Ideas hit the pitch at Aviva Stadium
Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas showcase gave early stage start-ups the chance to pitch their ideas to potential investors
Click to talk
Meanwhile, just seven lines of code are at the heart of another idea to get the communication going. Miguel Ponce de Leon from Open Real-Time Media Communications (openRMC) was at Big Ideas to promote a platform that allows people to easily connect by voice on the web. “It’s about adding voice communication to web application and linking it to any landline, phone, business or another browser – we make it really simple to do,” he says.
So how would it work in practice? Suppose you see something interesting on a classified ad website and you want to contact a seller.
“If you see an ad online, most of them have phone numbers on them but you can’t click on it, you have to get your phone out,” says de Leon. With this technology though, you would only have to click on the phone number and you would be connected and talking to them.
Similarly, if you needed a hand filling out a form online, having this option could connect you to someone who can help in real time. “If you just had a button to click to call someone, then they can see your screen at the same time and can talk you through it,” says de Leon. “It’s for those times when you need an immediate helping hand, when you need the voice.”
The technology was developed at the Telecommunications Software and Systems Group in Waterford Institute of Technology, where de Leon is chief technologist. “We take away the complexity, give the business a programme – seven lines of code – and make it as minimal as possible for them to integrate it in,” he says. Nor have they forgotten to look after call quality: “. . . [the] back end is connected into the operators directly, and we try and host the call as close to the end users as possible.”
Talking to the
Other technologies on show included treatments for high-blood pressure and varicose veins, an “effortless” clothes hanger and motion sensors to monitor and improve sports performance. There was even talk of a non-stick, biodegradable chewing gum to help reduce the litter burden.
Last week’s event was about “making introductions, identifying market opportunities and building relationships”, says Gearóid Mooney, Enterprise Ireland’s research and innovation manager.
“Our job is to go out to the higher education institutes, work with the research teams to identify what technologies have market potential and then use our business contacts to turn those technologies into new products and services and create new companies and jobs,” he explains. “This gives the inventors access to the business world and helps them to secure investment to build new companies [and] see their technology solutions put to use, which is great news for you and me.”
More than 30 per cent of presenters from last year’s Big Ideas event have since raised a seed investment round, and one of the presenting start-ups – Forkstream – has already sold, adds Mooney.
Minister for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock, who spoke at Big Ideas, said it was important to ensure that research funded by the taxpayer has to deliver for the economy and society, and that the showcase offered a “perfect platform” for researchers to meet potential investors and business partners.
You can see all presenters explaining their pitches at http://bit.ly/16w5n0t