“There is more tech innovation within 20 miles of where we are standing than in all of the rest of the world” — Rich Moran, Irish Technology Capital.
Rich was referring to the “incredible infrastructure that eliminates a lot of the friction” of doing business that exists in Silicon Valley.
Last night, at this very hub of tech and innovation, the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG) hosted their 4th annual awards ceremony to highlight and showcase Irish technological and entrepreneurial talent.
Almost 230 people gathered at the Stanford Faculty Club to honour Michael Caulfield whose company Intelesens won the Most Promising Technology Company Award and Iain MacDonald from SkillPages who won the Top Technology Award.
In addition to the presentation of these awards, recognition was given to the Silicon Valley 50: the leading movers and shakers in the Irish American business and technology community.
All of the names of those acknowledged by their inclusion in the Silicon Valley 50 were read out by Emily Chang of Bloomberg West who also hosted the awards.
The special guest speaker was Craig Barrett, former Chairman of Intel. In his speech he said, “The 21st century is the century of innovation… It is the century for adding value for what you do. The environment necessary for this is the rule of law, intellectual property protection, the availability of venture capital. The ease of starting a business and the lack of negativity of starting a business and failing… Nothing else matters going forward.
“You can either choose to compete going forward or you can whine and cry about unfair competition…You can only compete with smart people with smart ideas in the right environment.
“This is what the Irish Technology Leadership Group is all about. It is about helping Irish entrepreneurs to compete.”
After the dinner there was a panel discussion which consisted of:
- Rich Moran, Irish Technology Capital
- John Denniston, KPCB
- John O’Farrell, Andreeson Horowitz
- George Moore, Targus Information Group
The subject of their discussion ranged over a number of points including the observation that while some stock valuations seemed to be on the high side this state of affairs did not constitute a bubble as such.
John Collins, assistant business editor of the Irish Times, one of the major co-sponsors of the event, was called on to say a couple of words. In jest, he likened his role as an Irish business reporter in recent years to that of being a war reporter.
But in his recap of the previous successes that have emerged from the activities of the ITLG, he emphasized that despite the recent economic gloom there had been some significant good news stories as well.
John Hartnett, President and Founder of the ITLG, rounded out what had turned out be a very successful evening by commenting, “The Irish Diaspora is without question one of the strongest assets I believe Ireland has.
“Irish companies need access to talent, need access to customers, need access to capital. The network that is here tonight has access to all of those things.
“What we are trying to do at ITLG is getting Irish companies leverage that in every way that they can.”
Special acknowledgement was also given to Guido Mariotto and his company Miravex for winning ITLG’s University Challenge competition in November 2010 at the annual conference held at the University of Limerick, Ireland.