Risk management and security specialist Netwatch have announced the winners of their Launch Space competition, the aim of which was to help young Irish companies grow their business in the US by offering them free office space for 12 months. Bizimply, an all-in-one people and shift management solution for the service industry; Inhance Technology, a provider of mobile security and trade in software solutions and Kong Digital who have developed an on-line marketing analytics tool, were selected by an expert panel of judges following a competitive pitching process. As winners, the three companies will be moving into their rent free office space in Netwatch’s Launch Space in Newton, Boston between January and June 2016 next.
The move will give the companies a firm foundation for the next 12 months from which to find customers in what can be a daunting market. In addition, Netwatch’s internal Legal and HR specialists in the US will provide advice, while David Walsh, CEO will offer mentoring and networking support.
Speaking about the winners, Mr David Walsh, CEO, Netwatch, said: “The winning companies successfully demonstrated their strategic focus on the US market, their deep sectoral insight and their capacity to grow their businesses here and win clients. We look forward to working with them all next year.”
Gerard Forde, co-founder and CEO of Bizimply said: “We already have customers in the States but we had yet to make the move and establish a full base there. The size of the services industry in the US offers us huge opportunities to grow and scale. The transport connectivity and time zone of a Boston office really appealed to us, while having the insight and mentoring advice of a company like Netwatch, who has previously made this journey, is going to be invaluable.”
Robert Kelly, CEO of Kong Digital said: “Having a base in the Boston area is hugely significant, on a recent trip to the East coast we saw a cluster of companies both competitors and potential clients operating there. The interconnectedness that this provides is vital from an innovation, productivity and research point of view. Winning the competition will enable us to build a foundation and accelerate our growth with the support of a company like Netwatch”.
William Fitzgerald, COO, Inhance Technology said: “We have been selling our mobile retail productivity and security solutions into the US market for the last five years and generate about 70% of our revenue from there. We are really excited about this next phase in our development. We wholeheartedly support Netwatch’s view of the importance of building strong links with Irish companies starting out in what is a highly competitive market”.
Netwatch, who has over 400 clients in the States, established the new Launch Space as an opportunity to ‘pay forward’ the support they received from other Irish companies and the wider Irish-American Community when they expanded into the US four years ago.