A Kinvara-based entrepreneur with a fresh approach to the recession scooped a prize worth €60,000 at an awards ceremony held in Limerick recently.
Tom Hayes of Talent Tank was unveiled as the Galway winner of this year’s Impact Media Elevate Award. The prize includes an advertising package, full marketing, design and PR services, print services, legal advice and a photographic session.
Tom’s unique online service, TalentTank.ie, links people who are looking for job opportunities with employers who need fresh talent.
This novel answer to the country’s financial woes made a big impression on Elevate judges Pat McDonagh of Supermacs, Tom Murphy of Total Shaving Solution and Niall McGarry of Impact Media, who chose Talent Tank over strong competition from Grab Radio and iBuyVochers.com.
Talent Tank will now benefit from the fund designed to elevate emerging entrepreneurs to a whole new level.
Tom told The Clare Champion, “Up until August 2009, we were inundated with users, so we know that the concept is massive. We then set about looking at the internal processes. We want to launch in London mid-January, then in America by March. What the Elevate Award does for us is that it gives us a budget for branding and more importantly it gives us a budget to bring awareness to the wider community.
“I think one of the reasons we won the prize was because we will use this prize, every inch of it. We have already started,” he continued.
Tom set up Talent Tank in April 2009. He described it as “a unique online notice board. We allow businesses to get in touch with people who have skills they need.”
With his background as a business systems analyst, the Galway city man saw an opportunity to put his skills into action for himself earlier this year.
“At the turn of the year there was huge frustration. On the one hand, the build-up of all this talent and experience that has no place to go to work and then on the other hand there was a stagnation in the small and medium-sized businesses. How could we bridge the two groups and help combat the recession and instil growth? Having the technical ability and the sound business understanding I did, I used my own skill set to provide an online platform that would enable talent providers to make contact with talent seekers and vice versa. Technology is really the enabler here and having a thorough understanding of it made it logistically possible,” Tom explained.
The first-ever Limerick winner of the Impact Media Elevate Award was Shane McAllister of MobaNode, a high-tech company specialising in the supply of content to mobile phone users. Shane beat competition from Sports Academy International, run by Clare sportsmen Tomás Madigan and Tony Griffin, and Travelace, run by Róisín Bennett.
Niall McGarry of Impact Media said, “There is no shortage of entrepreneurial drive and that’s what the Elevate Award is all about. Talent Tank and MobaNode are very deserving winners. The standard of entries was phenomenal. All of the finalists, including Grab Radio, iBuyVouchers.com, Travelace and Sports Academy International (SAI), show very promising entrepreneurial talent. We are delighted to be able to acknowledge Tom and Shane and we wish them, and everyone who entered the competition, every success in the future.”