Last night over 300 tech and entertainment executives and their guests gathered at Sony Picture Entertainment studios in Los Angeles, California. The event was to launch the Southern California Chapter of the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG). One guest, Dennis Donahue, Agriculturalist and Mayor of Salinas, believes very strongly the ITLG has, “Arguably, the best economic development program in the world. It is a very distinct market based approach with experienced executives, venture capital funds, terrific leadership and a network that can’t be beat.”
Guests of honor were First Minister Peter Robinson of Northern Ireland and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. Considering their personal history and the centuries of conflict that Ireland has had to endure it was a wonderful testament to the desire for peace and progress to see both men on a platform together in front of some of the most powerful and successful Irish and Irish-American executives of the Diaspora.
A main theme of the evening was the enormous contribution that Irish led technology companies have made in the past, are making now and will to do so in the future to the entertainment industry.
John Hartnett, President and Founder of the ITLG credited JonMichael Bukosky and Kieran Hannon for presenting the case for having a Southern California Chapter. They clearly saw the potential in bringing together the ITLG’s extensive network of technology executives with significant figures in the entertainment business such as Bill Daly, Senior Vice President of Post Production at Warner Brothers and George Bailey, Sony’s Chief Transformation officer.
After dinner there followed a panel discussion hosted very effectively by Norah Zimmett of Bloomberg Television who were a media partner to the event. The theme of the discussion was ‘technology and entertainment.’ It was interesting to hear the different opinions from Fred Amoroso of Rovi, Robert Nashak, Executive Vice President of Digital Entertainment BBC Worldwide, Jay Roewe SVP of West Coast Production for HBO and Richard Moran, Venture Capitalist, CEO of Accretive Solutions and regular contributor to Technology Voice.
There was much discussion on how new innovations can affect and enhance the production process while possibly reducing costs. It was clear by the end that the panel was united in the view that Silicon Valley technologies would have a continuing and significant effect on the entertainment industry.
To ensure momentum and that the gains from the evening are not lost, JonMichael Bukosky said in a post event interview, that meetings between the technology executives of Silicon Valley and their Hollywood counterparts will continue, facilitated by the Southern Californian Chapter of the ITLG, on a bi-monthly basis with the next one taking place in November.
As Craig Barrett, Chairman of the ITLG and ex-CEO of Intel, announced in his opening remarks which were relayed by video due to previous commitments, “The Irish are coming.”