Irish SMEs and micro-enterprises upgrade their online presence and grow their business using the Internet as a sales and marketing channel.

Now in its fourth year the OPTIMISE Fund has already benefitted a total of 45 small businesses across all industries and from all parts of the country who have had free professional consultation, practical training and e-commerce development from some of Ireland’s best known online business advisers. The Fund was originally created in response to strong demand from Ireland’s SME community for practical, hands-on assistance in the area of e-commerce and new technologies.

The €150,000 investment by IEDR is financed entirely from the company’s own resources and is driven by IEDR’s commitment to give more small Irish businesses the opportunity to ‘optimise’ their websites using professional consultancy, experience and insight that might otherwise be beyond their budgets or resources.

The 15 winning companies were selected from over 170 entries by an independent panel of judges comprising leading Irish business and technology experts.

Each of the winners will receive tailored e-commerce advice, strategies and practical support to begin upgrading their online presence or e-commerce functionality. The winning companies will be better placed to utilise the Internet’s 24 hour sales and marketing channel to gain a competitive advantage in today’s online marketplace.

The 15 recipients, who will each receive 10 days’ of professional technical and marketing support comprise both start-up and established businesses as follows:

OPTIMISE Fund Winner Details
Make-a-Wish Foundation
www.makeawish.ie
Charity organisation who grant wishes to children between the ages of 3 and 17, who are battling life threatening medical conditions throughout Ireland.
Kilkenny Tourist Hostel

www.kilkennyhostel.ie

Hostel providing budget accommodation for up to sixty guests in the centre of Kilkenny.
Love Achill

www.loveachill.ie

Achill Island based company providing tourist and surfing related services while also producing bespoke gift products for wholesale and retail customers.
JF Sports

www.jfsports.ie

Retail sports shop specialising in running and football related products based in Carlow.
Sex Siopa
www.sexsiopa.ie
An online adult retailer focussed in safe, health focussed and well produced accessories.
Dublin Taxi Transfers
www.dublintaxitransfers.ie
An online booking agency which allows customers to book a taxi from Dublin Airport to destinations all around Ireland,
JW Weldon

www.weldons.ie

A fourth generation family jewellery business specialising in diamond engagement rings, antique jewellery and Irish silver.
Party Mad
www.partymad.ie
Family run online business retailing fancy dress costumes, party supplies, and balloons throughout Ireland.
Backstage Theatre
www.backstage.ie
Purpose built theatre located just outside Longford town which comprises a 212 seat auditorium and gallery and performance space.
Donegal Shop
www.donegalshop.ie
Dublin based family business retailing Irish crafts, knitwear, wool and tweeds from Donegal and other parts of the country.
Mission Possible
www.missionpossible.ie
A Galway based SAAS cloud reward and recognition platform which enables companies to reward their staff by getting personal tasks completed for them whilst they are working.
Stonechat Jewellers
www.stonechat.ie
A contemporary jewellery store specialising in hand-made Irish designs created in their in-store workshop and by selected designers.
House of Ireland

www.houseofireland.ie

A retail business specialising in the sale of Irish clothing, jewellery, china, linen and crafts.
Extreme Ireland
www.extremeireland.ie
Tour provider offering daily tours of Ireland’s major attractions along with adventure tours and climbing and mountain skills courses.
Office.ie
www.office.ie
Dublin based provider of office supplies and services to the business sector throughout Ireland.

Congratulating this year’s OPTIMISE winners, Mr. David Curtin, Chief Executive of IE Domain Registry, said: “Ireland has a terrific brand in the .ie domain name and it’s imperative that Irish businesses use it to fulfil their potential online, which means embracing e-commerce technologies. With the OPTIMISE Fund, IEDR wants to help Irish small businesses achieve growth online. We know that companies in Ireland remain slow to capitalise on the Internet as a sales channel, and that small companies often need a helping hand to do so. I congratulate this year’s winners and look forward to helping them fulfil their enormous online potential with the OPTIMISE Fund.”

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