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13th Nov 2014

JOE speaks to Patrick Leddy, Ireland’s representative at the Startup Nations Summit

Patrick Leddy will be representing Ireland with his company Pulsate at the 3rd annual Startup Nations Summit in Korea, but he still needs your help and there's not much time left...

Oisin Collins

Patrick Leddy will be representing Ireland with his company Pulsate at the third annual Startup Nations Summit in Korea, but he still needs your help and there’s not much time left…

Startup Ireland recently ran a competition to find the best Irish startup to represent the country at this year’s Startup Nations Summit, which is being held in Korea, and Patrick Leddy came out on top with his innovative company, Pulsate.

The winner of the Startup Nations Summit in Korea will take home the whopping $100,000 (€75,000) overall prize, but only if they manage to beat the other 40 contestants from all around the world. Now, this is where you come in.

Online voting contributes to 20% of the final vote in the semi-final and you can help ensure Pulsate makes it to the next stage by voting for them over here. Go on, you know you want to… for Ireland.

Before he takes off for Korea next week, JOE managed to have a chat with Patrick to find out more about Pulsate and what it can do for businesses, along with a look at obstacles that he’s faced in the past. Take a look…

JOE: How did you find out about Startup Nations Summit in Korea in the first place?

Patrick Leddy: Well, Startup Ireland is an organisation promoting Irish start-ups and we’ve been members with them for a while. They got onto us and said we should enter to represent Ireland. Initially, we felt we were a bit busy and we weren’t sure about participating in the competition, purely because of the extra workload that’s involved, but we entered anyway and we didn’t really think much of it. We pitched against 10 other start-ups and then we were told we had won and were going to Korea. We were really blown away because we really didn’t expect to win it at all.

JOE: So what exactly is Pulsate? 

PL: Pulsate is a platform for retailers who can embed our technology in their mobile app and it helps them to understand customers better as soon as they come into the store. You can use it to drive more foot traffic into the store and you can message customers based on their interests, needs, location and try to influence certain behaviours to get them to buy more through their mobile phone.

So if you’re standing in the suit section our customer’s app will know you’re standing there thanks to our small Bluetooth beacon. More importantly, we also know what you previously bought in the store, your location and what you’re interested in and we combine all these things to message you at the right time and place based on who you are and where you are.

JOE: Sounds interesting. So when did you set it up and how many people are working with you? 

PL: I set it up well over a year ago, probably around 18 months ago at this stage. It started off with just two of us and there are around 15 people involved in the company now. So it’s gone from strength to strength, we got our first couple of clients already and we’re actually deployed in Brown Thomas in Dublin, so if you walk into the store on Grafton Street you can see how it works.

JOE: What challenges did you face when setting up?

PL: The usual, really: people; time; money… Those things are in short supply when you’re building a company and it doesn’t help that you also don’t have a lot of customers yet. It’s very difficult and you have to do a lot of things. You have to be sure to get the product right, otherwise you’re going to end up with something people won’t buy and you’ll be out of time, money and ideas, so we had to manage that very carefully at the initial stage.

Things are starting to take off now, we’ve got more clients on board and we’ve also got some big announcements coming up in the next few weeks, but the main thing for now is the competition in Korea.

We’ve got a little under 24 hours of public voting left before it closes. We’ve been giving it a push on social media this week and we rose from 39th to 12th in just one day, so we’re hoping more people will vote for us and help us move up the ranking even further. There’s only a short period of time left before voting closes and every vote counts.

JOE: So what would you do if you won the big prize? 

PL: We’d put the money straight back into the business. We’d start off by hiring more people for our Dublin offices and help to grow the company from there. No Ferraris just yet…

JOE: Thanks Patrick. Best of luck in Korea!

PL: Thanks guys.

To find out more about Pulsate head over to their website here and don’t forget to vote over here!