Archive for the ‘What I’m working on at the moment’ Category

I received an Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2014 Irish Institute of Training & Development Annual Awards

In What I'm working on at the moment on March 17, 2014 at 2:45 pm

IITD Awards 2014

I was delighted to receive an Outstanding Achievement award from Minister Ciaran Cannon and IITD CEO Sinead Heneghan at the 2014 Irish Institute of Training & Development Annual Awards in the category ‘Most Innovative Use of Technology’ for the Hothouse Management System which myself and Hothouse intern Michael Regan developed.

Here is a short summary of my entry – 

Given the volume of applications which Hothouse attracts and the delivery of two complete programmes per year, the benefit of being able to provide an online means of capturing the main interactions with up to 70 startups per annum is clear.

The key strength of the Hothouse Management System is its online nature, it allows rapid access to all the tools (forms, reports, graphs, notes) that the Participants, Facilitators and Programme Management need for the efficient running and improvement of the Programme. All interactions and feedback provided to each participant during the Hothouse programme are provided to them in a Participant Stream behind a secure login.

All facilitator feedback reports by participants and participant attendance are also provided via a secure login.

The Hothouse Management System has played a role in supporting Hothouse Programme’s strong focus on entrepreneurial development and its achievement of outstanding results.


Promoting New Frontiers and Dublin’s Startup Ecosystem – my piece in Entrepreneur Country

In What I'm working on at the moment on January 3, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Entrepreneur Country part 1

Entrepreneur Country part 2

To Read: Double click on the above images to get to readable versions or click below:

Page 1

Page 2

My firm Better Outcomes wins in the Independent Training Consultancy category of IITD awards

In What I'm working on at the moment on March 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm

The “Irish Institute of Training  and Development Awards National Training Awards 2012” are focused on engagement, collaboration, participative management, excellence in training initiatives, transparency, innovation and learning and development of both individuals and organizations.

Eoin receives his “Certificate of Outstanding Achievement” from Sinead Heneghan (CEO IITD) at the annual Irish Institute of Training  and Development Awards last Friday (9/3/2012) for his Better Outcomes mentoring programme.

Mentoring plays a key role in the personal development of business people and the resulting success of their businesses. Mentoring can have a particular impact within the 85% of businesses in Ireland which are small. However mentoring is often neglected as the small business owner struggles with many competing demands on their attention. This becomes a vicious circle as the focus on key business objectives that a mentoring relationship can engender is a key contributor to better small business outcomes.

Using technological tools Eoin Costello (Better Outcomes) has devised an innovative approach to mentoring which satisfies both the needs of the busy small business owner and the requirements of professional mentoring relationships.

According to his mentee Mary Kelly (Easy Payments Plus)

“Since establishing my business I have worked with 3 different mentors. Eoin’s structured approach and his posing of thought provoking questions has made the most impact on me. The outcome for me personally is a more professional approach to my business. His innovative use of web tools ensured continuity and momentum during our work. Eoin introduced me to a wide variety of relevant concepts and thought leaders which added value to my business through creating awareness of how I needed to change in order to lead a small but growing business. I am extremely happy with Eoin’s approach and the outcome of this mentor assignment.“

I started working on an interesting technology commercialisation project today – mobiSurround @ DIT

In Commercialisation/Tech Transfer, What I'm working on at the moment on February 8, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Today I started working on an exciting new Enterprise Ireland supported project with the researchers behind the mobiSurround technology.

I will be working with Dr Charlie Cullen and Keith Gardiner on this project.

Dr Charlie Cullen is head of the Multimodal Interaction Group (MmIG) in DIT, principal investigator on national and European ICT research projects, and a lecturer and supervisor on the MA in Digital Media Technologies course in DIT.

Keith Gardiner is a Senior Researcher in the Digital Media Centre in the Dublin Institute of Technology. His area of expertise is Location-Based Services (LBS) with an emphasis on Mobile Spatial Interaction (MSI) where he has published extensively in recent years. His research interests also extend into the areas of Multimodal Interaction and Spatial Audio research.

Description of the Technology

The technology – MobiSurround is a surround sound auditory user interface for location-based-services on smartphones. Specifically, the MobiSurround project developed a surround sound virtualiser on a low bandwidth smartphone device to deliver location-based-services to the user using a spatialised auditory user interface.

MobiSurround is a new LBS technology for immersive rich media content. Charlie and Keith at the Multimodal Interaction Group in DIT have produced a white label application platform that delivers interactive real speech, natural directions and immersive 3D audio content in real time based on user location.

As the user moves within a space, the audio content adapts in real time to their position. Information on points of interest is delivered automatically, whilst directions are provided using visual landmarks as the user progresses from point to point. Adaptive soundscapes reflect the current context of the user, with 3D SFX and algorithmic music providing an immersive audio experience.


My visit to DkIT Regional Development Centre on the 10th Anniversary of Novation EPP

In Misc, What I'm working on at the moment on January 23, 2012 at 3:59 pm

On Thursday (19th Jan) I visited DkIT Regional Development Centre (www.rdc.ie) on the occasion of the celebration of 10 years of the Novation Enterprise Platform Programme at the centre. Garrett Duffy (Enterprise Development Manager at the centre) kindly took time out on a very busy day to give me a tour of the facility.  Some great Irish businesses have come out of the Centre over the years  (Digiweb, Redmere,Barracuda FX and Mcor Technologies to name but a few) and many more are lined up on this year’s Novation programme.

Being in the home town of Digiweb I made sure to catch up with my friend and mentor Colm Piercy for lunch. 2012 looks like being another record year for Digiweb.

At the NEPP celebration I also had the chance to meet Gerry Moan (Managing Director of Constructive Intervention and founder of Smart Start) and hear about this year’s new intake on the Smart Start programme – see www.smartstart.ie . I particularly like the Smart Start professional structure of using competition to gradually identify the best of breed in the start-ups they support on each programme –  http://screencast.com/t/njO24eQeVQc

Presentation of my Dissertation findings to Minister Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

In Slidedecks from Conferences I have spoken at, What I'm working on at the moment on January 3, 2012 at 11:40 am


In December I had a meeting with Minister Bruton (Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation) to brief him on findings from my Dissertation relevant to the work of his Department. My Dissertation examined the practical issues involved in the Higher Education-Enterprise Innovation Interface in Ireland using the Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dun Laoghaire as a case study.

My recommendations that were relevant to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation included:

  • Introduce Mini Innovation Vouchers: To increase the level of engagement between students, SMEs and academic staff in key engagement enablers such as course projects and assignments it is recommended that a system of “mini” innovation vouchers be established. To a maximum value of €500 students (supervised by academic staff) complete projects on behalf of SMEs with similar processes as exists in respect of Innovation Vouchers.
  • Justification – Such an initiative has the potential to create symbiosis at the interface and create a “tracer die” to measure the engagement objective mechanically. The low value of a voucher should not lead to complaints from providers in the private sector.
  • Linkages with Enterprise Europe Network: To encourage all third level incubation centres to develop closer linkages with EEN. My recommendations at EEN’s annual conference in Warsaw included a similar recommendation to “Focus at developing long term collaborative relationships with “wholesale” producers of SMEs that need the input of the EEN for example third level incubation centres.”
  • Justification –  To avoid duplication of IP creation, to help Irish start-ups leverage relevant IP that is available in Europe and to improve the export growth prospects of start-ups through European partnerships.
  • Annual regional survey of skill needs: That the County Enterprise Boards be given the role of formally identifying regional enterprise skill needs via an annual survey in their county (carried out by an IoT) and that this be formally integrated into the strategic activities of the relevant HEIs and the relevant County Council County Development plan reviews where appropriate.
  • Justification: Will serve to improve alignment of the activities of the HEIs more directly with the needs of SMEs regionally. Has the potential to increase alignment of relevant activities between Enterprise Boards, County Councils and HEIs(a mini Triple Helix).
  • Accelerate the introduction of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships – this was a recommendation of Innovation Taskforce and would be helpful in creating increased symbiosis at the interface.
  • Justification: In Northern Ireland this instrument has been successful at creating symbiosis at the interface, it enables academic staff to interact with enterprise on joint agendas (which can subsequently lead to “up-selling” opportunities for the HEI).
  • Assign resources to the entry of students in relevant international competitions: That Enterprise Ireland be given the role of structuring a national framework encouraging high quality entries in relevant international student competitions that are relevant to the image the state wishes to project. EI would identify international competitions (or play a role in creating them), co-ordinate entry across HEIs (to encourage strongest entries) and provide soft resources to the supervising academic staff and students (mentors from the EI Mentor Programme for example).
  • Justification: The winning by IT Sligo of a top prize in Microsoft’s international Imagine Cup competition generated considerable positive publicity internationally for Ireland’s education system and workforce.

My advice on selling a tech business in Irish Times Innovation Magazine

In Misc, What I'm working on at the moment on November 16, 2011 at 9:51 am

September’s Irish Times Innovation Magazine article containing my advice on selling a tech business. 

Ocuco LeanPlus contract awarded to myself and Dr. Peter Middleton

In Lean methodology for software and SaaS, What I'm working on at the moment on November 2, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Linus Russell (Operations Director, Ocuco), myself and Dr. Peter Middleton (Queen’s University Belfast) at Ocuco’s offices.

Dr. Peter Middleton and myself have been awarded an Enterprise Ireland supported Lean Plus contract to work with the leading Irish software company Ocuco.  Ocuco’s operations director, Linus Russell, is the Lean Champion at Ocuco.

Lean Plus projects are intended to:

  • deliver significant productivity improvement and cost reductions,
  • embed a culture of business improvement and lean techniques to a cohort of trained staff, and
  • introduce a programme to pursue company-wide improvement.

The LeanPlus initiative has major benefits for larger companies with significant operations that are entering a major growth phase.

Ocuco is one of the largest optical retail software companies in the world with offices in the UK, USA, Canada, Ireland, Italy, France, Spain and Australia. With 17 years in the optical industry Ocuco is a regular finalist in the Deloitte Fast 50 and the Irish Software Association Awards. Ocuco employs over 140 employees, including 40 developers and 36 technical operations engineers.

My Social Media Strategy workshop with Enterprise Europe Scotland

In Slidedecks from Conferences I have spoken at, What I'm working on at the moment on October 7, 2011 at 11:18 am

I ran a social media workshop for Enterprise Europe Scotland in July 2011.

The objective of the workshop was to evaluate the effectiveness of the network’s current strategy in order to identify how to best use their web presence and social media to support their goal of supporting SMEs. There were two intertwined themes to the workshop in seeking to combine to best advantage the activities of Enterprise Europe Scotland and those of the SME client. They are a very enthusiastic group of people and are making a real difference to Scottish SMEs.

Feedback from client:

Eoin recently facilitated a workshop to help us evaluate our online presence and strategy. Eoin provided a new and knowledgeable voice to the team and had a real understanding of what we were trying to achieve. The day was well structured and engaged those of us already using social media for our business and newcomers alike. We were very pleased with the workshop and would like to thank Eoin for his expertise.

European Business Advisor, Scottish Enterprise

My work with Info2Innovate regional workshops for Enterprise Europe Network

In Slidedecks from Conferences I have spoken at, What I'm working on at the moment on October 7, 2011 at 10:27 am

I’m down in Sligo at the moment working with Enteprise Europe Network on the EU SME innovation supports mapping workshops. Between now and June 2012 a series of workshops, focus groups and seminars will be organised by EEN in respect of SME innovation. The project is part of an EU wide initiative intended to identify the innovation supports available to SMEs and the main obstacles that SMEs experience in trying to engage in innovation. Here is the EU project outline:

My short presentation to the main event before our workshop:   Slides for Eoin Info2Innovate – Short presentation

In addition to identifying the obstacles to SMEs engaging in innovation another objective was to receive feedback on the new EEN Info2Innovate Directory. The Info2Innovate Directory is part-funded by the EU and is managed by the Enterprise Europe Network in Ireland as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP).  The Directory contains information relevant to SMEs seeking information on Innovation and Supports and Services available to Irish SMEs.

Feedback from the organiser on my input

We have just commenced our workshops to streamline / test our new EEN Directory on Innovation Services & Supports for SMEs in Ireland. Eoin has joined our team and took on the role as moderator for these workshops.
His knowledge on the subject matter and subsequent lead-in presentation on Innovation sets the right tone for a balanced discussion with the participants. We are delighted Eoin has joined the EEN team for this important piece of work for DG Enterprise in Brussels.

Jan Gerritsen
Manager Enterprise Europe Network at Enterprise Ireland