News & Events

Minister Richmond visits Local Enterprise Office in Cork City

Minister of State for Employment Affairs and Retail Business, Neale Richmond T.D., was in Cork city last Friday where he met with council officials and members of the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) team as well as some of their client companies.

The Minister’s first stop was the CorkBIC Venture Academy event in UCC, where he was greeted by LEO Head of Enterprise, Dr Niall O’Keefe. The event is for high growth start-up companies seeking investment and participating companies get real feedback, advice and coaching on their pitch from entrepreneurs and investors.

Minister Richmond then travelled to Cork City Hall where he was greeted by the Lord Mayor of Cork City Council, Cllr Deirdre Forde, Chief Executive, Ann Doherty and Director of Services, Fearghal Reidy. He met with LEO team members to discuss their ongoing work and was given an outline of current activities in the city.

The Minister then met a with number of LEO client companies to discuss their businesses. David Walsh is CEO and founder of Smartroutes, an award-winning company that creates route planning software.  He explained how their route optimization software reduces cost per delivery by at least 33% versus manual route planning. The software allows you to factor in complex variables like time windows, load balancing, zonal territories and even vehicle variables to avoid missed deliveries and deadlines.

Minister Richmond then spoke with Rom Hyde the owner of HydBeam, a company who have developed a canal dock locking system that allows for significant risk management on the tens of thousands of kilometres of canals throughout Europe and the UK.

Pratheesh Chameth, owner of Capisso explained how his company brings together cloud, artificial intelligence and advanced automation to create a seamless combination of software and service to suit the needs of accountants, self-employed and small businesses.

Finally Jade Hogan and Jo Slevin, owners of Mr Kite Designs, outlined how their contemporary homewares company designs and produces high-end homeware products.  They represented the Cork City LEO at Showcase 2023.

Minister Richmond said:

“I was delighted to attend the CorkBic event today and also to visit the Local Enterprise Office in the city. The LEO network is hugely important in supporting and mentoring local businesses and the importance of the work they do was outlined time and again in my conversations with the LEO clients. I would urge anyone who has started a business, or is considering doing so, to engage with their local LEO as a priority. Their wealth of knowledge and support has made a huge difference to countless businesses across Cork and indeed the country, and can make a huge difference to any new business or entrepreneur.”

The Minister added:

“The Government continues to ensure regional growth and job creation so it was really encouraging to experience at first hand the remarkable entrepreneurial spirit and innovation on show at CorkBic. I was also hugely impressed by the range of businesses supported by the LEOs - from hi-tech software solutions to transport and business needs to high-end homeware design and production. It underlines the great breadth of talent that exists in the country and we will continue to support and nurture this talent to ensure increased employment and economic prosperity.”