Ballycastle IT Company Wins First US Business

Ballycastle-based Glenovation has won its first business in the US following an Invest Northern Ireland trade mission to New York.

The company, which currently employs five people at its premises in Moyle Enterprise Centre, is now providing web design and hosting services to a client in the Rochester area.

Formed in 2002 by its managing director Tony Devlin with assistance under the Business Start programme from Moyle Enterprise Centre and Invest NI’s North Eastern Local Office (NELO) in Ballymena, Glenovation specialises in support for smaller companies in Northern Ireland interested in bidding for European Union contracts as well as web design and web hosting.  

The company received marketing support and general business advice from NELO to develop its EU tender services and subsequently diversified into web hosting and design.

The company now has a portfolio of clients in Northern Ireland, Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland for its range of expertise.

Mr Devlin says: “With NELO’s encouragement I decided to join the Invest NI trade mission to the US to carry out some initial research in this market. I wanted to find out our web design services could compete effectively against other companies, especially in the New York area, one of the most important markets for IT products and services.

“I was also keen to pick up ideas in the US that could help me in expanding my business and in creating more employment opportunities in Ballycastle.

“I made a number of good contacts during the US visit, my first experience of a trade mission, and some initial business has since developed. I am currently following up all the contacts made with a view to establishing a number of representatives there. Overall, I learned a great deal about the market and how to do business in the US. I also picked up a number of good ideas from taking part in the mission,” he adds.

Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade director, says: “Our ‘Being International’ strategy is designed to encourage and assist many more small companies like Glenovation to gain knowledge and experience that will increase their marketing capability and enable them to growth their business by competing in the global marketplace.

“Trade missions are a particularly cost-effective way for smaller companies to assess their competitiveness and to identify the actions they need to take to win business outside Northern Ireland,” he adds.

Mr Devlin previously worked with Viridian Group for over 17 years in various roles including EU tender and bid management with Sx3, the group’s IT subsidiary.