Waterford News

Digital Innovation Lab 2

Digital Innovation Lab Sponsored by Salesforce officially opens in Waterford Institute of Technology.

The 32 desk lab has been designed to inspire collaboration and interactivity, to bring the 4th industrial revolution to life for the students of WIT. Both Teachers and Students will use Salesforce Technology to supplement and enhance their digital media education.

Pictured L-R: Dr David Dempsey Salesforce, Prof. Willie Donnelly, President of WIT, Charlotte Cuddihy School of Business Student and Minister John Halligan TD. Picture: Patrick Browne


Hidden Access from Ard Scoil na nDeise in Dungarvan win the Senior award at the Student Enterprise County Final and qualify for the National Student Enterprise Final.

Caoimhe Keane and Lauren Douris from Hidden Access, winners of the Senior award designed, created and produced portable wheelchair ramps. They took park in the Local Enterprise Office’s Student Enterprise Awards last Tuesday at the WIT Arena.

The Waterford Student Enterprise Programme started in September with 1,000 students from 15 schools in Waterford City and County. They created their businesses, developed, branded, promoted and sold. But most importantly they learned what it felt like to run their own business.

Finally, 120 students represented 12 schools in Waterford county and competed in the Waterford Student Enterprise Final on Tuesday March 5th at the W.I.T. Arena in Carriganore. 40 businesses in total, shortlisted from a total of 350 who commenced the competition in September, presented their business plans and challenged for the top prize in the Waterford Student Enterprise Programme. Hidden Access will represent Waterford at the National Finals on May 3rd in Croke Park taking on 34 other businesses, the best of the rest of the country.

Co-ordinated by the Local Enterprise Office Waterford, the competition is the most successful programme of its kind in the country. 25,000 budding entrepreneurs from 380 secondary schools across the country have been running their own enterprises, with help from their teachers and Local Enterprise Offices.

Finalists from all over the country will set-up enterprise exhibition displays before taking part in a series of judging interviews.  The judging panels take numerous factors into account, such as business reporting, innovation, market research, risk management and finances.

Praising the teachers and local schools involved in the programme, Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office Waterford, said: “The Student Enterprise Programme encourages and enables students to take on the world of business and develop an entrepreneurial mind-set. By fostering an enterprising culture in the classroom, the Local Enterprise Offices are working with teachers and schools to help nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Further information about May’s National Finals is available through www.studententerprise.ie, which also has free resources and video tutorials for students and teachers for the 2017/2018 programme.

For more information, please contact your Local Enterprise Office at 35 the Mall in Waterford City or Civic Offices in Dungarvan. Alternatively, you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

The Déise Dementia Café, a relaxed and friendly meeting point for those living with dementia, takes place the first Friday of every month at the Respond Café in St. John’s College, The Folly, Waterford and the third Thursday of every month at the Park Hotel, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.

Introduced by the HSE and Waterford Integrated Care Programme for Older People (WICOP), The Déise Dementia Café provides support for people living with dementia or experiencing memory loss and support for their loved ones.

Catherine Murphy, Occupational Therapist WICOP, was delighted to introduce the programme to Waterford county as well as to Waterford City. “We introduced the Déise Dementia Café as a pilot scheme late last year and are now delighted to host a monthly café in Dungarvan too.”

“We want to encourage anyone with dementia and their families to join us for a coffee and a chat, if and when they can. The Café is an inviting and safe place to share experiences and to meet people who may be experiencing something similar to you. We also have guest speakers each month on different topics around dementia and memory loss. Topics in the past have included Living with Dementia, What to do after a Dementia Diagnosis and Nutrition & Dementia.”

The Déise Dementia Café is proudly supported by Home Instead Senior Care and takes place from 10.30am to noon on the first Friday of every month at the Respond Café in St. John’s College, The Folly, Waterford and the third Thursday of every month at the Park Hotel, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.

To find out more about the Déise Dementia Café call Catherine on 087 779 4265 or find them on Facebook @deisedementiacafe.


South East BIC, Bank of Ireland and Crystal Valley Tech are delighted to be sponsoring and organising the first Techstars Start-up Weekend here in Waterford on April 5th to 7th. It will be held in the new Bank of Ireland WorkBench on the Quay, Waterford. 

Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of an idea, validate that business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend. Techstars Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. It includes:  

  • 7 meals over the course of the weekend
  • Benefits and discounts from Techstars global partners
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee that you can consume.

Places are limited and you can get more information & register here http://communities.techstars.com/ireland/waterford-ireland/startup-weekend/14306

This is an intensive 14 week workshop for Owner Managers planning for the next stage in their business and will help to define business opportunities going forward to achieve the businesses growth potential.

The programme, which is highly subsidised by the Local Enterprise Office, consists of 15 modules which combine management theory, powerful peer learning, networking and action learning approaches and will be delivered over morning and evening sessions commencing 11th March, 2019. The cost to the participant is €200 and in addition there will be the opportunity for each of the participants to have up to 3 one to one confidential meeting with the programme co-ordinator, Blaise Brosnan.

Blaise Brosnan has a unique blend of practical top management experience gained over 30 years in his capacity as Chief Executive of a well known National business and later as business adviser to a range of Irish business types. In addition to this, he has gained further National and International experience, having successfully completed a range of projects in Ireland, US, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and in Russia.

Venue: workLAB, IDA Business Park, Cork Rd, Waterford

Start Date: Monday, 11th March

Time: 8.00am

Category: Management Development

If you want to make a positive difference to your business results, this programme could help you to get there.

Please contact the Local Enterprise Office on 0761 10 2905 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details and to book a place.

The Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection have held a number of very successful Recruitment Fairs in Ireland over the last few years in various Regions around the country. Employers have found these a valuable source for recruiting clients, providing information and networking with other employers and Service Providers. 

We are holding the South East Recruitment & Information Expo in Waterford on the 18th April 2019 (11am to 3.30pm).

Please click here to download a registration form for the event. Should you wish to attend, please complete the registration form and return it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by post to:

Edward Kavanagh

Employer Engagement Team

Waterford Intreo Centre

Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection

Government Buildings

Cork Rd


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my at the email address above or at 086-8142661.

We look forward to your positive response and to working with you in the future.

WIT Australian AmbassadorThe Australian Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Richard Andrews and Mrs Saovanee Andrews, have visited WIT’s Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) as part of a trade mission to explore business opportunities and areas for collaboration between Australia and Ireland, particularly in the area of agriculture-technology (AgriTech).

Speaking during his visit, Mr. Andrews said that he was delighted to make his second visit to Waterford as Australia's Ambassador to Ireland in order to further improve the agri-tech industry in both countries. “Agri-tech is an area in which both Australia and Ireland have strong expertise, and one where we’d expect the Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement currently under negotiation to open up new opportunities.”

“This is the second time we have welcomed the Australian Ambassador to WIT,” Kevin Doolin, Director of Innovation at TSSG said. “Visits such as these are important to remind Australian businesses of the opportunities available to them in Ireland, particularly in the area of Agri-Tech,” he continued.

The Australian Ambassador’s visit came ahead of the first official meeting of the SmartAgriHubs consortium due to take place in Prague this week.

As the co-ordinator for the UK and Ireland regional cluster WIT, which has developed smart agri expertise through TSSG, will be the central point of contact for farmers, advisors, agri-tech and agri-food companies who want to apply technology solutions from across Europe to farming and business problems.

The Australian Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Richard Andrews said “I’m very keen to explore new areas for cooperation. Countries like Australia and Ireland will have an important role to play in solving the problem of feeding a growing global population sustainably, and it will be important for our farmers and our agri-tech sectors to work closely together.”

He also met with members of the team at WIT’s ArcLabs Research and Innovation Centre, established in 2005 to support entrepreneurship in South East Ireland. Dr Aisling O'Neill, ArcLabs Manager said “we are delighted to welcome the Australian Ambassador to ArcLabs. Increasingly, we see our client companies creating real impact in Australia. For example, in 2016, Kyckr successfully listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. We look forward to continuing to work with strategic partners in Australia and expand our reach there.”

Virtual Vet Enterprise AwardsAn innovative GDPR compliant data management company tracking drug usage in animals in the food chain has been named as Waterford’s Enterprise winner and will go on to represent Waterford at the National Enterprise Awards in Dublin on May 29th.

VirtualVet is at the forefront of changing drug use behaviour in the food chain by reducing the risk of misuse and overuse of animal remedies in food production.

WIT graduate Sinead Quealy astutely observed the implications and increased risks posed to human health by the overuse of antibiotics in animal farming and in 2017, following a meeting with Waterford Local Enterprise Office established VirtualVet. The data management company records dosages for famers, reports to the agri-food and animal health industries and monitors for agencies such as Bord Bia and the Food Safety Authority.

According to Sinead the assistance from the Local Enterprise Office was invaluable as it provided a feasibility grant, a platform at the National Ploughing Championships and financial assistance to help grow the business.

The Waterford judging panel had their work cut out for them as six pioneering companies vied for the Waterford enterprise title. The finalists included Trish’s Honey Products, Hightower Painting Products, Partyrock Travel, Special Branch Carvers and Monkey Cups.

Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Waterford, Richie Walsh congratulated VirtualVet on their award and also praised the high calibre of finalists.

“In Waterford we are lucky to have such a wealth of inventive and resourceful young enterprises. The vision shown not just by Sinead and the VirtualVet team, but by all the finalists demonstrates that entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in our city and county. The onus is on agencies such as Local Enterprise Office to support, encourage and nurture such creativity.”

“The range of Local Enterprise Office services is quite broad, so we would encourage anyone in pre-start, start-up or established phase of business to get in touch and see what supports are available.”

As well as representing Waterford in the National Finals, VirtualVet was also presented with €3,000 and a specially commissioned crystal trophy, designed and hand-cut by award-winning crystal studio, Criostal na Rinne. The runners-up were presented with engraved crystal bowls.

VirtualVet is among one of the 7,000 companies maintaining 36,000 jobs, supported by the network of 31 Local Enterprise Offices, and will represent Waterford in the National Enterprise Awards Final which was established in 1998 to celebrate the achievements of Ireland’s micro-enterprise sector.


Local Enterprise Week 2019With International Women’s Day taking place on Friday, March 8th Waterford Local Enterprise Office will host a Balance for Better morning event as part of the Local Enterprise Week programme running from March 4th to 8th.

International Women’s Day celebrated globally each year highlights the achievements of women and the theme for 2019 is Balance for Better. By noticing its absence and celebrating its presence, the drive to achieve balance will make a better working world.

The event will be MC’d by Karen Tomkins and networking will be top of the agenda in the Greenway Manor Hotel. There will also be a masterclass in connecting with your customer through social media, presented by Sheila Gallogly. Tickets cost €15 and include breakfast and light lunch with registration from 8.30am.

The countdown to Brexit continues as the March 29th deadline fast approaches. With a lot of uncertainty surrounding the implications of Brexit, Waterford Local Enterprise will host a free Brexit advice clinic on March 6th. These one-to-one clinics will give Waterford businesses the opportunity to discuss any concerns they may have about the consequences of Brexit and will also identify supports available that will help allay risks, re-evaluate, diversify and mitigate exposure to the UK markets.

Perfecting your sales pitch is a free workshop that will harness the power of storytelling to reach new customers. Taking place in the Granville Hotel on March 6th, this full day workshop will deal with a host of themes including posture, building your confidence and sales trailers.

Free general business advice clinics will be held in Tramore on March 5th and Ardmore on March 7th. If you have a business idea or are looking to expand your business talk to a Waterford Local Enterprise mentor in confidence and find out more about the supports and services that are available from Waterford LEO.

Head of Enterprise at Waterford LEO Riche Walsh is pleased with the broad range of business clinics and workshops on offer during Local Enterprise Week. “The week-long programme focuses on the issues that are impacting businesses not just now, but in the future.”

“For anyone in business today, whether it’s a pre-start, start-up or an established business it can be daunting to identify what assistance may be available to help them grow and Local Enterprise Week is a great platform to showcase the range of services and assistance available to these businesses.”

During Local Enterprise Week businesses in Waterford can access advice from industry experts and partner agencies in the form of seminars, workshops and talks on a wide array of key business topics, including Owner Manager development, wholesale and retail strategies, navigating the e-commerce maze, intellectual property, trading online, and discovering new export markets.

To register for Local Enterprise Week events taking place in Waterford city and county from March 4th to 8th, or if you would like to find out more about what business support services are available visit www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford/


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