Real-life success in a virtual world


Immersive VR Proto Awards Dave 2016 1


An award-winning Waterford company that has brought the Apollo 11 moon landing to life, an emergency department experience and the soon to launch Titanic Virtual Reality experience recalls a very positive real life experience with Local Enterprise Office Waterford.


Immersive VR Education, based in the Waterford IDA Technology Park, provides an educational platform for students of all ages and abilities to learn through experience.  Using virtual reality environments, students can be placed in any real world or virtual situation, giving them the opportunity to play an active role to improve their learning and engagement.


Sandra Whelan, Head of Operations at Immersive VR Education said “Waterford LEO was always going to be our first port of call once we had a very first draft business plan completed. I remember making the first contact and within a few hours I had an email back offering a day to meet. This was so very reassuring, especially in the early days of a business when you hear that there are supports available but you aren’t entirely sure how accessible they will be to you once you decide to progress.”


“The priming grants we received were invaluable in that they allowed us to hire staff and establish a business and most importantly get a product to market.”


Since the company’s first meeting with Waterford LEO just over two years ago,  Immersive VR Education has grown its team to 14 staff, has won five international awards and has attended events in Korea, China and the U.S. as guest speakers to peers in the field of virtual reality technology.


Whelan added, “We hope we can continue expanding, growing our team and making new and innovative software to entertain and educate people all over the globe.”


Mr. Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at Waterford LEO said that Immersive VR Education’s success was testament to the foresight, commitment and innovation shown by the team.


“Waterford is leading the way in terms of innovative tech-companies. Now, more than ever, the resources are in place to encourage entrepreneurs to progress their ideas and bring them to the next stage. From mentoring, marketing assistance, feasibility, priming and business expansion grants the 31 LEO’s throughout the country are providing these support services to help drive business in Ireland.”


According to figures from business and credit risk analysts the number of new company start-ups increased 13 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.


Mr. Walsh continued, “Start-ups are the backbone of the Irish economy, they inject a confidence and vibrancy into society and it behoves us to continue to support them.”


If you have a business idea and would like to find out more about what support services are available, call Local Enterprise Office Waterford on 0761 102905 or call into the offices at 35 The Mall, Waterford or The Civic Offices, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.


A list of LEO support services is also available on

Swedencare AB (publ) acquires Waterford animal healthcare company


NutriScience 1


Swedencare AB (publ) (“Swedencare”) acquires the Irish animal healthcare company Ecuphar Ltd, known under the brand name NutriScience (“NutriScience”), a subsidiary to Ecuphar N.V. (“Ecuphar”).


The acquisition will give Swedencare an extensive product portfolio in the Dog & Cat segment as well in the Equine segment, a production facility in Ireland and a vast distribution network in Europe, Canada, UAE and China.


Swedencare has reached an agreement to acquire NutriScience and from 16 November 2016 NutriScience is a fully-owned subsidiary to Swedencare AB.


"The acquisition give us a product portfolio in several different therapies for dogs, cats and horses. The acquisition also provides Swedencare with a production facility that will contribute to a potentiation in production and the logistics for our current products. We will increase our presence in Europe and UAE. The Swedencare offer to customers will be greatly enhanced in the dog & cat segment and we will become present in the horse segment. To put it short, we will take a major step in becoming a global animal healthcare company,” says Håkan Lagerberg, CEO, Swedencare AB."


About Swedencare:

Swedencare develops, markets and sell premium products on the global, fast growing, animal healthcare market. The patented product family of ProDen PlaqueOff has distribution in 50 countries in all continents. With a global distribution network of four sales offices in Sweden, USA, UK and France together with a vast network of external distributors Swedencare are actively involved in expanding the product portfolio. Swedencare is growing fast with a high profitability and the company's shares are listed on Nasdaq First North. For more information please visit us at

Half of senior hospitalisations can be prevented


Home Instead Senior Care encourages families to take action to help keep seniors out of the hospital.


As Ireland plunges into the heart of the winter season, the risk of older people being hospitalised spikes to the highest level of the year, despite the fact that almost half of these hospitalisations (49%) can be avoided with proper intervention.


According to a new study of nurses in Ireland, winter is the height of hospitalisation season for seniors due primarily to respiratory infections, such as flu or pneumonia, and other winter hazards.


The critical factor in reducing this spike is family involvement. Nearly all nurses (96.57%) surveyed say that the role families play in keeping seniors out of the hospital is just as important as the role of the medical community.


Knowing that a hospital stay can actually lead to more serious health declines, home care provider, Home Instead Senior Care, is mounting an informational campaign to educate families and decrease hospitalsations so that seniors may remain at home and healthy year-round. 


“Keeping seniors safe at home and out of the hospital starts with family intervention, support and assistance,” said Danette Connolly, Director of Care, Home Instead Senior Care Waterford.


“Quick and simple home checks will reveal if parents or grandparents are using assistive equipment to avoid falls, that pathways are kept clear, that they are eating hot meals regularly, and that they are keeping warm throughout the day.”


Danette also suggests encouraging them to see a doctor if they have any new aches or symptoms.


The most common action by seniors that puts them at risk of hospitalisation is waiting too long to seek medical attention, according to the nurses surveyed.


“Not following doctor’s orders also puts seniors at risk,” Danette said. “Families play a critical role in making sure they fully understand and comply with medical instructions.”


To help families identify and act on potential warning signs, Home Instead Senior Care is offering The Five Ways to Prevent Senior Hospitalisations guide. The free guide includes information about common risk factors and the steps that families can take to help ensure a healthy lifestyle.


The recommendations include:

  • Make sure the older person is taking preventative health measures – like getting a flu shot or shingles vaccination
  • Encourage the use of assistive equipment
  • Monitor and/or assist with medications
  • Attend doctor’s visits and be a medical advocate for your older loved one
  • Assess ageing loved one’s balance
  • Make sure he or she is able to safely drive
  • Check in on ageing loved ones regularly


Additional free resources can be found at To obtain a copy of the Five Ways to Prevent Senior Hospitalisations guide, please call Home Instead Senior Care Waterford and Dungarvan on 051 333966 or 058 058 75298.

Bank of Ireland Ardkeen Budget Tips for Christmas Bliss


BOI Budgeting Tips For Christmas


Join us in Bank of Ireland Ardkeen, Waterford on Thursday, 17th November at 6pm when MoneyWhizz founder Frank Conway, will cover a range of topics to help with household budgeting, including evaluating your relationship with money, how to drive bargains, prioritising wants and needs, and useful tips for a budget-smart Christmas. Refreshments will be served and there is a goody bag for all attendees.


Register at

Risk Assessment Training


LCE Risk Assessment Training2


This course is aimed at Safety Officers, Line Managers/Supervisors, Facilities Managers, HR Personnel and anyone who has responsibility for carrying out risk assessments in their work place.


Learn how to reduce the likelihood of an accident occurring in your workplace with LCE!


The LCE Risk Assessment training course will benefit your company as participants will:

  • Have an appreciation for risk driven legislation and its implications for workplace risk assessment
  • Be able to carry out general risk assessments
  • Have an understanding of the risk assessment process for specialist risk assessments e.g. MMH
  • Be able to “quality assure” risk assessments
  • Understand the limits of their competencies


When: Monday, 21st November

Duration: 9am – 5pm

Where: LCE Training Academy, Cleaboy Business Park, Waterford

Cost: €295.00 (* 5% Discount for Chamber Members)


Ring Róisín on 051 364344 or Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to BOOK Your Training Today!


LCE Training Academy is located at Unit 10B, Cleaboy Business Park, Waterford and is easily accessible from all routes with FREE parking and FREE Wi-Fi.


Your business partner for safety engineering, training and ergonomics.

November Specials from HCS Business Solutions


HCS Nov 1

HCS Nov 2

HCS Nov 3

HCS Nov 4

HCS Nov 5

HCS Nov 6

HCS Nov 7

HCS Nov 8

Some useful next steps if your business loans have been sold


Comerford Foley Logo


The sale of business loans is a very real issue facing businesses in Ireland today. A legacy of the financial crash, it is important that if you are impacted by such a sale you understand what this means and the options open to you. The following are some useful next steps if your Business loans have been sold by your Bank.


1. Read the information your Bank sends you carefully. Look out for the following:

I. The date your current account, credit card or online banking services will cease to operate.
II. What is being transferred to the new loan owner:

  • Loans
  • Any Debit Balances
  • Overdrafts
  • Personal Guarantees

III. What facilities are staying with the Bank and what has to be done in relation to them?
IV. What happens to your credit balance?


2. Act now to ensure you have the banking facilities that are critical to your business in place well before the deadline.

  • Open new current accounts with another bank.
  • Set up new online banking facilities.
  • Apply for credit cards/overdraft facilities if required.


3. Get prepared prior to the loan transferring

  • Know the current value of the security held for the loan.
  • Calculate the viable level of debt your business can sustain going forward.
  • Prepare a business plan and financial projections if you wish to refinance all or part of your debt.


4. What are your options in relation to the debt?

Buy Back the Loans

  • Usually done at a discount to the face value of the debt. Typically valued at the market value of the security plus a negotiated premium. Companies cannot buy their own debt but this can be done through a group structure.


Negotiate an Agreed Settlement Figure

  • A settlement figure can be agreed which again is typically based on the market value of the security plus a premium. This can include the voluntary sale of some of the assets and the refinancing (retaining) by you of the remaining assets. Or alternatively all of the assets would be sold.
  • Be realistic in terms of what you can refinance.
  • Understand and accept early in the process whether or not you can retain some or all of the assets.


What happens if you can’t agree a solution?

  • The new loan owner may legally enforce their security to raise funds towards the repayment of the loan.
  • A receiver may be appointed to your business. Will your business be able to trade through this?
  • Personal guarantees may be called in.


There are significant incentives for negotiating a solution.


Recap on Key Points:

  • Understand the process and time lines.
  • Ensure your business has sufficient banking arrangements in place.
  • Be prepared before your loan is sold.
  • Know your objectives and limitations.
  • Focus on negotiating a solution.

Radius Technologies SEO & Analytics Workshop


RadiusOur first workshop took place last Friday on Social Media & Email Marketing and after a very successful event we will be running our second workshop on SEO & analytics this week, Friday the 18th November, to sign up please click here. These workshops will be followed by workshops on IT security, cloud computing & Office 365 email, over the next few weeks.


In other news, Monday night, RTE ONE premiered a documentary outlining the dangers of cyber-crime and the importance of IT security for your business. This threat is becoming more and more concerning and starting to affect a lot of businesses. Our own engineers have seen a surge in attacks in recent weeks, most commonly by email links (URL’s). In order to help mitigate against these attacks, we have a special offer on our Blockmail & Blended threats module which you can view here.


Sign up as soon as possible for workshops as when they are full we cannot accept any more participants.

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