Dynamic Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal entrepreneurs will take centre stage during three regional networking events as part of the Startup Gathering 2015.
The Startup Gathering is a week-long series of events, running from October 5 – 10th, with the aim of providing a platform to support and celebrate entrepreneurs and business success.
With more than 300 national events taking place, it is one of the biggest national startup weeks in the world.
A series of North West events, organised by Dr Michelle Connolly, will be held in Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal and are supported by IT Sligo, Ibec, LYIT New Frontiers, Skillsnet and Bank of Ireland. All three events will be based on the concept of ‘Start, Scale, Succeed’.
The Sligo event, which is being held on Monday, October 5th at Canis Major, Clarion Hotel, will feature serial entrepreneur Brody Sweeney as the keynote speaker. Mr Sweeney was the founder of O’Briens Irish Sandwich Bars and is currently the owner of Camile Thai Kitchen, which has branches around Dublin. He is also non-executive director of Bord Bia.
Guests will also hear from three companies based in Sligo who are at the three distinct stages of business – start up, scaling up and succeeding. These are:
• Martha Kearns, co-founder of StoryLab (START)
• Martin McGeough, founder of Firefly (SCALE)
• George Mullan, founder of SIS Group (SUCCEED)
Each of the company founders will be sharing their wisdom, tips and insights on the challenges and opportunities for North West businesses in 2015.
Other guest speakers will include Vincent Cunnane, President of IT Sligo and Terry McNamara, Regional Director of Ibec.
The Leitrim event, which is being held on Wednesday, October 7th at the Lough Rynn Castle Hotel, will feature former IDA Managing Director Padraic White, and three companies based in Leitrim:
• Sinead O’Connell, co-founder of Carrig Brewing (START)
• Philip Martin, founder and CEO of Cora Systems (SCALE)
• Patrick Mulholland, owner of VistaMed (SUCCEED).
The Donegal event will be held on Friday, October 9th, at Letterkenny IT.
All three events, which will also include a panel discussion and opportunity for questions from the audience, will be chaired by Ocean FM’s Daniel Browne.
Dr Michelle Connolly said: “The Startup gathering 2015 is an opportunity for key players from industry, academia, agencies and the broader business community in the North West to come together to share expertise in order to drive an innovation and entrepreneurship agenda in the region. To truly achieve an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region – we have to involve all elements so that it is a community effort with a positive ‘can do’ culture.”
The Startup Gathering Week is run by the not-for-profit organisation Startup Ireland, with the support of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, sponsored by Bank of Ireland. It was launched earlier this month by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, T.D. together with Minister of State for Business and Employment, Ged Nash, T. D.
Eoin Costello, co-founder of Startup Ireland said that Ireland needed a ‘startup revolution’ if the country was to continue to be a high-growth economy in the next 10 years.
“Startup Gathering 2015 is more than just an awareness campaign. It’s about driving real change across the startup sector, creating better networks, connections and collaborations with all of the players – in short from October the 5th to 10th we want to kick start Ireland’s Startup revolution,” said Mr Costello.
Liam Mcloughlin, Chief Executive, Bank of Ireland Retail; Minister of State for Business and Employment, Ged Nash TD; Eoin Costello, co-founder of Startup Ireland; Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, T.D; and Iseult Ward, founder, Foodcloud, at the launch of The Startup Gathering, with key partner Bank of Ireland. Pic: Naoise Culhane.