Former CEO and current non executive director of Sonru, Fergal O’Byrne was inducted into the Irish Internet Association’s inaugural Hall of Fame at the annual IIA Dot ie Net Visionary Awards held in the Concert Hall of the RDS in Dublin.
The awards now in their 17th year took place in the RDS’s main Concert Hall with over 300 attendees comprised of a wide variety or sectors from technology to Agriculture.
Inaugural IIA Hall of Fame
At the awards ceremony, the IIA also launched its Hall of Fame to recognise the top 10 Irish Tech Entrepreneurs Visionaries whose contribution to the Irish technology community over the last two decades enabled Ireland to establish its global reputation. Every year, new names will be inducted into the Hall of Fame that the judging panel believes reflects the vision and contribution ethos of these first 10 Net Visionaries.
In response to his induction, Fergal, said: “I’m both honoured and delighted to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and also proud to see the IIA continue to grow from strength to strength. Over the years, I have given out many awards and accolades but one thing all recipients will agree is that the kudos and recognition is great but the work still has to be done so thank you all so much while I continue to work with Sonru to make it the world’s leading video interviewing platform.”
Commenting on Fergal’s accolade, Ed Hendrick, CEO of Sonru added: “It’s great to see Fergal being recognised officially for his contribution to the Internet / technology industry in Ireland. He has been involved with Internet companies in this country since the first days of the world wide web and if you were to look at the many Irish success stories, you wouldn’t have to dig deep to find his footprints. His vast experience and reputation in Ireland make an enormous impact in Sonru’s formative years and for that we are also thankful.”
The First Ten Inductees To The IIA Hall Of Fame
Fergal O’Byrne – former IIA CEO –Fergal transformed a voluntary organisation into a viable, sustainable trade association, grew the membership and created a platform for the industry to have a voice. He was an early investor in Sonru and subsequent CEO. He serves on the board of the IEDR as well as having served on IGOpeope, WINC, giftsdirect.ie and CCD.
Colm Lyon – founder of Realex Payments – founder of Fire Financial Services. Winner of IIA Overall Net Visionary 2015. Colm is a role model entrepreneur for non-venture backed scaled international businesses, a voice for the industry and outstanding chair of the IIA for many years.
Ray Nolan – Entrepreneur, Investor, winner of Overall Net Visionary award 2006 with HostelWorld. Following the sale of HostelWorld, Ray has invested in many other Irish tech start-ups including most recently of note, Storyful, as well as continuing to build web-based brands, launching XSellco and Ultimate Rugby.
Pat Phelan – Entrepreneur, winner of Overall Net Visionary in 2008 with Maxroam and ‘One to Watch’ start-up category winner with Trustev in 2013. Pat is a serial entrepreneur and mentor to many, international tech companies. He is a well-known advocate for technology start-ups and a mentor for many national and international start-up programmes.
Jerry Kennelly – Entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Tweak, revolutionising access to high quality design for SMBs. Winner of Overall Net Visionary Award in 2011, Jerry was previously founder of Stockbyte which he sold to Getty Images. He is also founder of Junior Entrepreneur Programme and Young Entrepreneur Programme for primary and secondary schoolkids, with over 20,000 combined alumni.
Eamon Leonard – founder, angel investor and community organiser. Winner of the Overall Net Visionary Award in 2012, founder of Orchestra which he subsequently sold to EngineYard. Although now working on his new start-up, Cohort, Eamon continues to support the sector as a community organiser and voice for the industry.
Michele Neylon – founder of Blacknight, Ireland’s largest domain registrar and hosting provider. Winner of the 2013 Overall Net Visionary Award for his outstanding contribution to the industry in Ireland but also his international presence as the Chair of the ICANN Registrar Stakeholder Group and the Eurid Registrar Advisor Board.
Ann O’Dea and Darren McAuliffe – Founders of Silicon Republic – reporting on technology in Ireland since the start and amongst the greatest champions of Irish Tech success. Founders of InspireFest that attracted 1300 delegates in June 2015, a conference boasting 75% remarkable woman speakers, turning the tables on international tech events.
Brian Caulfield – Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist Partner at Draper Esprit – a key spokesman for the industry with government on key entrepreneur/investment related issues. He is the founder of a number of successful technology businesses, Exceptis Technologies and Similarity Systems. He sits on a number of boards (Movidius, DataHug) and is currently the Chariman of the Irish Venture Capital Association.
More about the IIA, the awards and the Hall of Fame is available here.
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