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David Jeffreys & John Savage
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2017 Recipient of Outstanding Achievement UL Alumni Award – Entrepreneurship

 

David Jeffreys and John Savage’s story dates back to their student days at UL at the start of the new Millenium. In the same class together and “friends from week 1”, David and John graduated in 2001, each with a Bachelor Degree (Honours) in Computer Systems. Just four years later at the age of 26, David and John co-founded Action Point without any external investment.

Originally from Abbeyleix, Co. Laois, David Jeffreys attended secondary school at Wilson’s Hospital School in Co. Westmeath. While there he was appointed Prefect, as well as captain of the school’s Canoeing, Caving and Orienteering clubs. He also represented Ireland internationally as an Orienteer and holds a Bronze Gaisce President’s Award medal. Like many tech founders before him, David's earliest foray into software development was through computer gaming, writing his first programme in his early teens and went on to set up his first computer network at the age of 16. A natural entrepreneur, David founded UL’s Computer Games Society and went on to represent Ireland internationally in the emerging computer gaming space.

 

A proud Limerickman, John Savage’s passion for programming started early. While at St. Nessan's Primary School in Mungret, John taught himself to code. By the age of 10, he was writing games like Pong and Hangman for his Commodore 64, and throughout his teens, while at St. Clement's Secondary School, John’s applications became steadily more sophisticated. Later, at UL, John’s Final Year Project, he recalls, as “a clear indication of things to come” when his development of an open framework for virtual reality won national awards from HP and Accenture, as well as the QAD Design Competition. The President's Gold Medal followed soon after.

 

Graduating from the University of Limerick in 2001 with a QCA of 4.0 (only the third student in the University's history at that time to do so), John’s early career took him to Los Angeles, where he found himself working alongside David and an international team, developing one of the world’s first corporate instant messaging platforms at DataMate Global Communications (a company which had previously employed both David and John on cooperative education placement from UL).

 

By 2005, David and John had returned to Limerick, both men now focused on founding their new enterprise, Action Point. In the years that followed, Action Point steadily and determinedly built a reputation as an Irish firm that could deliver world-class projects, initially serving small businesses both locally and nationally. A pivotal project in 2008 saw them double their software team overnight in order to deliver the electronic debt collection system within eFlow, on behalf of its enforcement service provider, Pierse Fitzgibbon Solicitors in Listowel. Today, Action Point is working successfully with mid-market, enterprise and public-sector clients, most recently delivering one of the world's very first online passport renewals systems. Together, David and John say they “have worked closely together to create a culture of openness and positivity at Action Point, which hangs on a framework of excellence and a focus on results”. Action Point now employs more than 80 people with offices in Ireland, the US and the UK and has an annualised turnover in excess of €12 million.

Under David’s leadership as CEO, Action Point boasts a world-class team delivering custom software and IT services, while the company has attained many accolades, including Deloitte Technology Fast 50 (four years running), Deloitte Best Managed Company 2017, Dell Partner of the Year 2014 and 2017, as well as Microsoft SMB Partner of the Year 2017. As CTO, John drives the creativity and innovation required to deliver truly world-class services. Hi

s obsession with emerging technologies, along with his deep understanding of IoT and Augmented Reality has made him in constant demand as a speaker and commentator at national and international conferences. John also greatly enjoys mentoring his ever-growing team and maintains close ties with the CSIS department in UL, with Action Point sponsoring an annual prize for final year students and regularly hiring graduates.

 

A champion of the Limerick region, David is a Director of Limerick Chamber and he maintains strong ties with his alma mater where he is currently studying for a Diploma in Leadership. Married to Dr Sarah Harney, a lecturer in UL’s Graduate Entry Medical School, the couple are passionate Munster Rugby supporters. Meanwhile, John is married to fellow UL graduate, Mary Hehir BBS (Accounting) ‘01 and is a busy father of two who also enjoys racing drones, go-karts and full-size cars, as well as flying model helicopters.

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