Belfast Telegraph – 8th December 2008
Core chases the dollar in US
by Robin Morton
A local businesswoman who had to endure everything from altitude sickness to sub-zero temperatures has been named University of Ulster Enterpreneur of the Year.
Patricia O’Hagan, managing director of North Belfast based IT company Core Systems, was named as winner on BBC Television’s Chasing the Dollar programme at the weekend. The BBC Programme brought together 18 enterpreneurs from across Northern Ireland.
After making their Dragon’s Den-style pitches, five entrepreneurs were selected to attend ‘entrepreneur boot-camp’ in Denver, Colorado. The entrepreneurs completed business coaching and mental and physical challenges in the mountains.
“At times we were at one and a half miles above sea level. It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time”, said Patricia.
Core Systems is using the competition prize of bespoke support, sponsored by Invest NI to further establish their US business.
Congratulating Patricia on her success Invest NI’s Paul Brush said: “She is a great role model for others who may be thinking about starting their own business, or expanding into export markets”.
Core Systems has developed a new product for use in US prisons – the ‘Inmate Information Centre’. It is a multi-purpose interactive kiosk which enables inmates to access personal information and make service requests such as ordering goods from the prison shop, sending e-messages and downloading music.
The product incorporates sophisticated biometric fingerprinting technology for which Core Systems have an international reputation.
The US has almost 5,000 prisons and is considered a growing market.