Tonight at the Golden Spiders awards eircom announced that they have created a fund worth approximately €100k annually, which will be used to help develop four web 2.0 style concepts submitted by Irish companies over a six month period.
Details of the fund are that the funding will be released on a staged basis throughout this six month development process, though this will be on a per-case basis, so if you need more time they might give it to you.
There are many categories for which you can submit a proposal:
- Discovery (domain specific search; indexing, ranking, querying techniques; personalisation, recommendations, information aggregation)
- Messaging (IM; new / open messaging frameworks; email, alerts)
- Voice (VoIP telephony; mashups; asynchronous and embedded voice applications)
- Location (mapping; location-based services; geospacial web, location-based content aggregation)
- Publishing (blogging and microblogging, syndication; microformats; widgets)
- Communities (social networks, open standards, mashups, visualisations, aggregators)
- Content creation (music, video, film & TV, gaming, sport, lifestyle)
- Advertising (formats, platforms, technologies, networks, targeting, syndication, widgets)
- Identity (presence, capabilities management; lightweight identity platforms, cross-platform solutions, social identity management)
Walter Higgins from company Sxoop that created Pixenate is probably one of the companies well suited to apply for this fund, on hearing about the fund he said:
I welcome it whole-heartedly I think it shows great initiative by eircom in encouraging irish web innovation and it is definitely something I will look into further.
Cathal Magee from eircom (in the press release) said:
â€œThe aim of the fund is to incubate creative and innovative web application development at the grassroots in Ireland. The establishment of the fund is a clear signal of eircomâ€™s outward approach to innovation. The company must be well positioned to maintain its leadership position as the next wave of web services are introduced.â€
Full details are available here: www.eircom.net/innovation. You have til February to send in an application.
Tom Corcoran from the WIT Research and Innovation Centre had this to say:
It looks like a very welcome, interesting and smart move by Eircom. Aside from generating some excellent PR (for Eircom and for the successful companies), an injection of €25K into a small number of start-ups could be of great benefit, especially when its allied to a potential customer of this stature. I like the approach of supporting just four companies rather than spreading the fund thinly. The categories as outlined are ideally suited to quite a number of Irish early-stage businesses and I have to believe that competition will be
intense. For any company in this field, winning Eircom as a reference customer could open many other doors and could also make it easier to attract investment.
Tom did note though that it was unclear from the announcement about who owned the IP but Mark Taylor, head of content for eircom.net clarified and said that eircom are not looking for any equity in the company or product.
So there you have it folks. 25k for a product you create and will hold on to, the chance to launch it on eircom.net – one of the busiest sites in Ireland and continued financial support afterwards. I also believe that as well as financial support they’ll happily give other support in terms of marketing and feedback on the technology side too. So what’s holding you back?