Last Wednesday evening January 29th myself and Frankie Fields, the new IT recruiter in the Galway office, attended the second meeting of Start-up Galway in McSwiggins, Woodquay, Galway.
Startupgalway.org was set up by Barry O’Sullivan former VP of Cisco, and as he says himself soon to be ‘start-up dude,’ and John Breslin of NUIG. Their goal is to make Galway a hub for ICT start-ups in the same way that it has become a medical device hub. Collins McNicholas were happy to sponsor this event as we believe there is the potential for a second ICT hub in Ireland outside of Dublin and we think Galway is best positioned to be that hub.
The guest speaker was Dermot Berkery of Delta Venture Capital. The event took the form of a Q&A session where John Breslin asked a wide range of very interesting questions, and Dermot answered them very frankly, and in terms that were understandable to a largely non-finance audience. The event then broadened out to involve the audience which comprised about 90 people, mostly techie people, several of whom are considering starting up in business or have recently started up a small venture.
John Breslin also drew attention to the success of the recent SCCUL Awards event in NUIG. I pointed out that some recent winners of the overall award and category awards had gone on to draw down significant grants from Enterprise Ireland and that the SCCUL awards process would be good preparation for anyone thinking of looking for VC capital. The importance of mentoring was also discussed to ensure that such start-ups have a good chance of surviving.
This was a very lively and informative event with a high level of audience involvement. When the formalities were over the event turned into a networking evening and it was encouraging to see that many people stayed on for another hour or so for that purpose. There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm at this forum which I think will grow from strength to strength.
Well done to Barry and John for their initiative in setting up this group which is obviously addressing a need in Galway.