News Hub_

100 pitches and 13 deals clocked up by Skillnet Innovation Exchange members

In its quarter one 2024 update, Skillnet Innovation Exchange has announced that it has facilitated 100 of its SME members to pitch directly to corporate buyer since its inception two years ago. In that time, 13 deals have been done and many more collaborations between SMEs and large businesses seeking solutions to their digital transformation challenges are taking place.


Skillnet Innovation Exchange was established to connect large businesses facing innovation challenges with members that can fast track the solutions, promoting the adoption of innovation by industry and creating business opportunities for SMEs.


The latest deal was signed in February after Horse Sport Ireland published a challenge via Skillet Innovation Exchange to identify a solutions provider for an urgent and complex data cleansing project. Miagen, a provider of advanced CPM solutions with a specialisation in data integration and process flow automation, presented the solutions. From challenge to deal it took only 10 days – the fastest deal yet.


The Horse Sport Ireland deal fell under Digital for Sport, a joint initiative between Skillnet Innovation Exchange and Sport Ireland, that was created at the end of last year to accelerate the digital transformation of sport in Ireland.


This follows the previous deal which saw Intersport Elverys sign a deal with Energy Elephant. Elverys joined Skillet Innovation Exchange as part of its search for solutions to a variety of sustainability challenges. Innovation Exchange member, Energy Elephant, was able to propose a one stop shop for solutions covering energy, water, waste and scope three for supply chain and won the contract and won the contract.


Other recent deals include Decision Analytics & Pembroke Alliance. Decision Analytics, a member company that uses business intelligence tools, data analytics and AI to deliver insights. Pembroke Alliance published its challenge via Skillnet Innovation Exchange which cantered around solutions in cybersecurity, data analytics and CX. Following a successful submission and pitch, Decision Analytics has delivered three projects for Pembroke Alliance and the relationship continues to deepen.


Collaborations, which are agreements between Skillnet Innovation Exchange members to work together to create new solutions, announced in the period include

  • Decision Analytics & IBM
  • EVE and Exploeo


Skillnet Innovation Exchange now has 40 corporate members (large businesses that are seeking to collaborate with smaller tech companies to develop solutions to accelerate their digital transformation), including many big brand names of Irish business from Ryanair and Glanbia to AXA Insurance and IBM. Many public sector organisations have joined Skillet Innovation Exchange including IDA Ireland, Bord na Mona, Gas Networks Ireland, ESB and An Post.


As well as the challenges presented above, quarter one has seen challenges focused on process automation, robotics, scope 3 reporting, communication and data. Member SMEs are invited to attend the challenge call, submit their proposed solution and if successful at that point, a face-to-face meeting with the corporate buyer. There have been 38 challenges published via Skillnet Innovation Exchange with that number expected to reach over 50 by year end.


New Training Offering

Skillnet Innovation Exchange launched a new upskilling programme at the end of March, covering both in person and online learning capability that addresses the gaps in skills of members including sales development, marketing capability and overall commercial competence.


Members Meetup

Members Meet up – Skillnet Innovation Exchange also facilities a number of networking events each year. Gianni Matera of Growing Capital was the guest speaker at its last member meet up in March, where he announced his investment into Skillnet Innovation Exchange member, SlickPlus.