Jenny Melia, Minister Damien English, Katie Farrell

SQUID: Enabling every business reap the rewards of a customer loyalty scheme through a handy app

At a time when business recovery is on everybody’s mind, winning the loyalty of customers and ensuring repeat business has never been so important. Exactly in the right place at the right time is a new Irish company with a unique product that allows businesses of all sizes implement an effective loyalty scheme for a small price each month.

Established by engineering graduates and best friends Katie Farrell and Matthew Coffey, and supported by Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund, SQUID is an innovative loyalty app that is free for customers to download and can hold “virtual” loyalty cards for a range of businesses.

“It was something that a few people were talking about,” explains Katie. “For instance, for food delivery, you have Deliveroo, Just Eat and so on, but for loyalty, many businesses were still using swipe cards, paper cards or their own app. People tend not to want to sign up to too many loyalty schemes because they mightn’t want a load of cards or different accounts.”

The concept is simple so it’s no surprise that Katie and Matthew quickly found several businesses interested in their idea. “It’s a free app, and currently we have over 600 sites on it. We have about 60,000 people using it now.

“The business gets a small device that the customer simply taps with their phone and it adds a “stamp” to their virtual card for that business.” explains Farrell

 This is the basic offering but we’ve added a lot more since then; for instance businesses can now reach out to their customers through push notifications. We’re also looking at doing more integrations as well, for example with food ordering and booking – so in other words, we’re looking at anything a business has to do to drive loyalty, and then we want to simplify it.”


Benefits for a small investment

The rewards to the business are significant, especially as the basic package costs just €20 per month. “The app is affordable, it’s free for the users, and it’s more eco-friendly than the printed cards. But people engage with it a lot more than with a paper cards. For instance, 91% of people that placed their first loyalty stamp with SQUID this year have gone on to make another purchase and get another loyalty stamp. And then there’s the ability to actually reach out to your customers as well. We also have a discovery page so you can find new businesses in your area. 

“Each business has their own branded profile page with opening hours, location, social media links, menu etc, so it’s a way of finding new customers too.” says Farrell

Another key benefit is that the business doesn’t have to worry about GDPR. “The contact details and identity of individuals are hidden from the business owners, so they don’t know who they’re talking to or can’t contact them individually by name,” says Katie. “So in a way it saves the businesses the worry about GDPR and for the customer, they can simply turn off the push notifications if they don’t want to receive communications.”


Working through Covid

The app launched in October 2019, as Katie and Matthew had put together a small waiting list of customers who were interested in the scheme when they heard about it through SQUID’s initial market research. “We launched with the first five customers in September 2019,” explained Katie. “We decided to start small and grow from there as we were a small team, but we started getting a lot of interest and were onboarding people regularly until Covid hit.”

The beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a significant shift in the company’s clients. “We began with a lot of city centre cafés and their customers would be office workers getting a coffee on their way to work. We could see a spike in the morning and then at lunchtime. But when people started working from home, that changed. We were worried at the start, but the café industry did recover and a lot of new places opened up in the suburbs.

“The lockdown gave us time to look at strategy and to market online through social media. To keep some sort of cashflow going, we also added a voucher market feature into the app so people could buy gift vouchers from the businesses they wanted to support during lockdown.”

SQUID had also won funding from Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund (CSF), which allowed them to really establish the business before Covid hit and develop the app. Most significantly, Katie applied for the 2019 call for Women Entrepreneurs, which included a business accelerator programme that proved to be invaluable for the ongoing sustainability of the business during Covid.

“I applied for the CSF before we launched and had a waiting list of customers. We put a lot of work into the application and the pitch, and we got it. Before that we were self-funded, so getting the funds from the CSF was our first opportunity to do some more product development – to move it from being just a prototype to becoming an established business.

“I was part of the call for women entrepreneurs, which included participation in the Innovate programme. Each week we got to attend different workshops and talks from entrepreneurs and marketing experts. I found this great as I was able to meet other entrepreneurs who might be a little further along their path than me; I learnt a lot from the workshops and the various talks too. It was also great to get that day just to take a step back from the everyday challenges and work on the overall strategy of the business – I learnt a lot from this programme which definitely helped with the success of the business so far through a challenging time.”

Visit this page for more information about the Competitive Start Fund.

Update on the AMP7 spending cycle and Green Webinar title: UK Water Sector, Recovery Investment Plans

The UK Water Sector and the AMP7 spending cycle – Webinar

This webinar provides an update to the UK Water Sector and the AMP7 spending cycle and Green Recovery Investment Plans.

Hosted by Enterprise Ireland and British Water the webinar discusses the key topics facing the sector with insights provide by industry experts:

  • Lee Horrocks, Director, LCH Executive

  • Lila Thompson, Chief Executive, British Water

  • Matt Lewis, Water Innovation Portfolio Manager, Severn Trent

  • Paul Gardner, Managing Director, Glanagua (UK)

  • Mike Froom, BD Director, TE Tech solutions (part of the Trant Group)

Gain key business insights with our on-demand UK webinar series.

    The Future of UK Ports – Overview, trends and opportunities

    As the UK ports industry enters a time of significant transformation, we hear from leading market experts on the latest trends and opportunities for Irish suppliers in the sector.

    This webinar examines:

    • Ports for offshore wind

    • Freeports

    • Port decarbonisation

    • Smart ports and digitalisation


    Contact our UK Cleantech Market Executive or gain key business insights with our on-demand UK webinar series.

      Why Export title

      Export Journey: Step 1 – Why Export?

      Why Export title - image of woman packing a box

      In a post-Covid world access to international markets, buyers, distributors and information is now at the fingertips of Irish SMEs thanks to increased digitalisation.

      When looking towards new markets, it is important to consider the potential benefits of exporting for your company such as;

      1. Diversification of market and reduced vunerability

      A well considered diversification plan can minimise a dependency on the domestic market and the potential exposure to domestic downturn.

      2. Increased revenue and scale

      Exporting opens channels to exponentially expand the home market and identify new markets to take advantage of globally. A larger market base delivers economies of scale, enabling you to maximise your resources.

      3. Improved profitability

      Your ongoing domestic operation should cover business-as-usual fixed costs, either directly or via other types of business financing, which should, in turn, facilitate a faster growth in your export profits.

      4. Best practice and knowledge

      Accessing global markets will provide additional benefits to an exporter, aside from increased revenues such as new ways of doing business, increased awareness of global best practice, cultural and international competitiveness, that could also bring benefits to your market offering in Ireland.

      5. Domestic competitiveness

      Considering your company’s export potential will increase its resilience against potential competition within the domestic market.



      Assess & validate title and two women at a computer screen

      Export Journey: Step 2 – Assess & Validate

      Assess & Validate title and business people

      Before beginning your export journey you must clearly identify your target market.  You may have preferences based on previous experience, understanding of the language or culture or simply some connection with the market, though a good starting point it’s not enough of a reason to export to this market.

      Market Research will form the backbone of your export strategy as you begin to validate your plans.

      The key elements for consideration are:

      • What makes your product unique
      • Who are your competitors in your selected research market?
      • Who are the buyers in that market?
      • How does your product compare in terms of pricing?
      • How is the product sold in that market?
      • What are the local regulations, certification for selling your product and can you currently comply?
      • A clear understanding as to why you have selected this market as the potential first market.

      What supports are available?

      If your business is at an early development stage the Local Enterprise Office has the supports to help you plan, start and grow

      If you are are already supported by Enterprise Ireland you can contact your Development Advisor here.

      The Market Research Centre provides access to world class research databases to help client companies make better, more informed business decisions. Contact the Market Research Centre here

      Enterprise Ireland hosts events to assist companies’ growth plans – See our events calendar for details.

      Our Market pages and Going Global guides provide expert insights and contact details for our overseas offices.

      Learn how our Exporter Development team can support your growth.




      FAITH: Improving mental health care for cancer survivors

      H2020 FAITH team image and case study heading

      FAITH is potentially life-changing research. To achieve the ambitious goals of the project we needed to leverage our networks in Europe and build a consortium of experts.

      Philip O’ Brien, Technical Co-ordinator, FAITH Horizon 2020 project

      Key Takeouts:

      • Walton, part of the Waterford Institute of Technology, is leading a project that aims to develop a model for mental health monitoring of cancer patients, to improve their quality of life.
      • The FAITH project has received €4.8m in funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
      • As well as co-ordinating FAITH, Walton is driving the development of artificial intelligence (AI) models and the deployment of a federated learning framework.

      H2020 Case Study: FAITH

        Cancer remains the second leading cause of death globally and as many as one in five people living with cancer experiences depression and mood change post diagnosis. It’s a stark statistic and one that led researchers at Walton Institute, an ICT research and development centre within the Waterford Institute of Technology, to begin looking at the area of mental health in cancer patients to see if they could use their expertise to help. 

        “We believe the potential for ICT applications in health is massive. We had an initial idea about looking at markers of depression and when the Horizon 2020 call came out, which was specifically targeting improving the quality of life for cancer survivors, it was an opportunity to take the idea to the next level,” says Philip O’ Brien, technical co-ordinator of FAITH.

        The goal of FAITH (a Federated Artificial Intelligence solution for moniToring mental Health status after cancer treatment) is to provide an ‘AI Angel’ app that remotely analyses depression markers, such as changes in activity, outlook, sleep and appetite. When a negative trend is detected, an alert can be sent to the patient’s healthcare providers or other caregivers who can then offer support.

        The project uses the latest, secure AI and machine learning techniques within the interactive app located on patients’ phones. Key to the project is federated machine learning, which enables the patient’s personal data to stay within the AI model on each phone, guaranteeing privacy.

        “As the model collects data on a person’s phone it retrains itself to improve and personalize it for each individual.explains O’Brien

        “As the model collects data on a person’s phone it retrains itself to improve and personalize it for each individual. But we also want to learn from all that data to gain insights that are beneficial to the broader population, so when a model updates, that update, rather than the person’s data is sent back to the cloud. All the updates are processed and a new, improved model is sent back out to everyone and that cycle repeats,”


        Another important aspect of the project is a focus on explainable AI, which is about ensuring that healthcare professionals can understand why the machine has reached a particular decision about the person’s mental health.

        “Explainable AI is extremely important for building trust. As AI impacts more and more on our lives the implications of this are huge,” says O’Brien.


        Why Horizon 2020?

        “It was clear from the start that to achieve the ambitious goals of the FAITH project we would need to leverage our networks in Europe and build a consortium of clinicians and technical experts. By breaking the project concept into a number of key objectives we then built our consortium based on specific expertise to achieve each objective,” says O’Brien.

        FAITH brings together partners from Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Cyprus into a strong multi-disciplinary team. Trial sites in eminent cancer hospitals in Madrid, Waterford and Lisbon, involving both clinicians and patients, are assessing the concept and feedback is being used to refine the model.

        As with most Horizon projects there are multiple dependencies across the various work packages and co-ordinating the whole presents some challenges. At the helm of FAITH is Gary McManus, Research Project Manager at Walton.

        Different countries and organisations have different regulations and ways of operating so that’s one challenge. Also, from experience from previous projects, I knew it was important to remember that each partner, although working towards the global aim of the project, will have their own interests. Being cognisant of these sub-goals from the outset and, where possible, facilitating these in the overall planning process is essential,” says McManus.

        Different countries and organisations have different regulations and ways of operating so that’s one challenge. Also, from experience from previous projects, I knew it was important to remember that each partner, although working towards the global aim of the project, will have their own interests. Being cognisant of these sub-goals from the outset and, where possible, facilitating these in the overall planning process is essential,” says McManus.

        “But by having strong leaders for each work package, who are experts in their domain, we can be sure that delivery of each element will build towards the final offering.”


        Knowledge gain

        Having taken part in multiple Horizon 2020 projects, O’Brien believes that one of the great benefits is the extensive knowledge gain within a short period.

        “Being involved in a Horizon project is the opportunity to upskill rapidly and build on your underlying expertise. Through your links with other organisations across Europe you get an insight into different ways of working and you cross paths with people from many disciplines. For example, through FAITH we’ve been talking to a range of healthcare professionals and leveraging their experience.

        “The EU spends a lot of time and money with experts pinpointing the areas where we need to see technology improving to tackle specific challenges in the next five to ten years. By being involved in these projects you’re building on all of that knowledge rather than working in isolation. Then learning from the people you are working with across Europe pushes you up a level again.”

        Moreover, the end of a Horizon project is usually the beginning of something else.

        “One of our work packages is looking at what happens post project and how we take it to the next stage. We know bigger healthcare trials will be needed, for example. But from Walton’s point of view we’ve broken some new ground on explainable AI which has a lot of applications outside this project, so that’s an area we’d like to take forward. You need to be clear about how you build on the project, either in a well-defined follow-up project or by commercial exploitation of the output.”


        For further information about applying for support from Horizon Europe, the successor programme to Horizon 2020, please contact or consult


        Positioning Strategy title and businessman

        Export Journey: Step 3 – Positioning Strategy

        Positioning Strategy title and businessman

        Your positioning strategy should set out what you will do to achieve a favourable perception in your new export market.

        Typically companies will try to achieve the same brand positioning regardless of the market. A coherent positioning strategy can be hugely advantageous, so it’s important when reviewing the export potential of your products/goods or services to consider the following:

        1. Customer profiles

        • What is your current USP and will this translate to your new foreign export markets ?
        • Do you understand your domestic customer profile? E.g. age profile, socio-economic grouping etc.
        • Are there other significant demographic patterns to your product or service’s usage?
        • Have you considered the need to modify your product/service to facilitate differences in language, culture and business environments?
        • How do you plan to deliver your services to foreign markets ? In person, via a local partner or using digital resources?

        2. Market Pricing and Value Propostion

        • Consideration whether any necessary changes to make your product/service more appealing to foreign markets and customers?
        • If you’re exporting services, what makes them unique within global markets?
        • Have you benchmarked your services in a global context? Would they be considered to be world-class and stand up to stronger scrutiny?
        • Have you considered the cost implications of servicing overseas markets? Including FX rates and fluctuations?
        • Does your product have a shelf life and will this be impacted by time in transit?
        • Will your packaging have the same impact in a foreign market or can it be easily modified to satisfy new demands?
        • Are there any climatic or geographic factors that could affect the uptake of your product or service in other markets?

        3. Route to Market

        • Do you need special export licensing or documentation to export? i.e. technical or regulatory requirements localised to the market?
        • Are there considerations for the safe transportation of your product to global markets ? i.e. specialized containers or packaging materials?
        • Would transportation costs make competitive pricing a problem?
        • How efficiently does your target market process incoming shipments?

        4. Capacity to support

        • In the event that your domestic/export demand increases beyond current projections, will you still be able to look after both markets?
        • Will you be able to serve both your existing domestic customers and any new foreign clients?


        5. Further considerations

        • Do you require a local presence or representation?
        • Will your products/service require local professional support or can this be done digitally?
        • Will after-sales service be required ? Can it be easily sourced locally or do you have to provide it? Does you have the resources to provide it?
        • Are there legal / IP implications to consider when entering global markets?

        Once your positioning strategy is in development, it’s time to consider how to develop your export strategy and access your target market.


        Take the next step in the Export Journey


        Export Strategy title and port image

        Export Journey: Step 4 – Developing your Export Strategy

        The next step is your export plan. You may have ideas but you need to clearly communicate them in writing so that your whole team is clear on their responsibilities. Having a plan laid out makes it easier to spot pitfalls, gaps and even additional opportunities!

        The export plan is also key in seeking supports in term of financing or grants.  Don’t overcomplicate it, keep it clear and simple.

        The key elements of a successful export plan include:

        1. The Vision

        • What you are going to do. How you are going to do it. What your expected outcome is.

        2. Human Resources

        • Have you the staff, external support and expertise? Have you skills within your team to manage language and cultural differences?

        3. Financial Resources

        • Budget, Sales targets and Pricing – Consider the additional costs involved in selling into the overseas market. Establish a target price for the end user, taking into consideration currency, payment terms, freight and carriage charges, import duties and taxes, commission to partners and competitors’ pricing.

        4. Target Market

        • Why you have selected this market; who your buyers are.

        5. Your Product

        • Your USP and how it translates internationally. Are there external factors which could impact production or sales?

        6. Market Entry

        • Sales channels; marketing plan; regulations, language and local laws.

        7. Monitoring and Developing the market

        • Are you meeting sales targets?

        8. What’s next?

        • How do you plan to grow and scale?

        Access the Market Entry Page




        Rising from the ashes

        Photo of Manus Rooney

        As industry around the world slowly begins to get back on its feet after an unprecedented period of instability, Manus Rooney, Enterprise Ireland, Country Manager for the DACH region (Austria, Germany, and Switzerland), says the green shoots of regrowth are already beginning to take shape.

        “Like companies in many countries across Europe and indeed around the world, Irish firms have faced several challenging years with Covid and Brexit and more recently the disruption to supply chains and price increases in raw materials,” he says.

        “But despite this, exports to the Eurozone grew in 2020 by 1.6% to €5.85 billion and 23% of Enterprise Ireland supported companies’ exports are to the region. In addition, Ireland was the only EU state in 2020 which experienced positive economic growth. So despite the challenges, there are plenty of opportunities available for Irish companies across the region, which comprises of 440 million people and is the biggest free trading area in the world.”


        Benefits of being part of the Eurozone

        According to Rooney, the single market and customs union is an extension to our domestic market, which is of huge benefit to Irish firms – particularly as the EU is investing over €2 trillion to make Europe greener, more digital, and more resilient.

        In addition, each member state has committed investment in a range of their own national priority issues – providing great opportunities to leverage the increase in investment.

        “Of course, like a lot of markets around the world, Covid has had a big impact, particularly on travel and tourism – but numbers have shown that Irish companies have been very resilient throughout the pandemic,” he says.

        “The region, as a whole, is now in recovery with a lot of strong optimism, which has been fuelled by the opening up of the leisure and tourism sector – and recovery in Asia is driving business across the Eurozone.” says Rooney. 

        “Vaccination and the easing of restrictions is also leading to a faster than expected recovery, so the EU and the Eurozone are set to expand at equal rates of 4.8% this year and 4.5% in 2022.”


        Supports for business

        Enterprise Ireland supports clients across its eight offices in the region and while Ireland’s good reputation has traditionally stemmed from our food and drink exports, the region expert says Irish firms are increasingly gaining a reputation for innovation and flexibility.

        “A lot of the markets in the region are sophisticated with local incumbents and alternatives so the key, for Irish companies wanting to scale, is to translate this innovation into value and a language the customer understands, which often needs to be tailored market-for-market,” he says.

        “Planning is also so important, and we have seen time and time again that companies which take part in our Enter the Eurozone programme or put in the effort to plan early, will reap rewards in the end. This also applies to selecting the right market – not all are the same – so I would encourage SMEs not to focus simply on size but to look at what makes it attractive to them and whether or not they have the resources and skills to access it.

        “They should test and validate their findings and then determine the value proposition for the local market by working out who the target customer will be and what they will be looking for. Then they can determine what value they, as a company, can bring to the table, whether that involves benefits around price, speed, simplicity, or compliance. And as nothing happens without resources, plans should be costed and agreed in advance.”


        Success in the region

        While Manus Rooney and his team are on hand to offer advice and support to companies wishing to enter the market in the DACH region, there are already a number Irish firms with a strong foothold in the market.

        “There are many Irish companies who have already reached success in the DACH region, and each have taken different approaches to build scale across Europe,” Rooney says. 

        “These include Dennison Trailers who have recruited locally and the Watershed Group in Germany, the latter who have grown by acquisition to build and scale quickly.

        “In France, PEL Waste Reduction Equipment use a local distributor and recently won a tender with Metropole of Marseille – and in Benelux, Druid Software work with their partner Koning & Hartman – who have enabled them to sell into the Port of Rotterdam.”


        Opportunity and digital information

        It is clear that there is a lot of opportunity for Irish businesses across the Eurozone and Enterprise Ireland is currently running a webinar series, Europe is our Future, the most recent of which looked specifically at Building Sales and Marketing for a European Audience.

        “It is very relevant for companies looking to start and scale in the Eurozone,” Rooney explains. “And it uniquely offers insights from both European and Irish company perspectives on how they approached building European sales and marketing capability.

        Learn more about Enterprise Ireland’s Enter the Eurozone programme and watch our webinar Europe is our Future: Developing Sales and Marketing for a European Audience.

        Market Entry title and businesswoman image

        Export Journey: Step 5 – Market Entry

        Market Entry title and businesswoman image

        Your next priority is for the execution of your company’s vision within new export markets. Key to this will be preparing the company for this change and subsequent increased demand from and servicing of new export markets.

        Consideration for a successful market entry should include;

        1.Identify and allocate adequate resources such as:

          • Financial resources i.e. cash required to sufficiently support overseas exports
          • Additional equipment or fixed assets needed to increase volume or backup global sales
          • People, including staff, suppliers or other valuable relationships in Ireland or overseas

        2. Defining where your first sales will come from

        Will your customers be a distributor which imports in larger quantities, or an overseas agenct or representative acting on your behalf or will it be a separate trading company of your own business?

        3. Developing your lead generation strategy

        Supports will need to be assigned to generate business leads. Will they be predominantly offline, online or a hybrid?

        Offline: fairs, events, conferences, network meetings or

        Online: website, social media, blogs etc.

        You will need to qualify and validate the leads, managing them through a Customer Relationship Management (CMS) system such as Salesforce.

        4. Marketing and communications

        Implementing a successful marketing and communication plan is vital for sustained sales in export markets.

        When developing a plan, it is important not to do a ‘copy and paste’ of the same marketing strategy from your domestic market as these are likely completely disparate territories. While it is logical that you should retain your company values and purpose, you will need to adapt your marketing and communications strategy to your new export market

        5. Implementing a sales process

        By implementing a sales process, you are creating a set of logical, repeatable steps that your sales team goes through to bring a potential buyer from an early stage of awareness to closing the sale. There are various stages that need to be considered in developing an effective sales process, such as;

        a) How will your company cultivate your sales leads?

        b) What preparation will you commit to in order to be ready to capture an overseas sale?

        c) What will be your sales teams approach to a prospective buyer?

        d) How will you adequately present or pitch your sales in an overseas market?

        e) Is your team setup to deal with buyer objections or queries?

        f) Have you experience in closing a sale in an overseas market?

        g) What follow-up work will be done post buyer presentation?

        6. Relationship building

        Relationship building is a key factor in developing sustained sales in export markets. Any company considering to expand globally is undoubtedly looking for a return on their initial investment, and companies looking for better business returns are strongly encouraged to place an emphasis on relationship building.

        Companies can quite often focus on the transactional, revenue generation portion before they consider relationship building. However, as is the case in much of the world, relationships based on mutual respect and trust outplay singular transactions. Relationships need to be worked on and require different approaches for different markets.

        Take the next step in the Export Journey

        Scale title and background image of modern city

        Export Journey: Step 6 – Scale

        Scale title and background image of modern cityYou are now successfully exporting to your first market. Now begin to build on this success and grow your exports.

        You will now have built up a good relationship with the overseas market team and keeping up to date on buyer trends and external factors impacting these trends will enable you to stay competitive.

        Factors to consider in your plans to scale exports:

        1. Resources

        Do you have the necessary resources both in terms of staff and finance to meet the demand of a new market?

        2. Capacity

        Do you have the manufacturing, packaging, logistics, linguistic capacity?

        3. Environmental

        Have you considered your carbon footprint; requirements of buyers?

        4. Sustainable Growth

        How will this impact your current financial standing? Will it strengthen or dilute your position in the market?

        5. Adjacent Markets

        Is there potential in the adjacent markets where buying patterns, pricing and local regulations may be similar?


        How can Enterprise Ireland support your growth?

        If you are are already supported by Enterprise Ireland you can contact your Development Advisor here.

        The Market Research Centre provides access to world class research databases to help client companies make better, more informed business decisions. Contact the Market Research Centre here

        Enterprise Ireland hosts events to assist companies’ growth plans – See our events calendar for details.

        Our Market pages and Going Global guides provide expert insights and contact details for our overseas offices.

        Learn how our Exporter Development team can support your growth.

        Cubic Telecom - MRC case study title

        Market research vital for success in the German automotive industry

        Cubic Telecom - MRC case study - Gerry McQuaid CCO

        With businesses facing more and more challenges by the day, the need to find growth areas within your chosen sectors has become even more important.

        For life sciences, pharmaceuticals, automotive and e-commerce, the DACH region, consisting of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, is a growing market actively looking for innovative solutions to push the sectors forward. In fact, in 2020 companies supported by Enterprise Ireland had exports from Ireland to DACH totalling over €1.8 billion.

        One Irish company that has seen the opportunity within the DACH region is Cubic Telecom, a business that produces an innovative platform called PACE to bring 24/7 connected software in cars to a new level. The opportunities for such a platform are huge – in 2019, the global connected car market was valued at $63.03 billion, and it’s projected to reach $225.16 billion by 2027. Not surprisingly, as the centre of the automotive industry in Europe and home to many world-leading car makers, the German market has a significant share in this growth.

        But when entering such a huge market as the German automotive industry, research is vital to ensure that any partnerships formed are strategic and sustainable – as Cubic understood from the very start. This is where Enterprise Ireland, and specifically its Market Research Centre and the Enterprise Ireland team in Dusseldorf, were able to help.

        “We did not simply select Germany as a generic target market,” Cubic Telecom CCO Gerry McQuaid says. “We looked at the world’s biggest automotive manufacturers and decided which companies we wished to build a partnership with. This naturally led us to Germany, the home of some of the world’s top auto manufacturers.”

        “We were very careful to take the time to understand what is required to do business successfully with large prestigious German companies and we had excellent support from the Enterprise Ireland team in Germany.” Cubic Telecom CCO Gerry McQuaid

        Platform for success

        Cubic Telecom’s solutions are indispensable for the whole range of services used by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) through the connectivity of cars, including entertainment, safety, driver assistance and vehicle management. Specifically, Cubic’s PACE platform enables cars and other devices to automatically connect to high-speed local mobile networks around the world securely and compliantly, while the PLXOR solution offers a single view of how content services are consumed across global fleets. And, its newest product, INSIGHTS, provides the business intelligence needed to see exactly how a fleet is performing, with real-time monitoring and alerting capabilities.

        Already, Cubic has enjoyed much success, connecting over 7 million devices and vehicles in 103 markets across Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia, Africa and Asia-Pacific. The company’s major opportunity in the automotive market is in its current partnership with the Volkswagen Group; already the company has established roll outs with OEMs like Skoda or Porsche, with more models to be added.

        “We were delighted to partner with the leading automotive brands within Volkswagen Group and this partnership has been an intrinsic part of developing our business success in Germany,” says McQuaid

        This strategic partnership was carefully planned and researched by the Cubic team. From their initial introduction into Germany, the Enterprise Ireland office in Germany supported Cubic’s progress within the automotive industry. With important connections across the German automotive and future mobility ecosystem, and a comprehensive overview of the economic landscape, the German office can advise companies not only in the early phases with finding the right approach and direction, but also with advanced business development when pivoting new sub-sectors or intensify current activities.

        Guidance from the German office proved very supportive for Cubic when it was entering the market in the early days. It now provides German brands such as Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche with a fully digital experience for their drivers.

        Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre also played a key role. Client companies can use the centre to gain access to company, sector, market and country information needed to explore opportunities and compete in international markets. This allows companies like Cubic to assess and validate a market before developing an export strategy with support from the local office.

        In fact, the approach proved so successful that Gerry recommends it to any company seeking to enter new markets. “Start by considering the needs of the customer you are selling to, what solution you are selling, who you need to sell it to and what markets those target customers are in. Then leverage the Enterprise Ireland regional offices to get introductions to the people in that market who you need to meet.”

        Learn how Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre can support your company’s export ambitions.