Leading Cork companies shortlisted for Cork Chamber Company of the Year Awards

From its headquarters in Skibbereen, West Cork, Spearline equips Google, Airbnb and Zoom with technology and solutions that allow them to stay in touch with their customers and employees anytime, anywhere in the world.

The company provides telecom application connectivity and quality assurance solutions that enable organizations to deliver excellent customer experiences.

It proactively monitors toll and toll-free numbers and WebRTC communications for audio quality and connectivity globally. The company also has offices in Waterford, Romania and India.

Its client portfolio is very diverse, including service providers, unified communications, financial services, travel, pharmaceutical and retail sectors.

In December 2021, it announced the multimillion-euro acquisition of Israeli real-time communications solutions developer testRTC, which was a huge step towards the next step for Spearline.

By integrating testRTC technology with Spearline’s current testing capabilities, the company is now able to provide its customers with a solution that no other vendor in the world can offer.

For the past eight years, Spearline has ranked in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50, one of Ireland’s leading technology awards programs.

The company is rooted in its local community and county. CEO and Founder Kevin Buckley is a founding board member of the Ludgate Digital Hub in Skibbereen. It recently launched a graduate program with 20% of places allocated to people with neurodivergence.

Spearline has also committed to reaching a 40% female workforce by 2028 and is currently at 34%, well ahead of other tech companies.

Spearline is a customer-centric company and prides itself on putting its customers at the heart of everything it does.

It conducts quarterly activity reviews with each of its customers to obtain feedback during these reviews.

The platform was originally developed in response to a customer need and today it is constantly evolving to meet and respond to customer needs and demands. The product development team is more focused because Spearline’s business growth strategy is driven by the needs of its customers.

Spearline CEO and co-founder Kevin Buckley said he was honored to be a finalist for the Chamber’s Company of the Year awards. “This award recognizes our team’s hard work and efforts to grow and grow the business over the past few years,” he said.

“Our recent acquisition of Callstats alongside our previous acquisition of testRTC has been a huge step forward for us and confirms Spearline’s position as a global leader in communications test technology. I am incredibly proud that we are one of the largest employers in all of County Cork – and we plan to continue to grow and develop our business so that we can meet customer demand and new market demands.

Amarenco shows how a great global business can be built from Cork

Amarenco Executive Chairman John Mullins. The company is investing €100 million in Cork over the next two years to build 112 MW of solar parks. Image: John Sexton Photography

Amarenco is a Cork company with a national and international focus on balancing economy and ecology.

Founded in Cork in May 2013, the company is now recognized as a global developer, financier and operator of large-scale solar PV infrastructure and lithium-ion storage plants.

The company is Irish, but it is an international company with 232 employees from 27 countries. Thirty of its employees are based in its Cork offices.

Amarenco’s turnover exceeded 100 million euros thanks to organic and inorganic development. He is particularly proud of his €100m investment in Cork over the next two years to build 112MW of solar farms across the county.

The company invests globally and will build 500MW per year of solar PV and storage and expects to generate a profit of €67m in 2023. Amarenco is close to closing a major investment of €200m an international fund to pursue its strong growth strategy.

From its founding global base, it now operates in 14 countries with main offices in Cork, Albi, Lyon, Paris, Dubai, Madrid, Vienna, Muscat and Singapore. Their clients include Decathlon (global rooftop sale of all their stores), Coca-Cola, Electrolux, Etisalat, Nestlé, McDonalds in Jordan and many more.

Amarenco is building two utility-scale storage plants (100 MW each) in France and plans to significantly increase its presence in this much-needed technology in the majority of their chosen markets.

In solar photovoltaic, it develops and invests in all forms of technology – carports, large rooftops, greenhouses, floating solar and large ground-mounted power plants like those in Cork.

In recent years, Amarenco has further innovated. It has become a technology leader in new Agri-PV solutions where decarbonized energy can coexist with horticulture and traditional agriculture. They are developing hybrid and autonomous storage solutions in global markets and piloting hydrogen solutions in four countries. They also support research in Ireland and France on solar/storage optimization.

Over the past three years, it has developed photovoltaic solutions in 11 other countries from its home base in Ireland, France and Oman. In Egypt, it developed a 1 MW solar farm in Sharm-El-Sheikh with its local partner Solarize so that the Cop27 conference in November could now boast that it would be powered by solar PV and Amarenco Solarize.

Amarenco employs 27 nationalities in its 14 countries. They have a female/male ratio of 39%/61%, well above the international benchmark. All global conferences are held in English and French.

Over the past decade, Amarenco has shown how a large, successful global business can be built from Cork. Amarenco Executive Chairman John Mullins said: “We are delighted and humbled to have been chosen by the Cork Chamber as a finalist for Large Company of the Year.

Grant Thornton proves that professional services can be located outside the capital

Michael Nolan, partner at Grant Thornton.  The business has grown from four employees in Cork in 2013 to over 200 today.
Michael Nolan, partner at Grant Thornton. The business has grown from four employees in Cork in 2013 to over 200 today.

Grant Thornton in Cork is a leading provider of professional audit, tax and advisory services.

It is one of the largest professional services firms in Ireland, with over 2,500 people providing services to public and private clients spanning multiple sectors and industries.

It operates in seven locations across Ireland and has a presence in Bermuda, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man.

The business opened in Cork in 2013 with just four employees – the first major professional services firm to do so since the 1970s.

From day one, he showed a willingness to grow and develop. Over the past decade it has grown and now has a flow of 200 people across five service lines, the only office outside Dublin to offer all five.

Grant Thornton makes business more personal by investing in relationships. Customers choose the company because the range of financial and business services they need are provided innovatively and always to the highest standards. The company says it is committed to its customers, its employees and the growth of Cork’s economy.

In 2020, due to continued growth, it moved to new premises at One Penrose Dock. The new office is located on the top floor overlooking the River Lee at Penrose Quay. Further growth is planned for 2023 to ensure it continues to meet the increased demands of its diverse and growing customer base.

This investment was seen as a huge endorsement of the city and its expansion into the old docklands.

The company recently acquired control of Cork software company Valid8Me and its digital identity platform. It considers the Valid8Me platform as complementary to several of its service lines and specifically meets the needs of customers.

Committed to its clients, Grant Thornton undertakes a formal process at the end of an assignment to obtain feedback on its performance. The process is administered by a third party and allows clients to formally assess their performance.

Grant Thornton sees its success in Cork as confirmation that professional services businesses can thrive outside of Dublin. Its presence in Cork has led other companies to set up here.

The company has also placed sustainability at the heart of everything it does.

Among initiatives taken to support sustainability in its offices, Grant Thornton’s Green Scene Committee has engaged in tree planting, sustainable mobility for employees and promoting the bike-to-work program.

The Future of Work initiative incorporates sustainable working methods at all stages, and the introduction of sustainable coffee cups and the recycling of coffee beans has further supported a culture of responsibility in this area across the whole of business.

Michael Nolan, Partner at Grant Thornton, said: “As a firm, we are delighted to be shortlisted in such a prestigious category. Our growth in Cork is driven by our staff who consistently provide best in class service to our local, national and international customers.

Comments are closed.