2017 Docklands Innovation Award goes to CambristPosted: 13 March, 2017
The top prize of €10,000 at the 2017 Docklands Innovation Awards was won by Cambrist – a company that facilitates real-time foreign currency. Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen presented the award to Jacob Claflin, CEO and Co-founder of Cambrist Ltd. at the Awards ceremony hosted by PwC.
Now in its fifteenth year, the Docklands Innovation Enterprise Awards is the initiative of Bolton Trust and DIT Hothouse. It aims to showcase the innovative companies emerging from the DIT/IADT New Frontiers programme to investors and those with an interest in start-ups. Speaking at the event, Minister Pat Breen said, "It is a positive time for enterprise. 21,000 new companies were registered in Ireland last year across all sectors and regions. This was the first time in nearly 20 years that the figure of new companies surpassed the 20,000 level. We should reflect and see this as the quite incredible figure it is and a testament to the strength and resilience of the Irish people and Irish business people in particular."
The three strong finalists in this year’s competition are all graduates of the DIT/IADT New Frontiers programme, now based in DIT Grangegorman. In addition to the winning company Cambrist, the two other finalists were Eco-nomic Innovations, whose SpecSep™ technology improves valuable mineral recovery at the separation of valuable mineral and rock process; and Popertree, an online platform that connects marketing agencies and brands with vacant spaces.
Each of the finalists pitched their investment proposals and were questioned on their business plans by an experienced panel of judges, chaired by Michael Murphy, Managing Partner, Investec Ventures Ireland Ltd & Chair IAVC; Sharon McCooey, Senior Director, International Operations, LinkedIn Ireland, Stephen McIntyre, Partner, Frontline Venturesand Kevin O’Loughlin, CEO, Nostra Systems. Commenting on the proposals, Michael Murphy said “The Judges were delighted to see three innovative and scalable projects with global potential being showcased by these Awards. It’s a tribute to the entrepreneurial spirit in Ireland and the effectiveness of the focused support available to startups."
DIT Hothouse firms have created 1,450 jobs and attracted over €150 million in external investment since 2001. Last year’s winner of the Docklands Innovation Award, Your Smile Direct, went on to raise seed funding of €1.3 million and now employs 15 people in Ireland. The company is expanding in the UK and recently launched in France and Spain.