29/11/2005

€1.5M investment promises 43 new jobs

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment Micheál Martin recently announced that Shannon Development has approved a €1.5 million support package for two Kerry-based indigenous companies - Altobridge and Freeflow.

The support in the form of grants and an equity investment in Altobridge will lead to increased research and development activity in both companies and will generate an additional 43 jobs at Kerry Technology Park over the next five years - 25 in Altobridge and 18 in Freeflow.

The equity investment in Altobridge has leveraged substantial private equity including an investment by the Mianach BES Fund, bringing the total new investment in the two companies - Altobridge Ltd and Freeflow to €4.2 million.

Making the announcement, Minister Martin said: "These are the type of knowledge based indigenous companies Ireland needs to position itself as a leader in the global technology marketplace of the future - home grown, technologically sophisticated and globally competitive enterprises.

"Not only do they provide high quality graduate employment but they double their payback to the State through sales, exports and profitability. Both companies, founded by Irish graduates with considerable industry experience, are now positioning themselves to fully exploit the market potential for their respective products."

Kevin Thompstone, Chief Executive, Shannon Development said: "The entrepreneurial community is now a significant contributor to both national and regional economies. Their creativity, drive and tenacity must therefore be given latitude and encouraged to gear up for future growth.

While the Shannon Region is now the number one region in Ireland for High-Potential Start-Ups (HPSUs) per head of population and Shannon Development has supported 45 such companies since 2001 - with equity taken in 24 - the big issue we face is growing our start-up companies. We need to grow our own Dells and Microsofts. This is the next challenge in the overall venture development process."

Formed in late 2001, Altobridge is a leading provider of mobile telecommunications solutions via its core AM Gateway Platform that enables standard cellular service anywhere in the world.

Freeflow, formerly known as Web Component Trading, also founded in 2001, is a provider of a comprehensive suite of inventory asset management solutions that leverage the power of the Internet and combine it with business services to manage slow-moving or obsolete inventories.

Freeflow's offering helps customers maximize asset recovery and profitability, increase inventory cycle turns while avoiding channel conflict, and reduce overall reverse logistics costs.

(SP)

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