Sunday May 31, 2020

Web Summit: Bright spark's light bulb moment scoops start-up prize

Dublin-based OpenBack app filters and refines push notifications

Emmet Ryan

Technology Correspondent

10th November, 2016

Dublin-based OpenBack has won the ESB Spark of Genius award at the Web Summit.

The competition for Irish start-ups saw three firms compete in the final in Lisbon.

OpenBack beat off competition from Wia and ParkPnP to claim the €25,000 prize at the event.

Co-founder of OpenBack David Shackleton told the Business Post: “We have developed software to help apps do a much better job in sending push notifications.

"Apps have to be really careful in how they deliver them, when they deliver them, and who they deliver them to."

Shackleton said the business benefitted from the qualifying "pitching" round in Dublin before the final in Lisbon.

“A major bank called us in for a meeting just on the back of that appearance on the radio.

"The Spark of Genius has been great for us. We had a stand on the first day here in Lisbon and we’ve got 40 serious customer prospects since coming here,” said Shackleton.

“A chief marketing officer from American Express came up to us after we pitched in the final here while we were still waiting on the judges and we were also approached by one of the biggest banks in the Middle East.”

Shackleton said he was pleasantly surprised to find his company had won the event.

“I actually thought we hadn’t won because ParkPnP and Wia gave such fantastic presentations.

"One thing that stood to us is that we are already on 10 million phones in 200 countries, so that’s real and tangible.

"Everyone gets annoyed by the number of push notifications they get and we’re the first ones really working on solving that and making them more useful.”

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