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04 February 2016

SFA National Small Business Awards 2016: Finalists Showcase

Posted By: AIB Business
Sweetspot sourcing 245 image

The Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Dublin played host to some of Ireland’s leading small businesses for the SFA National Small Business Awards 2016 Finalists Showcase on Monday 1st February 2016. With 33 companies  selected as finalists – from 16 different counties, across seven categories – the Finalists Showcase presented a unique opportunity to network with innovative entrepreneurs and hear their hopes for the future.

We would like to congratulate our customers for being award finalists in the following categories:



Established in 1976 as a manufacturer of kitchen worktops, Topform later transitioned to supply worktop solutions to the Irish, UK and Australian markets. A combination of textures, surfaces, sizes and decors is the secret to the company’s success. Topform’s intensive programme of R&D means that it is constantly seeking new products and markets. Along with having world-class machinery, Topform deploys several modern manufacturing philosophies such as lean manufacturing, visual factory and best-in-class systems facilities.


* Topform is also shortlisted for the Small Business Exporter of the Year category.


Ventac is a leading provider of noise control solutions to vehicle manufacturers. Specialising in the design, development and manufacture of innovative and tailored acoustic material components, Ventac is the trusted development partner and component supplier to a range of international bus, industrial and agricultural vehicle manufacturers. Ventac is selected as partner of choice for discerning vehicle manufacturers who seek to increase cabin comfort for their customers and to reduce the environmental noise signature of their vehicles.


* Ventac is also shortlisted for the Innovator of the Year and Small Business Exporter of the Year categories.

Food & Drink


The iconic Cornucopia Wholefood Restaurant is celebrating 30 years of creating and serving healthy food in Dublin’s City Centre to five million consumers. The company employs 47 staff and has a passionate vision for the future to develop healthy food products, including their award-winning cold-pressed healthy juices.


Eight Degrees Brewing

Eight Degrees Brewing is an award-winning Irish craft brewery renowned for its innovation and experimentation. Established at the foot of the majestic Galtee mountains by Kiwi Scott and Aussie Cam, who were lured to Ireland by two Irish cailíns, Eight Degrees Brewing is passionate about producing exciting and adventurous beers using only natural ingredients.


Gilligan Farm Fresh Meats

Gilligan Meats has produced top quality beef from its family farm in Roscommon for over 100 years. Gilligan’s provides its award-winning high-quality meat to several prestigious Michelin Star restaurants and supermarkets within Ireland. Unique to Gilligan Meats are animals reared and finished on the family farm. A nutritious diet, which consists mostly of crops grown on limestone-rich soils in Roscommon, is also available to them. Straw bedding is presented and music is played to the animals, minimising stress. “Happy animals leads to tasty succulent steaks.”




ClubstoHire was formed in 2010 as a disruptor in the golf travel market. It allows golfers to go online, choose their set and travel to their chosen location in the knowledge that they will receive a first class set of clubs on arrival. Last year the firm rented in excess of 70,000 sets and it has plans to grow that number through its recent entrance to the US and Asian markets.


JJ O’Toole Ltd

JJ O’Toole Ltd, Ireland’s oldest packaging provider, is the brand name in packaging in Ireland. Established over 100 years ago in 1914, it is a third-generation award-winning family business situated in Limerick. The company provides a complete packaging solution to thousands of clientele in the retail, food service and industrial sectors in Ireland and the UK. JJ O’Toole Ltd is the preferred packaging partner to blue chip retailers such as Selfridges & Co, Brown Thomas, Newbridge Silverware, Dunnes Stores, Lloyds Pharmacy Group and Musgraves.


Nostra Technologies Ltd

Nostra is an ICT-managed service and solution provider operating throughout Ireland and abroad. The company provides a complete suite of integrated solutions across the entire ICT spectrum, which it then delivers as part of one end-to-end managed service. Beginning with an analysis of a client’s business needs, Nostra works with them to design a comprehensive ICT strategy. As part of this process, Nostra identifies the best technology, develops the solution, and implements, supports, and maintains it with a range of trusted and proven skills in cloud, data infrastructure, managed services, security, and contract resourcing.


Outstanding Small Business (Sponsored by AIB)

Dúnmasc Genetics

Dúnmasc Genetics is a multi-award-winning company that provides pedigree cattle breeders with a route to market via their genetics through semen sales from their top performing bulls, both in Ireland and through exports abroad. The company also helps breeders increase the genetics merit of their herd through a process called embryo recovery and transfer, an in vivo process to spread the genetic merit of superior dams. Dúnmasc Genetics is very active in training veterinarians, farmers and technicians in the areas of fertility and artificial insemination.



EireChrom has grown rapidly to become Ireland’s recognised market leader in the highly specialised field of mass spectrometry – an advanced separation science technique that has both quantitative and qualitative uses within the chemical analysis and life sciences sector. The company provides bespoke client solutions, delivered by highly qualified industry experts, and empowers clients through access to cutting-edge technologies and a proven commitment to long-term support and training.


Italian Tile and Stone

Italian Tile and Stone offers Ireland’s biggest choice of quality Italian tile and natural stone from throughout the world. Its retail showroom has been supplying discerning homeowners throughout Ireland with a fantastic range of tiles for every room of their homes and gardens for over 15 years. The company’s architectural division has gone from strength to strength in recent years and has supplied tiles to over 2,000 new build homes, as well as commercial projects in Ireland and abroad, such as Google and Twitter headquarters.


PolyPico Technologies

PolyPico Technologies is a Galway-based company that has developed a technology used in laboratories for dispensing precious biomaterials and fluids with extreme precision in ultra-low volumes. Its affordable system is made highly accurate by a precision calibration system, and it is very suited to the deposition of a wide range of biomaterials such as living cells, DNA, proteins, and antibodies. Through the novel use of disposable polymer cartridges, this patent-pending technology enables, for the first time, the removal of cross contamination risk, cleaning equipment and process costs.


Sweetspot Sourcing

Sweetspot Sourcing specialises in the sourcing and manufacturing of own label products, using a worldwide network of suppliers and factories. Sweetspot Sourcing was founded by Susan Dempsey and Fiona Craul in Kildare, and in 2013 they opened an office in Fujian, China. Examples of products that the company produce can be seen in supermarket promotions, merchandise at sporting events, shopping bags in retail and branded charity products.


Woodrow Environmental Consultants

Woodrow Environmental Consultants lead clients through complex environmental issues, providing scoping right through to planning compliance and project monitoring, with a specific focus on ecology. The company has invested heavily in new technology – not simply the hardware for work, but also a smartphone app that allows people to streamline their collection and analysis of data. This app has helped Woodrow Sustainable Solutions to diversify from being purely a services company.


Innovator of the Year

Ash Technologies Ltd

Ash Technologies is an Irish-owned company that is passionate about technology and innovation. The company designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes a unique range of high-definition digital inspection microscopes and digital non-contact measurement and recording solutions that are used in a wide range of industries. Ash’s digital microscopes and apps make it smarter, quicker and more efficient than using traditional optical microscopes. Customers rely on Ash Technologies’ high performance magnification solutions to inspect, measure, and record data, thereby assuring trust in processes and key components where the traditional optical microscope has significant limitations.



CustomsMatters is the leading full customs clearance service provider in Ireland and the UK. With 28 years’ experience in the customs arena, CustomsMatters provides automation, brokerage, and compliance services to international markets, and has been AEO-certified since 2009. Whether your company is importing and/or exporting, CustomsMatters can provide purpose-driven, customs-related solutions to meet your specific requirements and assist you in all aspects of your trade compliance.


* CustomsMatters is also shortlisted for the Small Business Exporter of the Year category.

Gannon Eco*

Gannon Eco is an environmental solution provider for non-hazardous industrial wastes. The company specialises in wastes that cannot be handled by the landfills in Ireland. All waste accepted at Gannon Eco is reprocessed into new usable products, which are used to replace virgin materials. Along with reprocessing, Gannon Eco’s services include on-site waste management solutions and waste logistics. The company’s total solution approach includes design, manufacture of the complete process and R&D of the new product.


* Gannon Eco is also shortlisted for the Sustainability category.


Vennetics makes Video on Demand (VoD) easy by delivering a combined view of the most popular VoD services and uniquely curating the video content across multiple VoD catalogues into one easy-to-use app and browser-based storefront. Vennetics is integrated with the leading and most popular Video on Demand (VoD) providers such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and HBO. This enables the company to deliver a white-label, multi-screen VoD solution powered by the latest blockbuster movies and TV shows. Vennetics’ Telco customers receive a revenue share for each movie rented or sold.


Wood Energy Solutions

Wood Energy Solutions is a multi-award-winning specialist manufacturer of renewable heating products. The company is recognised as the leading manufacturer and supplier of wood-fuelled heating and cogeneration products in the UK and Ireland, and its innovations are used in residential, commercial, industrial and agri-business applications. In 2015 Wood Energy Solutions completed the second largest deployment of biomass renewable heating in the UK to a poultry farm and also established a joint venture company in Switzerland named Woodco, which will distribute products across Europe.



Killary Adventure Company

Catering for schools, youth groups, stag and hen parties, families and adults, Killary Adventure Centre offers a wide range of adventure activities at its base in Co. Galway. The Killary Gaelforce arm of the company organises adventure challenges throughout Ireland. These include a 10km run, a night cycle, an open water swim, a mud run, a series of adventure races and a triathlon in 2016. Connemara Adventure Tours offers guided and self-guided cycling, walking and horse riding tours in the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way. Its customers experience the “real” Ireland from the saddle of a bike, the top of a mountain or by horseback.


Small Business Exporter

Adams & Butler

Luxury Brand and award-winning Adams & Butler is a Dublin-based private luxury travel designer that arranges authentic travel and cultural experiences, with a specific focus on Ireland, Britain and Africa. Clients have included the Kardashians, Taylor Swift, Harrison Ford, and Michael Jackson amongst others.  Adams & Butler is the only Irish company listed by both Conde Nast and Travel + Leisure.  As well as the top hotels, the team has access to private properties for exclusive rentals such as Lismore Castle and the Wildenstein Ranch Ol Jogi in Kenya, and can arrange private visits with the aristocracy, politicians, famous authors and other specialists in their field.


Prodigy Learning

Prodigy Learning is an award-winning provider of IT learning and certification solutions, serving the academic, commercial and public sectors in the UK and Ireland. The company is exclusively responsible for managing a range of Adobe, Autodesk, Digital Literacy Microsoft and other certification programmes. These certifications deliver job-ready skills, improving employability for students and productivity for employees. Prodigy Learning also provides a range of learning solutions for these and other IT certifications. This range includes textbooks, eLearning and practice tests from partners such as CCI Learning, GMetrix, LearnKey, MeasureUp, Microsoft Press and Wiley.


Emerging New Business


DentPro remove dents from vehicles in as little as 15 minutes. Its process involves massaging the dent out from behind the panel without needing to fill the dent with unnecessary fillers or re-spraying the panel with a paint that may never fully match the original colour. While the company’s fast, reliable and professional service saves clients up to 90% off traditional body shop quotes, its while-u-wait service makes the process much more convenient and accessible by saving clients the hassle of being without their vehicle for days if left with traditional repair garages.


THEYA Healthcare

THEYA Healthcare is an Irish company that designs lingerie for women post-surgery. The company’s recovery range is designed for wear following surgery to the breast, axilla and chest, including all types of mastectomy, lumpectomy, reconstruction, breast conserving procedures and cosmetic surgery. It is also ideal for wear during and after radiation or chemotherapy. The company has designed products by collaborating with breast cancer patients and its recovery range is tailored for women’s requirements post-surgery, with emphasis on comfort, support, prettiness, functionality and healing support.


WorldBOX is a brand new lifestyle delivery service that lets customers ship packages internationally without leaving the comfort of their homes. Customers can choose a package size direct from the worldBOX website, and worldBOX drops it to their door for free at a time that suits. When the box is ready to go, the company swings back around and collects and ships it. WorldBOX is designed around people’s busy lifestyles, with a service that is simple, accessible and affordable while making it easier than ever for people to stay connected to friends, family and businesses in over 200 countries worldwide.



The SFA National Small Business Awards 2016 Ceremony will take place on 3rd March 2016 – best of luck to all our customers on the night!


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