Galway Climathon 2017

The NUI Galway Ryan Institute will host the annual Galway Climathon 2017 on Friday 27th October 2017.

Galway Climathon 2017 seeks Climate Innovators who are willing to work for 1 day in multi-disciplinary teams to develop real solutions to Galway city’s climate challenges. Innovators, entrepreneurs, students, professionals and change agents from all sectors and communities across Galway city are encouraged to engage in Galway Climathon 2017.

Register now on the following weblink for your place on a Climate Challenge Team/Table at Galway Climathon 2017: https://climathon.climate-kic.org/galway

What is the annual Climathon?

Climathon is a global 1 day climate change hackathon which takes place simultaneously in major cities around the world on 27 October 2017 each year. This year, 112 cities in 44 countries spanning 6 continents and involving over 2500 participants will be participating in Climathon 2017. In 2016, Climathon created over 2330 ideas for climate innovations and reached 16.8 million people worldwide.

This year, Galway and Cork will be the participating cities in Ireland for Climathon 2017.

https://climathon.climate-kic.org/#map

Each year, Climathon brings together the challenges of the world’s cities with the people who have the passion and ability to solve them. Climathon attracts innovators, entrepreneurs, students and professionals to create innovative solutions to cities climate challenges.

How will you benefit from Climathon?

  1. Help solve your city’s local climate challenge, and make your city more resilient to climate change
  2. Network with local leaders from academia, business and public authorities
  3. Develop your skills in public speaking, innovative thinking, prioritisation, and explore new tools and methodologies
  4. Join forces with other like-minded entrepreneurs and innovators
  5. Become a part of a global community working together to take climate action!

What is the Galway Climathon 2017?

Over 1000 euros available in prize winning supports for follow-on innovation to the winning teams at the Galway Climathon 2017!

Cities consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions. With 90 percent of the world’s urban areas situated on coastlines, cities are at high risk from some of the devastating impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels and powerful coastal storms. Coastal cities such as Galway are on the frontlines of global climate change and are well-positioned to play a leadership role in driving global action to address climate change.

The Galway Climathon 2017 will build from the energy and dynamism of multiple innovators, groups and individuals to develop and scale innovations towards a zero-carbon footprint horizon-point for Galway city districts, sectors and inhabitants.

There will be 10 Climate Challenge Tables at the Galway Climathon 2017, where inter-disciplinary teams will identify and prioritise innovations, business plans and strategies that can be scaled to address the challenge in Galway city and in other cities worldwide.

The 10 Climate Challenges (Tables) for the Galway Climathon 2017 will be:

  1. Sustainable Energy
  2. Fuel Poverty & Older People
  3. Energy Efficient Buildings
  4. Transport, Health & Climate
  5. Measuring Galway’s Carbon Footprint
  6. Low Carbon Diets
  7. Water Quality & Air Pollution
  8. Galway’s Circular Economy (e.g. food waste, recycling)
  9. Climate action begins at home? (facilitating a low environmental footprint lifestyle)
  10. Post-Plastic Galway & Marine Pollution

If you consider that you are highly motivated and can contribute to developing innovations in any of these areas you can sign up to join a Challenge Table as a team member. You can join a Challenge Table at any stage in the period up to 27th October by simply registering on the Galway Climathon 2017 site: https://climathon.climate-kic.org/galway

Each Challenge Table will develop their own innovation and will be facilitated to develop their idea by the NUI Galway TechInnovate team, and will present their innovation in a pitch competition at the end of the day to a judging panel who will identify the top three winning teams who will be recipients of the over €1000 in funding supports for follow-on innovation activities that will be facilitated by the TechInnovate program.

A key challenge for Galway city relates to how quickly its innovators, change agents and stakeholders can develop, deploy and scale innovations that can decarbonise the city towards carbon-neutrality for its districts, sectors and communities and thereby become a global leader amongst sister cities internationally that are also pursuing decarbonisation pathways to mitigate climate change.

Where and when?

The Galway Climathon 2017 will be hosted by the Ryan Institute on the campus of the National University of Ireland Galway from 0900-1600 on Friday 27th October.

Venue: The Cube, Aras na Mac Leinn, National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway).

Follow Galway Climathon 2017 on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/galwayclimathon

Hashtag: #Climathon

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BioExel Medtech Accelerator at NUI Galway is now recruiting its inaugural cohort of participants

Recently launched by An Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald, BioExel is the first investor-ready, seed-funded, international medtech accelerator in Ireland. BioExel is now open for applications from entrepreneurs in the medical technology sector via its website www.bioexel.ie.

BioExel differentiates itself from other programmes in that successful applicants will receive €95,000 (cash and in-kind services) to help significantly accelerate medtech opportunities which have a specific technical, commercial and/or clinical question to answer during an intensive six-month period. It will be a mentor-centric programme based at NUI Galway, with both a seasoned entrepreneur-in-residence (Bob Rosenberg) and investor-in-residence (Gillian Buckley), as well as an experienced management team.

The BioExel Medtech Accelerator aims to further enhance the medical technology sector startup ecosystem within Ireland and to attract global talent to the Galway region. The programme is open to applications from potential teams or individuals both in Ireland or overseas, working in the medical technology sector. There are up to 14 slots available within the BioExel Accelerator over two cohorts, with the first cohort to commence later this year.

Successful applicants to the BioExel Medtech Accelerator will receive membership and a place within NUI Galway for a period of six months, where teams will be able to build and commercially validate their technologies by working with existing entrepreneurial networks and mentors. The patient-focused vision of BioExel is to create innovative medical technologies which are affordable and transformative for patients with both acute and chronic conditions.

“Ireland is recognised as a key hub for medical technology and innovation, and the launch of this new accelerator is an opportunity to further build on our strong international reputation for excellence and innovation in healthcare and medtech,” said An Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald TD, at a recent launch of the BioExel Medtech Accelerator.

“The accelerator programme located at NUI Galway and supported by my department through Enterprise Ireland will further enhance the high potential startup ecosystem, and develop startup capability, infrastructure and capital investment within the Galway region. We are delighted to support the initiative, which will go towards sustaining Ireland’s status as a global leader in medical technology innovation.”

BioExel_NoTag-1The BioExel Medtech Accelerator was originated at NUI Galway by the BioExel management team of Dr Sandra Ganly (co-founder of BioInnovate Ireland) and Fiona Neary (Business Development Manager at the Technology Transfer Office). It will be delivered on the NUI Galway campus, which is also home to the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices, as well as entrepreneurial initiatives such as the successful BioInnovate Ireland fellowship programme, Blackstone LaunchPad, and TechInnovate/AgInnovate.

BioExel is a partnership co-funded by Enterprise Ireland’s Regional Accelerator Development Scheme, the Galway University Foundation, the Western Development Commission, and the Bank of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund.

Through direct collaboration and coordination with medical technology and healthcare sector stakeholders on opportunities within the marketplace, the BioExel Medtech Accelerator will assist new and emerging enterprises with the commercialisation and internationalisation of their innovative medical technologies, products and services.

Interested entrepreneurs can visit the website www.bioexel.ie to submit an expression of interest and to receive an application form for the accelerator. The current call is open until the closing date of 30th October 2017.

Galway City Innovation District Signs Friendship Agreement with Holyrood, Newfoundland

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L-R: Gary Corbett, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Holyrood; Dr John Breslin, NUI Galway and GCID; Conor O’Dowd, KPMG and GCID; Dr Rick Officer, GMIT

The Galway City Innovation District, the non-profit company behind the successful PorterShed technology innovation hub in downtown Galway, has signed a friendship agreement with the Town of Holyrood in Newfoundland, Canada. The aim of the agreement is to support further growth in the marine and technology sectors within their areas.

The Galway City Innovation District’s goal is to create an innovation ecosystem, one that creates a synergistic relationship between people, companies, and place, that facilitates idea generation, open learning, collaboration and accelerates commercialisation. The first step towards this goal was the PorterShed, opened in 2016.

In a similar vein, the Town of Holyrood provides a hub for research and development at the BeachHead, enabling technology innovation and incubation, and has also established the Oceans Holyrood Initiative. Holyrood is the location of the Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) of Memorial University of Newfoundland, Labrador, the Centre for Applied Ocean Technology (CTEC), and the Offshore Safety and Survival Centre (OSSC) at the Holyrood Marine Base (HMB).

Galway has a strategic advantage in relation to marine and ocean technology through the Irish Marine Institute, SmartBay Ireland, NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, SEMRU, Carna Research Station (CRS), AirSea Laboratory, Coastal Observatory Radar System (CODAR), and MAREI, GMIT’s Marine & Freshwater Research Centre (MFRC), and Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART), with combined facilities which offer a range of marine services to all users and a cluster of marine-related companies and institutions.

Maurice O’Gorman, Chairman of the Galway City Innovation District, said: “We look forward to future harbour-side development which will reiterate Galway’s differentiation as Ireland’s research and innovation port, integrating with Galway’s future harbour development, and take inspiration from the phenomenal marine development achieved by the Town of Holyrood over the past short number of years.”

Mayor Gary Goobie stated, “It is an exciting time for Holyrood and we could not be more pleased with the signing of this agreement with GCID. Our residents can be assured that Holyrood is ready to take its place provincially, nationally and internationally in the ocean sector industry as an energetic, progressive and sustainable community.”

Gary Corbett, Chief Administrative Officer at the Town of Holyrood, said: “Holyrood is proud to become an official member of the Galway collaboration network. We recognize the great accomplishments at PorterShed and we anticipate shared successes in marine research and innovation as we facilitate economic growth and development in both our regions through the marine sector. There is a lot of room to grow, and together through meaningful collaboration and exchange of ideas, we can realize phenomenal potential.”

Dr John Breslin, NUI Galway, said: “We have had a great relationship with the Holyrood team since they first visited the PorterShed – which at that stage, was still a shell – in 2015. When we met, both parties expressed an interest in determining future collaborative opportunities and potential, and our agreement is to pursue continued engagement and collaboration toward this objective.”

10 Digital Startups Join Inaugural NDRC at PorterShed Programme

The new digital accelerator and investment programme NDRC at PorterShed is kicking off this week with 10 new digital startups moving into the Eyre Square base as part of the programme over the next three months.

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10 digital startups join inaugural NDRC at PorterShed programme

Selected after an open and competitive application process, the 10 companies were chosen on the basis that they demonstrated the best potential for rapid growth and expansion. The startups, which include a strong international presence with teams joining from Estonia, Spain, Ukraine and the UK, cover a broad base of sectors including agri tech, auto and construction.

A partnership between NDRC and the Galway City Innovation District and co-funded by Enterprise Ireland, NDRC at PorterShed is a key part of Enterprise Ireland’s overall strategy for increasing the number and quality of start-ups that have the potential to employ more than 10 people and achieve €1 million in export sales within three years.

Established by the Government in 2007, NDRC builds and invests in digital startups that have the potential to grow internationally. The NDRC team will work closely with the PorterShed based entrepreneurs over the course of the programme helping them move beyond a good idea, into building a team and a business that can attract investment and grow. NDRC portfolio companies include companies like Nuritas, Plynk, Boxever and NewsWhip.

Speaking about the new programme in Galway, Ben Hurley, CEO of NDRC said:

“This is an exciting week for the teams, they will be working intensively over the next few months to take their businesses to the next level. We were delighted with the quaility and depth of the applications we received and believe we have a strong group of startup companies to invest in and build. We look forward to helping them progress in this over the next 12 weeks”.

Dr John Breslin, NUI Galway lecturer and a founding director of the Galway City Innovation District said:

“This is a key milestone towards increasing Galway’s entrepreneurship capacity and growing our innovation ecosystem in the West of Ireland. Enterprise Ireland have recognised the need for regional jobs growth through this co-funded regional accelerator programme for startups, and we look forward to working with our experienced accelerator programme partners at the NDRC as these 10 exciting digital startups are mentored and trained through the NDRC at PorterShed accelerator programme.”

Free Places from NUI Galway on its Entrepreneurship Development Course

New course teaches homemakers, the unemployed and the formerly self-employed how to create innovation-driven enterprises

NUI Galway, in collaboration with 14 company partners, is offering places on its new entrepreneurial skills development programme, the Postgraduate Diploma in TechInnovation (Entrepreneurship Development). This programme was recently established by serial entrepreneur and NUI Galway academic Dr John Breslin.

NUI Galway has designed this one-year part-time programme in conjunction with leading employers and local startups, to enable graduates to develop the necessary skills for company creation.

Student fees for the course are funded by the Higher Education Authority’s Springboard+ initiative, given the strategic importance of developing skills in the area of enterprise/entrepreneurship. Successful applicants will therefore, pay no fees.

The overall goal of this postgraduate programme is to strategically increase the level of disciplined entrepreneurship skills in both small and large companies. It will provide graduates with the process know-how on how to create a company or how to create a new business unit within an existing company, with a particular focus on innovation-driven enterprises that can scale up. A short experiential placement will also be facilitated with partner companies.

Dr John Breslin, Course Director, said: “This is a free course leading to a qualification in an area of significant importance to the Irish economy: enterprise and entrepreneurship. The aim of this programme is to teach homemakers, the unemployed or formerly self-employed how to create innovation-driven enterprises. The programme is suited to those who may want to use their entrepreneurial skills in larger organisations, where the same processes can be applied with some minor modifications in what is called `intrapreneurship’.”

Dr Breslin added: “The course includes working through issues of market analysis, technology viability assessment, competitive positioning, team building, product lifecycle planning, marketing strategy, sales channel analysis, and with a strong emphasis on the entrepreneur/intrapreneur as a salesperson. Business plans will be developed to include an executive summary, vision and values, market analysis/segmentation and competition, a product and manufacturing plan, a sales plan, a financial plan, and a marketing plan.”

Dr Breslin was selected for MIT’s prestigious Entrepreneurship Development Program in early 2017, an intensive executive education program designed for CEOs, academics and government leaders who want to develop entrepreneurial skills within their organisations or regions. The successful “Disciplined Entrepreneurship” 24-step process from MIT was therefore chosen as the basis for this Springboard+ programme.

Applicants should hold an undergraduate degree, 1st or 2nd class honours in any discipline, along with three years of relevant industrial experience; or an Ordinary or 3rd class honours undergraduate degree, along with five years of relevant industrial experience; or a recognised professional qualification and five years of relevant industrial experience. Candidates who do not meet the minimum entry criteria may be interviewed to ascertain their suitability for the programme. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can be considered for entry purposes.

NUI Galway is now processing applications and those interested can make their application through https://springboardcourses.ie/details/5225. The deadline for final applications is Monday, 7th August.

For further information contact the Programme Director, Dr John Breslin, at info@techinnovate.org

First Regional Accelerator for Galway Announced: NDRC at PorterShed

A year-and-a-half in the planning, an accelerator at the PorterShed, to be delivered with our partners at the NDRC, was formally announced today. This is a fantastic opportunity for entrepreneurs in the West of Ireland, and is the culmination of a lot of hard work on the part of my volunteer colleagues at the Galway City Innovation District (GCID), a non-profit that is helping to foster a startup ecosystem in downtown Galway, NDRC, Ireland’s national accelerator, and the programme managers at Enterprise Ireland.

PorterShed Accelerator RFI_All_PagesBefore Enterprise Ireland announced their timely Regional Accelerator Development Scheme, we had issued a Request for Information to various national and international accelerator operators in late 2015, and this laid the groundwork for our successful proposal submitted to Enterprise Ireland in March 2016.

The NDRC at PorterShed Accelerator will support 30 companies who have a digital technology focus to their business, linking to Enterprise Ireland’s strategy to develop more HPSUs regionally and nationally. A HPSU (High-Potential Startup) is defined as one that will employ at least 10 people and be generating over €1 million in revenue within a three-year timeframe.

Three cohorts of 10 companies will be admitted to the NDRC at PorterShed Accelerator, with the first cohort of 10 to start at the end of this summer, and two more cohorts in 2018. As well as receiving an investment of €30,000 and three months of desk space for their team at the PorterShed, companies will avail of expert mentorship and training from the NDRC here in Galway in areas such as company financials, investor readiness, marketing/PR, and innovative business models.

Previous NDRC-supported ventures have secured over €125 million in follow-on investment, and this includes successes such as Logentries, Newswhip, Silver Cloud Health, Boxever, Nuritas, Soundwave and Clearsight Innovations.

The PorterShed is the first innovation hub run by the Galway City Innovation District, a non-profit that was established with the support of Galway Chamber in 2016. The directors are John Breslin (NUI Galway), Niamh Costello (Galway Technology Centre), Dave Cunningham (Privity Pay), Conor O’Dowd (KPMG), Johnny O’Dwyer (AIB) and Maurice O’Gorman (Consultant).

NCRC_According to Maurice O’Gorman, Chairman of the Galway City Innovation District: “GCID is excited to work with our partners to launch the NDRC at PorterShed Accelerator. The accelerator programme is an important addition to the vibrant startup ecosystem in Galway and the West of Ireland. GCID looks forward to welcoming the first companies, providing an environment where they can flourish.”

To apply for the NDRC at PorterShed Accelerator programme, visit www.ndrc.ie/west where you can find out more information and see the criteria.

Official press release: www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/News/PressReleases/2017-Press-Releases/Enterprise-Ireland-Launches-Regional-Accelerator-Programme-at-NDRC-at-Portershed-Galway.html

My two-and-a-half years ‘away’ from Facebook

On 30 June 2014, I effectively stopped using my Facebook profile, with no personal posts during the subsequent two-and-a-half years. At the time, I wrote a rant about my reasons for doing so – “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to Facebook anymore” – a wordplay on Peter Finch’s famous scene from the movie Network. So, have I been missing much? And is it time to come back?

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No posts

Not really for the first question, and kind of for the second. Since I locked down my personal profile and friend settings, I’ve had about 70 friend requests and 40 to 50 items that I’ve been tagged in for timeline review. I’ve still needed to login to Facebook occasionally for administering various pages, while also writing posts under the guise of those page profiles.

 

I’ve made just two comments with my personal profile during the past 30 months, one to gain access to an educational course and the other to thank the providers for doing so. However, in the future, I do want to interact more with communities (pages, groups, etc.) related to my interests, both professional and personal.

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The overlapping worlds of work and family / Images from PublicDomainPictures.net

I realise that my main gripe with Facebook has been the overlapping universes of work and family contacts. I remember Blaine Cook talking about this in 2009, when he likened the platform to being stuck in a big room with your parents, your boss, your sports team, your current and past partners, your colleagues, your family, and more.

 

So as a fix for this, I’ve started disconnecting from my 50 or so (extended) family contacts (sorry all!) while keeping my other 570 contacts, to make a clearer separation between work and family online. This still allows me to make use of Facebook for marketing, information seeking, promotion and other interactions, but avoids the uncomfortableness I’ve always felt with the platform, which I mainly used for cross-posting work-related stuff from Twitter anyway. At least my family all have my phone number if they still want to/need to get me!