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IIA Netvisionary Awards 2008

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DateFriday, October 31, 2008

Entrepreneur Pat Phelan, Maxroam was awarded the overall Net Visionary Award at the 2008 IIA & Enterprise Ireland Net Visionary Award at the gala black-tie awards ceremony last night in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham.


IIA Netvisionary Awards in the Royal Kilmainham Hospital, Dublin (photo courtesy Haydn West)


Pat Phelan is a well known innovator of services which are delivered globally and which compete with established telecoms models and companies. He is also an advocate of using developing technologies to deliver new opportunities and is responsible for creating Twitterfone (a voicecall-based Twitter application).



Congratulations to Marie Boran from - Net Visionary Journalist Award 2008



His current focus, Maxroam, a Cork-based company, offers a mobile phone service which allows frequent travellers to share local numbers with their contacts in over 50 countries. Finally, he is a passionate supporter of other technology startups in Ireland – via his blog, his attendance at technology camps and conferences and Open Coffee events and his generosity with advice to younger entrepreneurs.



Maeve Keafsey, IIA chair (centre) with Pat Maher, Enterprise Ireland (left) and Overall Net Visionary 2008, Pat Phelan - Kneafsey said The Irish Internet Association is the professional body for those conducting business via the internet from Ireland. Speaking about the announcement Maeve Kneafsey, IIA Chair said, "This years winner of the overall NetVisionary award was a relatively clear choice."

 “When we are looking for our NetVisonary we are looking not only for Internet innovators, but perhaps even more importantly those willing to risk their money and sometimes reputation to see their idea become a reality and succeed. Pat Phelan is one of those entrepreneurs who takes risks and has succeeded globally.

Along the way Pat Phelan has upset and disrupted the communications and telephony business and technology models. Perhaps that is the true characteristic of a Netvisionary, their ability to disrupt and cause change. We suspect we will need many more Pat Phelans if we are to keep Ireland as ahead in the internet industry."


Also announced last night were the winners in 17 categories. Each of the 17 categories comprised 4 shortlisted companies from all over Ireland.



A notable feature of this year’s winners was the prevalence of social and mobile media as an integral part of their online strategies, a feature which recognises the increasing ubiquity of broadband in Ireland, the move to mobile internet and the popularity of social networking as the main interface for many online consumers.



For example, a strong understanding of the spending habits and resources of his market led Johnny Beirne to develop, winner of the Mobile Internet Innovation award. His latest application is a Downloadmusic application for Myspace, the perfect synergy for bands wishing to sell and chart for their downloads, and which is already being used by popular Irish band Fight Like Apes. Niall Devine, winner of both the Innovation and Social Contribution Awards has also developed both Bebo and Facebook applications that allow MyCharity users to easily encourage their friends to support them in their fundraising activities. This gives added value to the associated charities as well who can encourage those already familiar with Bebo and Facebook to get involved with only a few clicks. The winner in the Best Use of Social Media category, Marcus Mac Innes’ offers Irish and international users a powerful photo-sharing platform and includes Web 2.0 features such as tagging, social bookmarking and community building enabling an at-a-glance look at the subjects most important to Irish snappers!
 would like to extend their congratulations to all winners and shortlists.

Best Business Blogger sponsored by NewsweaverBest Business Blogger Sponsored by Newsweaver
WINNER:  Michele Neylon Blacknight Internet Solutions Blog


Pat Phelan, Pat Phelan Dot Net
Deborah Hadley, Spicendipity
Karl Deeter, Irish Mortgage Brokers


Best Business Podcaster sponsored by RTÉ
WINNER: Alex Gibson, Dublin City FM

Krishna De,
Aoife Mahon, RaboDirect
Mike Kelly,


Best Online Business Use of Irish sponsored by Foras na Gaeilge
WINNER: Niall O'Driscoll, vStream Digital Media for the Referendum Commission, Lisbon Treaty Website

Tom Fitzgerald, Bárd na nGleann for Litrí
Conn Ó Muineacháin, Edgecast Media for
Rónán Ó Caollaí, Gravitate for




Best Online Exporter sponsored by Tibus
WINNER: Lulu O'Sullivan,

Mary Power ,
Caitríona Nic Giolla Mhichil, Gael Linn
Richard Moyles,


Best Online Financial Service sponsored by Data Electronics
WINNER: Martin O’Leary, RaboDirect

Geoff Boyle,
Brendan Hughes, FBD
Gerry Carron,


Best Online Trader Ireland sponsored by RealexBest Online Trader Ireland category was sponsored by Realex Payments
WINNER: Brian Fallon,

Ciaran Crean,
Kieron Guilfoyle, 3V Transaction Services
Scott Tattersall, Zignals



Best Use of Social Media sponsored by

Marcus MacInnes of wins 'Best Use of Social Media' sponsored by

WINNER: Marcus Mac Innes,

Vincent Donnelly,
Paul McAvinchey, YABOYA for Diddlyi
Ronan Higgins, Locle


e-Government Award sponsored by AIB Merchant Services
WINNER: Cathy Clarke –

Siobhan O'Connor, Meath County Council for Meath Care Portal
Máire Ní Dhomhnaill, South Dublin County Council for Connect iWalks
Dara Keogh, GeoDirectory


Educational Contribution sponsored by CFO Services
WINNER: Paul Whelan,

Siobhán O'Connor, Meath County Council for Schools Online Together Programme
Ciaran McCormack, FIS BookClub
Bernie Goldbach, Tipperary Institute




Innovation Award sponsored by iQContentPaul Walsh, CEO of was shortlisted in the Net Visionary Innovation Award sponsored by IQ Content
WINNER: Niall Devine,

Kieron Guilfoyle,3V Transactions Services
Paul Walsh,
Ronan Farren, Brandmail Solutions


Internet Entrepreneur sponsored by DellDavid Lenahan of Polldaddy was shortlisted in the Net Visionary Internet Entrepreneur category sponsored by Dell - Polldaddy was recently acquired by blogging template Wordpress owners Automattic (click to read this story)
WINNER: Derek Quinn,


Kieron Guilfoyle, 3V Transactions Services
David Lenahan,

Michele Neylon, Blacknight




Internet Marketer sponsored by The Irish Times
WINNER: Michele Neylon, Blacknight Solutions

Andrew Jenkinson, vStream Digital Media
Mick Dillon,
Jennifer Curtin, Newsweaver



Journalist Award sponsored by Elucidate
WINNER: Marie Boran, Silicon Republic

Deirdre McArdle,
Emma Kennedy, Sunday Business Post
Niall Kitson, PC Live


Mobile Internet Innovation sponsored by the Irish Internet Association
WINNER: Johnny Beirne,

Pat Phelan,
David Barrett, AntiDis - iPhone Train Timetable
Ciaran Bradley, Sentry Wireless



Social Contribution sponsored by IEDR
WINNER: Niall Devine,

Eoghan Crosby, Camara
Anthony Lindsay, The Wheel
Martin McKay,Texthelp Systems Ltd. for BrowseAloud




Web Designer Excellence sponsored by Daft.ieTony O'Donoghue, Lightbox was shortlisted in the Net Visionary Web Designer category
WINNER: Karen Hanratty, Pixel Design

Tony O'Donohoe, Lightbox
Marcin Banaszek, Webtrade Ltd.
Derek Jones, Flavour 9 Design

Web Developer Excellence sponsored by Dot MobiKarl Glennon was shortlisted in the Net Visionary Web Developer Excellence category sponsored by Dot Mobi - it's the second time that Roomex has featured in an awards programme, recently being placed in Deloittes Fast 50 (Click to Read Full Story)
WINNER: Jennifer O' Brien, Webtools Software Limited

Tomek Kaczmarek, Lightbox
Karl Glennon,
Claude Lacey, iPlanit



Fergal O’Byrne, IIA CEO, commented, “Winning a Net Visionary award, or indeed being shortlisted, can be a turning point for a company of any size. Recognition of this sort will allow the winners to justify further investment in their online services ensuring better and more intuitive experiences for users, not only in Ireland, but throughout the world. The IIA & Enterprise Ireland Net Visionary Awards celebrate business people with a unique vision for the future of the internet in Ireland. Through the use of an open voting system the awards genuinely reflect recent developments within the Internet Industry in Ireland, allowing the public to give their vote to quality online services from businesses of all sizes.”


This year’s gala event supported The Children’s Medical & Research Foundation which is dedicated to the improvement of children’s health. Its function is to inspire and support the philanthropic spirit in individuals and organisations.  It invests its communities’ contributions in outstanding paediatric care, research and education to help children at Our Lady's, and throughout Ireland.



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