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Ireland StartUp Awards 2012

Ireland StartUp Awards 2012

Ireland StartUp Awards 2012

Three Wicklow businesses shortlisted in the National Start-up Awards (Burlington Hotel) have won gold in their respective categories; Rainbusters received gold for ‘Best Retail’ Start-up and silver for ‘Best Online’ Start-up; received gold for ‘Best Social Enterprise’ Start-up and Old Rectory received gold for ‘Best Craft Based’ Start-up.

The National Start-up Awards took place on Thursday, 24th May in the Burlington Hotel with Vodafone Ireland as title sponsors.

Irish Dragon, Bobby Kerr, who headed the judging panel, was on hand to present the awards. In total, 300 Irish businesses entered the awards.

To qualify for entry, a business needed to be operating less than three years and have a maximum of thirty employees.

The Start-Up Awards are all about recognising young, exciting, entrepreneurial Irish companies across all sectors of the economy.

The Awards seek to reward innovation, endeavour, hard graft and to demonstrate that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Ireland in 2012 and beyond.

About Rainbusters: Winners of Ireland’s ‘Best Online Trader’ Award 2011, Rainbusters provides its own trademarked label of outdoor clothing for kids, as well as Swedish designed baby & children’s clothing and swim wear for kids, both online; and through its new retail outlet 23, Main Street, Market Square, Wicklow Town.

Since the launch in 2009 the company have consistently added on different layers to the business and as a consequence Rainbusters has featured regularly in the Irish media as an Irish ‘Good News Story’.

“We are delighted with this achievement as it proves that consistent quality, innovation; great value and customer service is a winning recipe in this recession. The new shop situated on Wicklow Main Street has been a success story from day one and we are delighted with our move to Wicklow Town. It is a huge achievement for Wicklow with 3 businesses proving the best in the country in their field,’ says Anna Cannon, Rainbusters Founder.

Rainbusters supply many Irish & European retail outlets as well as crèches & preschools with its unique, Swedish designed waterproof outdoor range, providing children with an opportunity to play outdoors in any weather conditions.

“Growing up in Sweden, I was used to being outdoors in extreme weather conditions and always understood the need for appropriate clothing,” says Anna, “so when I moved to Ireland and experienced the persistent rainy conditions, I spotted a niche in the Irish market for well designed and durable rainwear.”

About Old Rectory: OLD RECTORY children’s clothing, designed in Co. Wicklow by Stephanie and Joanna Sloan, has been awarded Gold in the Best Craft category in the National Start-Up Awards.

The collection of children’s clothing and accessories includes pyjamas, long sleeved t-shirts, baby rompers, blankets, baby bibs, hats and features unique illustrations inspired by life growing up on a farm in Ireland, local wildlife and by their grandfathers own childhood nature scrap books.

Founded 18 months ago, sisters and founders Joanna and Stephanie both came from design backgrounds (Joanna specialised in interior design whilst Stephanie completed an MA in Print Design at The Royal College of Art in London) before combining their talent and experience to launch OLD RECTORY in 2010.

Using organic cotton throughout the collection and Oeko-tex certified dyes; everything that Old Rectory produces is toxin free and kind to our environment and children.

OLD RECTORY is now stocked in 40 shops across Europe including the Avoca stores, Wooden Heart in Galway, Hide and Seek in Bray and Kaleidoscope in Westport. OLD RECTORY’s full collection and studio news is available at

About is a social business which focuses on engaging / enticing the public to support local independent retailers and small businesses.

We do this through (1) driving awareness at a grassroots level of the importance of shopping local and (2) uniquely showcasing businesses online where the public can browse and avail of exclusive money saving deals.’s social commitment centres predominantly on helping short and long term unemployed people get back into the workforce, starting a conversation about community importance and investing back, where possible, into community beneficial projects.

Economic Impact (Co. Wicklow): Since launch (August 2011), has been making steady progress with over 5,000 members of the public signed up (email & mobile) and representing, at any one time, 50 great independent Co. Wicklow businesses. has helped 30 people back to work / start their own business. We estimate (minimum) that this has directly injected over €50,000 in the past six months back into the local economy. Of the six start-ups has helped to create, they have the potential to generate four to six jobs in the next six months.

A total of €5,525 has further been invested back into Co. Wicklow community projects / local events, where over 110,000 people enjoyed. Taking an average spend of €4 (minimum) per person, this resulted in over €440,000 being invested back into the local economy.

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