Deanna O’Connor profiles the new breed of Irish CEOs making waves internationally.
Pamela Newenham and Elva Carri
As a social platform based on female friendship, it is fitting that GirlCrew has co-CEOs. A dual CEO structure can cause conflict but GirlCrew have struck the right balance, with the creativity of Carri, whose inspiration was the genesis of the company, and Newenham, an award-winning business journalist who had the know-how and drive to take it global. With private funding secured and an app in development, the next year should see a crucial growth phase for the start-up.
Co-founder and CEO Gerard Forde and his team created Bizimply as a workforce management solution for hospitality and retail managers. The all-in-one people and shift management solution combines daily requirements such as scheduling, HR, clock-in and shift reporting into one simple cloud-based system. With €2m in funding secured earlier this year through Causeway Capital being used to fuel growth and double their workforce, the company’s next steps are to target the healthcare and construction sectors.
Ray Smith is co-founder and CEO of Datahug, a data-driven sales-optimisation platform. The engineer built the company on the premise of applying data and science to the world of sales, in order to make it easier to scale and be more effective. Smith had previously spent six years at Accenture, as a manager in the Systems Integration and Technology Group with a specialty in technical architecture. Datahug’s clients include companies such as Optimizely, Coupa, Instructure, Lyft and Nitro. Datahug’s analysis of sales activity forecasts with 95% accuracy, and increases win rates by an average of 21%.
Paul O’Hara’s ChangeX is a non-profit platform aimed at boosting local community schemes and innovations such as coderdojos and men’s sheds. Earlier this year they raised €350,000 in an extended seed round, to bring their total raised to €850,000. New investors included MyFitnessPal chief executive Mike Lee and Enterprise Ireland, joining Storyful founder Mark Little, Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield, financier Dermot Desmond and others who had funded the enterprise. They have just celebrated their first international launch, in Minnesota, USA.
Stephen Quinn is CEO of Jobbio, the recruitment platform he founded with his brother John. They already have offices in London and New York and 3,000 companies (including Ryanair, Unilever, eBay and Intel) use them to recruit new talent. They have just announced a €5m series A funding round and are expanding into the Canadian market. The USP of Jobbio is that it modernises the process by giving recruiters the information digitally, live updating CVs to the latest version, and allows jobseekers to link their social networks, upload images to display portfolios, and embed video.