Over 320 guests celebrated the best in business online at the annual IIA & Enterprise Ireland Net Visionary Awards held in the Crowne Plaza Dublin Northwood on Thursday 21st May.
Following a three-stage process of nominations from the public, judging by a panel of their peers and voting by the public, 15 winners were announced from amongst 71 shortlisted business people.
The IIA Board choose the Overall Net Visionary winner, awarding this accolade to individuals that they feel have developed a visionary online product or service. Announcing this year’s winner, Maeve Kneafsey, IIA Chair, pointed out that the only limit to Irish companies’ reach worldwide is their imagination: "This year’s Overall Net Visionaries, Ciarán Bollard and Mark French of MUZU. TV, have developed a TV website and distribution platform that shows that world beating businesses can be founded and funded here in Ireland. MUZU TV is an inspiration to the current and future generations of Internet entrepreneurs who know that the Internet means that there are no boundaries on what we can do in Ireland, the only limit being our imagination."
Developing this theme, Fergal O’Byrne, IIA CEO, commented, "This is the third year that the visionary behind a niche application with global appeal has been presented with this award. In 2007 it was Fergus Burns of Nooked.com, and in 2008 Pat Phelan of MaxROAM. Now in 2009 Ciarán Bollard and Mark French of MUZU.TV have been honoured for creating specialised applications that leverage the power and global reach of the internet to create sustainable and scalable businesses."
"We’re really honoured to have received such a prestigious award," said Ciaran Bollard, CEO and co-founder of MUZU.TV. "It’s truly the icing on the cake in what has been an amazing year so far, with a host of new deals with major and independent record labels and accelerated growth in consumers using the site particularly in the U.K. and Ireland. MUZU now has one of the largest music video offerings on the web, covering everything from live concerts, music documentaries and official music videos from thousands of the biggest artists in the world. MUZU continues to receive incredible support from the music industry and advertisers alike and we look forward to building upon these relationships and making the site a global success."
Amongst the winners in the other 15 categories were Puddleducks.ie, a small company based in Carrigaline, Co. Cork. They were nominated in two categories and won the prize in the Best Online Trader category. Aedan Ryan, Director of Puddleducks shared what winning a Net Visionary award means to them:
"As a small home-based business, winning an IIA Net Visionary award means a huge amount to PuddleDucks. There is a great deal of satisfaction to be gained from starting up and building up the business to this stage where we have received recognition from peers in the Irish web community. We are honoured to be in the company of so many fantastic examples of Irish enterprise."
Mike Brennan CEO of RateMyArea, a recent start-up, was delighted to win in the Best Social Media Category saying, "We are thrilled that RateMyArea has won the ‘Best Use of Social Media’ category. Our nomination is a testament to our community of Raters and the great local knowledge that they share. They help businesses understand the importance of social networking and being part of the online conversation and that using a website like ours is different to more traditional advertising, which is essentially just shouting at people!"
The Irish Internet Association held the Net Visionary Awards as part of their Annual Congress, allowing business professionals to mix an evening of pleasure with two days of information, advice and networking.
Winners in all 15 Categories below:
|Overall Net Visionary||Ciarán Bollard and Mark French||MUZU.TV|
|Best Business Blogger sponsored by ICAN||Damien Mulley||Mulley Communications|
|Best Business Podcaster sponsored by Hostelworld.com||Krishna De||BizGrowthNews|
|Best Online Financial Service sponsored by DataElectronics||Warren Healy||LocalLotto.ie|
|Best Online Trader sponsored by Realex Payments||PuddleDucks.ie||PuddleDucks.ie|
|Best Use of Social Media sponsored by FBD||Mike Brennan||RateMyArea.com|
|e-Government Award sponsored AIB Merchant Services||Sean Murphy||Xwerx Media Ltd. for GreenWave.ie|
|Innovation Award sponsored by Microsoft||Jacquie Branagan||Births Deaths Marriages Ltd|
|Internet Entrepreneur sponsored by Digital Marketing Institute||Andrew Molony||GreenJobs Ltd.|
|Internet Marketer sponsored by Tibus||Ger Karlsson||DoneDeal.ie|
|Journalist Award sponsored by Elucidate||Emmet Ryan||Freelance|
|Mobile Internet Innovation sponsored by Zapa||Trey Harvin||dotMobi|
|Online Tourism sponsored by Fáilte Ireland||Stewart Stephens||Gulliver InfoRes / GoIreland.com|
|Social Contribution sponsored by IEDR||Ruairí McKiernan||SpunOut.ie|
|Web Designer Excellence sponsored by SitesToGo||Nicholas Merrigan||Newmedia|
|Web Developer Excellence sponsored by dotMobi||Iarfhlaith Kelly||WebStrong for Twission.com|