That Great Business Show guests often have a specific request for help from you our Team GBS listeners. On episode 13 we had a really unusual mix of enterpreneurs who opened up about their particular "ask".
Family business Wexford Home Preserves, based not surprisingly in Wexford, makes the world’s finest marmalade and jams. How do we know? Well, we’ve tasted them, but so have the judges of the World’s Best Marmalade where they won a gold medal and then last week they won the top award from the Irish Quality Food Awards for the product they supply to Dunnes Stores for their Simply Better range. The husband-and-wife team also supply Supervalu but they’d like to be listed in more of their stores, so please ask your local Supervalu to stock their wonderful jams.
Karen O'Neill our 2nd guest, tells us a great story about what made her change her mind about working with Heneiken where she had a top marketing job. Quitting her post on principle she tells how her confidence took a severe knock, but that also gave her the impetus to found her own drinks brand. BeeKon is a portmanteau for bees (they make the honey her alcoholic drink is made from) and KON are Karen’s initials because she ferments the honey her bees give her, turning it into what she describes as a new type of drink. She’s already outselling craft beers where her BeeKon is stocked but she told That Great Business Show that another great Irish business success, O’Briens Wine, don’t stock her, despite having suggested they would a year ago. So Team GBS is on the case. We’ve invited O’Briens on to Ireland’s best business podcast and when they do join us, we’ll make sure they don’t leave without having listed our new TeamGBS member, Karen, and her drinks range.
Ed Harnett of Cork-based Alcass was our third guest. Ed, a former physio with Kerry GAA, wants us all to sit up straight. His company has created a very clever, patent-pending, device – the size of a two Euro coin – that sticks onto your chest when you’re sitting down and talks to your phone to tell you to correct your posture. Ed says that his device beats any Pilates class as changing your bad posture takes time, and is a learned behavior. Your always-on reminder is far more effective at doing that than a gentle chat from a Yoga or Pilates teacher once a week. What Ed wants is all the large employers of sedentary workers in Cork, like the massively successful call centre company Telus or pharma companies like Pfizer, to trial his tech that he says could save Irish businesses a whopping €1.5 billion a year. He’s hoping that TeamGBS can deliver Voxpro (now Telus), founders Linda and Dan Kiely as he feels having them on board with him would be the perfect match. Just like Kerry V Dublin.
The ESB could learn a lot from Sonia Neary, co-founder of Wellola, as she has more energy than one of their power stations. How does she do it. A physio, just like Ed Harnett, she’s determined to bring Irish medicine into the 21st century, getting doctors, hospitals and patients to use technology to book appointments, send reminders, make cancellations, have consultations etc, all online. She told us that Germany and Portugal have enshrined online medicine in their laws, that it must be offered to citizens. Here…we’re waiting, and queuing and getting coughs, sneezes and worse in doctor’s waiting rooms. Interestingly Sonia has already raised a small amount of seed funding through Chris Burges Spark Crowdfunding, the same method used by another TeamGBS alum, Thomas O’Connell, founder of electric bikes company Moby. Sonia has Europe (she explains why the US isn’t top of her agenda) domination in mind and is looking for strategic partners.