Ciarán Flynn, PorterShed member and co-founder of ClearBookings.com talks about delving into the world of Artificial Intelligence, the key ingredient every startup should have and his experiences on the New Frontiers programme.
Ciaran is a veteran of PorterShed as one of the first companies to set up here in April of last year, yet the ClearBookings story starts almost three years ago. The company was initially established to supply online registration and payment services to organisers of casual events, classes, kids activities and camps. Today, ClearBookings facilitates registrations and ticketing for international conferences, large themed conventions and festivals as well as local events and activities. They also provide a white-label version of the service. “The registration pages don’t have ‘ClearBookings’ stamped all over them...and it’s more about our customer’s branding and look and feel rather than ClearBookings, and that’s fairly unique in the marketplace. If you look at Eventbrite and other large US competitors offering a similar service, you normally see their names and brand before you see the actual customers. We aim to change that.”
They have recently partnered with an international company to make it easier for event organisers to automate their content marketing across standard social media channels as well as voice activated ones. “It’s an exciting development for ClearBookings making it really easy for our customers to promote their events across traditional platforms, as well as voice activated ones such as Amazon Echo and Google Home”. At the recent Dublin Tech Summit they exhibited their innovative services and received a tremendous amount of attention and interest from customers and other companies with a keen interest in leveraging AI to enhance their services.
Ciarán attributes taking part in the New Frontiers Entrepreneurship Programme to the early success of ClearBookings. Coupled with the fact that they already had some early service adopters on commencement of the New Frontiers Programme, such as Athlone IT and the Galway Local Enterprise Office, the company was well on the road to success.
“After phase one of the New Frontiers Programme, a smaller number of companies are chosen to further develop their offering – the ones seen as the most equipped to move on and get their product to market quickly and to make it successful. There is also a €15,000 grant for each company involved in the programme.
The final phase helps you develop the business and business plan. The finale of this is the pitching competition. Five companies out of the seven were chosen to pitch on stage in GMIT.”
Two of the co-founders of ClearBookings have recently left the business and now Ciarán and John Rix (Co-Founder and CTO) are based full time in the PorterShed with the addition of Turlough Rafferty and Ina O’Murchu both experts in the field of developing business and AI respectfully.
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