Ballina software company wins ‘Bright Ideas Challenge’

Damian Young, head of small business, Bank of Ireland; Sean Gallagher, Dragons' Den (and guest speaker at the event); Donal Flynn, regional manager - west, Bank of Ireland; and Joe Greaney, director, WESTBIC. Front row (L-R): John Ruane (father of winners); Jason Ruane, Eventovate Limited; Jonathan Ruane, managing director, Eventovate Limited; and Bernadette Ruane (mother of winners).

Damian Young, head of small business, Bank of Ireland; Sean Gallagher, Dragons' Den (and guest speaker at the event); Donal Flynn, regional manager - west, Bank of Ireland; and Joe Greaney, director, WESTBIC. Front row (L-R): John Ruane (father of winners); Jason Ruane, Eventovate Limited; Jonathan Ruane, managing director, Eventovate Limited; and Bernadette Ruane (mother of winners).

Eventovate Limited, a Ballina based technology company that has pioneered a new software and business platform that revolutionises the hotel events market, was recently chosen as the winner of the west regional final of Bank of Ireland’s Bright Ideas Challenge held in The Ardilaun hhotel in Galway. Established in 2008 by brothers Jonathan and Jason Ruane, the company’s software enables the hotel industry to generate more value and profit from their events business. This groundbreaking technology provides a cohesive set of applications for both the hotel and its customers, for example a wedding couple or a conference organiser.

The Bright Ideas Challenge, sponsored by Bank of Ireland and held in association with WESTBIC (the official EU Business and Innovation Centre for the Border, Midland and Western regions ), aims to encourage and support both innovation and enterprise in business start-ups, SMEs, and individuals in the early launch stages of their business development. Eventovate, which defeated three other finalists in the competition, received a cash prize of €5,000 from the bank, along with a mentoring and training package from WESTBIC valued at €5,000. They will also go forward to the national final of the Bright Ideas Challenge in early 2010 with the opportunity to win another attractive investment package.

According to Jonathan Ruane, managing Ddirector, Eventovate: “We have been in the product development phase for over a year and employ four people, two on a part time basis. We recently signed contracts with several leading hotels in Ireland and aim to expand the business across the UK and Europe in 2010. Continuous investment in R&D is critical for our expansion plans. Currently our software has two core functions. The first automates and supports key elements of the event management process. For example a wedding couple can arrange their reception seating plans, manage their RSVPs, develop a wedding website or collate the photos and videos taken by their guests. The second core function delivers business intelligence data to the venue. This means a hotel can radically improve the way in which it manages its event business — it can understand more about how it is performing and why.”

 

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