News & Events

Last update: May 2021


OpenBack Wins 25,000 Euro ESB Spark of Genius Award at Web Summit

OpenBack, a rising star of Ireland’s startup scene, is beginning to gain traction and earn recognition. In addition to making the list of the top 100 startups in Europe, OpenBack has also beat out the competition this year to win the coveted ESB Spark of Genius prize at Web Summit 2016. This prize involved considerable accolades, as well as a €25,000 check to further develop their business. John McKiernan, head of external collaboration at ESB, had this to say:

“OpenBack is a deserving winner and a perfect example of a company that has innovated to harness the opportunities that new technologies bring.”

openback spark of genius award ceo david shackleton
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OpenBack Named One of Top 100 European Startups

This is not the first time OpenBack has received recognition for its innovative take on sending push notifications. Allied For Startups announced their annual picks for top European Startups and OpenBack took its place among the top #100. The company, featured on Day 27, was one of the only Irish startups to make the coveted list.

Every year the list of top start-ups announces 100 new startups, one every day, for the notice of politicians and policy-makers. Allied For Startup’s goal is to share awesome new products, their founders and ideas. Read more:

OpenBack Wins 25,000 Euro ESB Spark of Genius Award

The tech conference Web Summit is held every year in Lisbon. And this has been the 5th year that the ESB Spark of Genius Award took place. This year, it was dominated by 3 Irish tech startups. OpenBack’s runnersup were Wia, an Internet of Things startup aiming to provide platforms to bring projects to reality, and Parkpnp, a startup looking to crowdsource parking.

The competition was fierce, but OpenBack blew the judges away with their hybrid push notification platform, combining edge computing and machine learning to provide a new sort of notification. OpenBack’s ethos holds that by offering highly relevant and personalized notifications that speak to users’ interests rather than the marketers’ convenience, they can improve both mobile app UX and mobile marketing efficacy. And, indeed, the proof is in the pudding. OpenBack has achieved click-through rates (CTR) of 38%, compared to the 4% industry standard.

According to OpenBack CEO David Shackleton, their inspiration lay in the wish to improve push technology for both brands and end users:

“When it comes to delivering notifications for users, every app does push in the same way as it was invented for email. We think that is crazy. The smartphone in my pocket is more powerful than the laptop I bought two years ago… The brands should be making the experience easier and better.”

What’s Next for OpenBack After the Spark of Genius Award?

Winning the ESB Spark of Genius award was an incredible honor for OpenBack, as well as a great opportunity to further develop their business. But it wasn’t the end of the recognition OpenBack have received. At the end of 2016, Silicon Republic named OpenBack one of 30 Irish tech start-ups to watch in 2017.

And OpenBack also earned a place as one of the top 8 finalists for the 4YFN Awards at the Mobile World Congress 2017. Moreover, they received the prestigious Rising Star award, given to new SaaS products that get exceptionally good customer reviews, as well as the Good User Experience award on the platform FinancesOnline. FinancesOnline is the fastest-growing independent review platform for B2B software solutions. Along with the award, OpenBack has been recommended in the platform’s business intelligence guide and rated #79 out of 500 top software products. To read the full report, take a look at their FinancesOnline page here.

Other References

For more information, read Silicon Republic’s coverage of the ESB Spark of Genius event:

To listen to an interview with Shackleton, as well as interview with Garrett Flower and Conall Laverty of Parkpnp and Wia respectively, take a look at this article by Irish Tech News:

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