By @SimonCocking

Describe the company – the elevator pitch …

Hubangel  @hubangelmatters is an App and a website that gives people savings through special offers from local retailers while at the same time raising money for great causes.  Not for profits (hubs) connect to local businesses in a mutually beneficial shopping arrangement. Not for profits provide the audience and the retailer provides promotional offers. Offers are redeemed through the Hubangel app.  You pay as normal.  For every sale recorded on the App the not for profit earns a commission. #ShopSaveGive

How are you different?
Hubangel is a really new and different concept. It gives retailers and merchants something of great value – access to a local and motivated audience. It is risk free, low cost and driven by the passion of local hubs/causes.  In short we give people more reasons to shop with a particular merchant. Hubangel also puts the not for profit at the centre of the business model and plays to their strengths and lets them unlock the power of their own membership.

Why will the company / product do well?

Because Hubangel works for people, business and for not for profits !  It is not often something comes along that is a win-win-win. Merchants win because they increase sales, people win because they get great offers from local businesses and not for profits win because they fund raise with every sale.  What’s not to like!
Hubangel builds on existing networks already established by not for profits and so the effect for both merchant and hub is remarkable.

Where are you based, how is the broadband, how long will you stay there?

Based in Wexford with a development team in Dublin. Broadband is very good (fibre) in both sites.  The development team just moved location at Christmas 2014. We have no immediate plans to move.

When was the company launched?

Hubangel launched in Summer 2014

What have been your biggest wins to date?

Hubangel was selected as was selected as one of three New Start regional finalists for InterTradeIreland 2014/2015 Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition.

Wexford Festival Opera were a great Hub for us, there is always a great buzz around Wexford at the time of the opera festival but for us having users from all over Ireland and abroad using the app was fantastic. The day that the festival team introduced Hubangel in their e-zine to members (“Friends of Wexford Festival Opera”) we saw a surge in app downloads and system registrations – it was great to watch and be part of.

What type of people are you trying to attract to your product?

Our users are people who are looking for local value and who are (or their children are) members of clubs, schools, societies, charities, hobby groups etc. (Hubs).

Our merchants sell to consumers and are typically  restaurants, cafes, health and beauty, leisure centres, hotels, fashion, jewellers and day out destinations.

We recruit hubs from all areas and the criteria is that they must be bone fide not for profit groups (we run reference checks on the hubs). The hubs define the people and they come from everywhere – they could be from sports clubs, charities, schools, drama societies, hobby groups – all with one thing in common – the need to fund raise for their cause and give benefits to their members.

Tell us about your team?

Declan Jones is the founder and CEO and the driving force behind Hubangel. He is the product architect and devil’s advocate and is always seeking to improve and move forward.  He loves to talk about  the product and the technology but has a wealth of experience across all the areas required in a start up having led product and software teams for Fujitsu Software and for G.E.

Con Hennessy is CTO and is a dyed in the wool technologist and Python afficionado.  He is expert in open source systems and has already forgotten more about programming than most people ever learn.  He is is a great mentor and coach. Con and his team have built Hubangel from the ground up and are rightfully proud of it.

Ann is the Finance and Operations Director who makes sure everything works smoothly for our customers whether that be on boarding new hubs or helping merchants to get new offers setup.

What are your long term plans?
We are in startup mode. We have a strong future product road map all ready to go, but first things first. We want to keep adding new customers to the platform and working with new merchants to expand the offers available.  We will keep improving our product and will adapt and modify according to the feedback we get from customers.  We want to be famous for bringing local offers to local communities in a sustainable way and want to do well by doing good.

What are your favourite tech gadgets?

What should I choose? Mobile Phone and tablet are too obvious but I couldn’t function without them and they have already replaced other favourite gadget contenders such as remote control, SatNav, iPod and DVD.  At home I recently bought a Powerline adapter which turns any electrical socket into an internet cable so you can pass internet signal through the power cables in your home. Loved this becuase it allowed me to put fixed line broadband into a home extension AND gave us a wi-fi hotspot.  Remarkable stuff.   It can even switch off automatically so the that teenage “always on” Facebook junkies can get some sleep.  I also laugh at the “selfie stick” (but secretly think they are useful).

What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?

Selfie stick to take pictures of Hubangel with each new hub and merchant !

Beacon technology is something we are investigating for higher end merchants in higher density urban areas.  At present Hubangel is designed to work both on and off line as some of our merchants operate in places where wi-fi and mobile network coverage can be patchy. Beacon’s could also help those merchants as it allows a low energy Bluetooth transmission from the merchant’s in-store beacon to interact with the Hubangel App.  In the future we could see the Hubangel app utilising beacon technology to enrich the local shopping experience.

[email protected] +353 (0)76 888 6680

If you would like to have your company featured in the Thursday edition of the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with me on [email protected]

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