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Close Call Becomes Spark to Ignite a New Business

30 January, 2017

A near house fire for one New Frontiers participant ignited the spark of entrepreneurship for Seán Ó Tuama of Firemole.


Electrician Seán Ó Tuama from Bishopstown returned home from three years in Australia in 2015 to set up his own electrical company before starting his entrepreneurial journey with his business Firemole, a patent pending electronic device to detect high temperatures. Firemole can be attached to anything from chargers to tumble dryers and the aim is to catch high temperatures before a fire starts by sounding an alarm. When working as an electrician Seán saw many homes destroyed by fires which originated at chargers, and fuseboards, and soon realised that an early warning system was necessary to give people the best chance of protecting themselves, their loved ones and their properties. Although the idea was in his mind, Seán himself had a lucky escape from a fire in his own home due to a faulty main switch on the fuseboard. Telling the story which sparked the beginning of Firemole, Seán recalls how as he was about to go to bed the lights began flickering in his house. A quick look at the fuseboard told him that it was about to catch fire. Only the quick thinking of an electrician saved the day when he ran outside the turn the power off to the house. Left an hour later, the situation would have been very different as the fuseboard would have caught fire while the family slept. Firemole is the only device of its kind on the market designed specifically for this purpose, to trigger an alarm BEFORE a fire begins. Chatting about his experience on the Rubicon Centre's New Frontiers Programme to date, Seán says it has made him take the necessary steps to ensure his business is viable. "Being in an environment filled with other entrepreneurs gives you the motivation and the drive to keep pushing on, even when some part of the business has taken a nose dive. Just being able to bounce ideas off others has been a huge help, particularly when you’re a lone founder."

Best advice ever received?

Don’t dwell on the past and learn from your mistakes. I have learnt more from making mistakes than I have from reading any book.

Seán's advice to young entrepreneurs?

Go with your gut. You will get tons of advice from business professional along the way but they will never fully understand the vision you have for your business.

Advice Seán would give himself if starting all over again?

Don’t rush into things as it will only lead to problems. Firemole is expected to come to market by April 2017. Users can sign up on the website where they can avail of a special discount. Do you have a business idea? Talk to us today at the Rubicon Centre and find out more about New Frontiers here.  

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