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The awards were announced by the EU's digital agenda commissioner, Neelie Kroes, in London last night. European Commission
Tech All Stars

Cork company is named the EU's best technology startup

Trustev aims to help companies verify the identity of potential customers using ‘social fingerprinting’ to counteract fraud.

A CORK-BASED COMPANY less than a year old has been named the European Union’s best technology startup.

Trustev is building technology that uses ‘social fingerprinting’ to determine, in real-time, whether somebody trying to engage in a transaction online is genuine or whether they have adopted someone else’s identity to attempt fraud.

The idea is that merchants can then be confident that they are selling products to a genuine human being, who will pay them as a result – while also trying to make its services affordable enough to be widely pursued.

The prize was announced by the EU’s commissioner for the digital agenda, Neelie Kroes, at the ‘Tech All Stars Awards’ in London last night.

The Cork company beat competition from a Dutch startup, EcoChain, which allows companies to calculate the environmental sustainability of their products, and British firm ‘Snap Fashion’ – a sartorial search engine which scans an image and finds an online retailer selling those garments.

Over 300 firms from around the European Union had applied for the award.

Trustev has now been invited to take part in a Digital Agenda Assembly being arranged by the European Commission, taking place in Dublin next week, where they can present their products to the European Commission

All three of the shortlisted firms were awarded €10,000 worth of services from Amazon’s web hosting subsidiary, and access to the Founders Forum with the opportunity to network with potential investors from around the world.

The firm was co-founded last year by entrepreneurs Pat Phelan and Chris Kennedy, who were previously involved with Maxroam, a company offering customers special SIM cards for low-cost roaming charges while travelling.

“When Chris and I started off, we had this giant problem of online fraud in front of us,” Phelan said last night.

“We’d especially like to thank all the other technology startups in Ireland who have helped us behind the scenes, without their support and encouragement it would have been a very lonely road to get here; that support is what really makes Ireland the best place in Europe to start a startup.”

Trustev is part of Wayra Ireland, an international programme run by O2′s parent firm Telefonica, which helps startups by providing them with access to commercial connections around the world.

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