And the winner is…. Thoughtbox
Wow, what a weekend! And what an exciting day our Blueface Elevator Final brought! Many many congratulations to Cristina Luminea of ThoughtBox, who took the prize on the day; her initiative of educational software for children that helps them to discover the answers themselves looks set to become a huge success and we’re delighted to be able to assist her in growing and advancing her business. While Cristina took the top prize, all nine finalists really impressed us with their enthusiasm and commitment; it is always inspiring and motivating to meet dedicated entrepreneurs
who believe and invest so passionately in their business. many travelled from early on Saturday morning to make it to the Westbury Hotel for set up and there was a great atmosphere in the ‘Business Zone’ as everyone got their displays ready. We called over to Carphone Warehouse, Grafton St. to take photos in store and this was when the adrenalin really started pumping for the Blueface team – nine great teams of finalists was gonna make for one interesting competition!!
Presentations from finalists kicked off in the early afternoon, in the Grafton Suite of the Westbury Hotel. First up was James McNamara presenting for CleverMiles, our regional winners in the Drogheda heat. The second presentation was from Niall Fennell of Ireland’s Raw Kitchen, regional winners in Galway. Third was Randall Wharton of RigBag, who won the Cork heat, while fourth we had Trevor Keane of Fantasy5Live, winners of the Kilkenny Heat. Our fifth presentation was from Barry Spearman of New Age Memorials, who won in Limerick. We took a short break halfway through the presentations and by this time, we had so many audience members, some extra rows of chairs had to be quickly installed in the theatre!
After the break, we got straight back into the presentations with the first of our joint winners from the Dundrum heat, Mark Moore of Oral Eye. Next was the other joint winner from Dundrum, MotionFox, presented by Rob Quigley. Second last was the first of our joint winners from the Carrick-on-Shannon heat, Cristina Luminea of ThoughtBox and the final presentation of the day was from our other winner in Carrick-on-Shannon, Malcolm Donnellan of Simply Phone to Photo.
After all of these amazing presentations, we didn’t know how just one winner could be selected! Luckily we had a very experienced and professional judging panel to do the hard work for us and they retired to discuss each idea in turn. Guest judges, Economist Constantin Gurdgiev and Brian Fallon, CEO of TheJournal.ie and Founder of Daft.ie; joined Alan Foy, CEO, Blueface; Peter Scott, General Manager, Carphone Warehouse Ireland; Nigel Heneghan, Managing Director, Heneghan PR; David Gorman, Managing Partner, Gorman Quigley Penrose; and David O’Donnell, Partner, Mason Hayes + Curran, in choosing the winner.
In the end, ThoughtBox came out on top and took the prize of a huge package of business services including telephony services from Blueface, mobile handsets, tablets and other hardware from Carphone Warehouse, advertising from Newstalk 106-108FM, public relations advice from Heneghan PR, accountancy advice from Gorman Quigley Penrose and legal advice from Mason Hayes + Curran.
Alan Foy, CEO of Blueface commented afterwards: “Congratulations to ThoughtBox, who won based on the high standard of presentation given today, the creativity behind the idea and the commercial value of the business going forward. It was a tough decision, as the standard of applicants surpassed all of our expectations. Thank you to all who took part and helped make this happen, we are very pleased with the level of support we received in our initiative to highlight and promote the large number of innovative and exciting start-ups in Ireland and we look forward to working with and assisting all of the finalists in any way that we can.”
More information about all of the finalists will be available on this blog over the coming weeks and we hope to have an interview with Cristina of ThoughtBox ready for publication soon. Thanks once again to everyone who took part in the competition or who helped to make it the massive success that it was! Right now we’re thinking about how we can make Blueface Business Elevator bigger and better in the future, so watch this space
Some of the Key sponsors pose with Christina outside The Westbury Hotel.