The Yield Lab Announces the Launch of the Yield Lab Galway

Agri Tech Conference at The Portershed, Galway, IRL. Photograph by David Ruffles

Thad Simons (Managing Director, The Yield Lab) makes the announcement at the Agriculture Technology and Innovation Seminar in the PorterShed (photo by David Ruffles).

The Yield Lab, the United States’ first food and agriculture technology (AgTech) business accelerator, announced the launch of the Yield Lab Galway, in the PorterShed on Friday, 15 July. The Yield Lab Galway is a food and AgTech venture fund and business accelerator, located in Galway, Ireland. The Yield Lab Galway is a significant boost to the investment opportunities available to emerging AgTech and agriculture innovation spinouts and startups from Galway.

The Yield Lab is an early-stage venture fund and business accelerator that invests $100,000 in early-stage food and AgTech startups, provides one-on-one mentorship, free workspace, and networking opportunities supported by agriculture-focused organisations and businesses from the St. Louis region.

Agriculture is a leading industry in the US Midwest, with extensive business connections to the St. Louis region and beyond. The diversity, central location, and solid business community support makes the St. Louis region a leading market for AgTech expansion. St. Louis is a sister city with Galway, which has an emerging and vibrant agriculture innovation system.

“We believe finding innovative solutions to sustainably feed the world’s rapidly growing population is the biggest problem facing humankind today,” said Yield Lab Managing Director Thad Simons. “The launch of the Yield Lab Galway is the appropriate next step and will provide greater access to financial and strategic opportunities for both our St. Louis- and Galway-based investments.”

The Yield Lab Galway has been established on the same building blocks and strategy of sourcing, transacting, and mentoring as the Yield Lab in St. Louis. The fund plans to invest in 8-12 companies over the next two years. Each Galway-based food and AgTech startup will receive up to €100,000 and participate in a twelve-month accelerator program.

Professor Charles Spillane, Head of the Plant & AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC) at NUI Galway highlighted that: “The Yield Lab’s establishment of its first European base in Galway is extremely exciting for the translation of agriculture research activities into agriculture innovations and AgTech startup companies. The multi-disciplinary PABC looks forward to collaborating and working closely with the Yield Lab Galway as one of its key investment and startup partners. The sustainable intensification challenges facing the agriculture and food sector in Ireland, and internationally, present opportunities and necessities for the development of disruptive agriculture innovations that the Yield Lab can foster.”

Dr John Breslin, one of the founders of the PorterShed and a PABC Principal Investigator, highlighted significant synergies between the Yield Lab and the NUI Galway AgTechInnovate program which he leads.

He indicated that: “AgTechInnovate is a new Fellowship Programme from NUI Galway which aims to create interdisciplinary teams of technology entrepreneurs (“techpreneurs”) who are embedded in a particular domain for 6-8 weeks to identify real needs, following which they invent, implement and iterate solutions. In the case of AgTechInnovate, this would be in an agricultural environment, with our initial plans to immerse the 2016 AgTechInnovate team in 10 large dairy farms.

“Spinouts emerging from AgTechInnovate will have the opportunity to pitch to the local Yield Lab Galway for investment. The establishment of Yield Lab Galway will further strengthen the agriculture innovation ecosystem in the West of Ireland, which includes the NUI Galway PABC, Teagasc Athenry, Mountbellew Agricultural College, GMIT and agriculture innovators like JFC, Food 360 and McHale.”

“AgTech companies work in a global economy and our goal is to build a bridge to St. Louis for Irish AgTech companies looking for a US footprint,” said Joe Reagan, President & CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber. “In St. Louis, we are focused on supporting entrepreneurs and innovators, and our economic development strategies in the 21st Century must be bold and innovative as well.” The St. Louis Regional Chamber has made a founding investment in the Yield Lab Galway from its Spirit of St. Louis Ventures fund, which has previously made founding investments in five early-stage business accelerators as part of a comprehensive strategy to support the formation of early-stage capital and to support entrepreneurs.

Galway was the obvious choice for the Yield Lab to establish a European footprint due to the strong relationship as a sister city with St. Louis. It also offers a number of regional resources such as the multi-disciplinary NUI Galway PABC, GMIT, Teagasc Athenry, Mountbellew Agricultural College and a central location to the vast agricultural production systems of the west of Ireland. Galway has built itself into an entrepreneurial stronghold, boasting a thriving technology park and growing support ecosystem for innovators.

Cultivation Capital has developed a significant interest in agricultural technologies,” said General Partner Rick Holton. “The Yield Lab has provided us with valuable insight into their portfolio companies that has consistently presented Cultivation with the opportunity to capitalize on promising investments. This was the value proposition that led us to invest in St. Louis, and this is why we are investing in Galway.”

“The new Yield Lab partnership enables a two-way street of economic activity between St. Louis and Galway. The growing Yield Lab portfolio in both regions will now have overseas networks to leverage. The Yield Lab Galway portfolio companies will attend a programming session in St. Louis to provide them with opportunities to access US markets and alternative sources of capital, and the Yield Lab St. Louis companies will be encouraged to leverage the resources unique to Galway. This marks a critical milestone for the St. Louis entrepreneurial and economic ecosystem. This bridge of economic activity with Galway should bring further opportunities for St. Louis.” said Sheila Sweeney, CEO of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership.

Galway City Innovation District Hires Innovation Community Manager for the PorterShed

Photo: Niamh Costello, General Manager GTC and Director GCID, Mary Rodgers, Innovation Community Manager at the PorterShed, and Maurice O’Gorman, Chairman GCID

The Galway City Innovation District, a non-profit company whose aim is to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation in downtown Galway, has announced the appointment of Mary Rodgers as Innovation Community Manager in the soon-to-be-opened PorterShed innovation hub, backed by AIB and located behind the Ceannt Train and Bus Station in Galway City.

Ms Rodgers brings years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive manager and advisor to this new role, supporting startups and entrepreneurs in the PorterShed. She is the Founder of Stateside Solutions, an entity that helps Irish companies to enter the US market. Prior to Stateside, Ms Rodgers was a Vice President at Credit Suisse in New York, with whom she worked for nine years and was promoted several times during that period. Before that again, she worked as a Paralegal for entertainment law firm Gold, Farrell & Marks in her first role in corporate America.

Ms Rodgers is a keen networker in both Ireland and the US. She is a business mentor for Líonra and LEO Galway, as well as a member of Going for Growth, the International Irish Business Network, New York Digital Irish, and global professional women’s network Ellevate. Ms Rodgers has previously been named three times by Tatler Magazine as one of their Top Women in Business, and twice by Irish Voice as one of their Most Influential Women in Business. She is a graduate of GMIT and NUI Galway.

“I am thrilled to join Galway Innovation District as Innovation Community Manager. I have followed closely the evolution of Galway as a major technology hub, and now with the framework of the Galway City Innovation District in place, I am confident we can attract dynamic businesses to Galway. My role will be to ensure that all members of our community are supported and to connect and accelerate their growth potential on both a national and international stage.”

“We are delighted to have someone of Mary’s calibre joining us in this key role at the PorterShed, leveraging her passion for entrepreneurship and advising/networking with entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses,” said Maurice O’Gorman, Chairman of the Galway City Innovation District. “In her role as Innovation Community Manager, Mary will act as the right-hand person to the board of the Galway City Innovation District, helping to create a culture focused on supporting members of the community and helping them to make the connections they need to grow their businesses.”

The PorterShed innovation hub, backed by AIB, is the ultimate mashup of entrepreneurs, startups, growth companies, educational institutions, the Galway Chamber, state agencies and local government. Its 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 PorterShed allows entrepreneurs to use collaborative spaces, mingle with other entrepreneurs and have efficient access to everything from insights into the latest technology to legal and financial advice. Rather than endure long commutes and daily congestion, those working in the PorterShed can choose to work and live in places that are connected, walkable, bike-able and connected by technology.

The PorterShed is located in the heart of Galway City, just off Eyre Square, adjacent to the CIE train station and close to the Bus Éireann terminus.  The site is within easy walking distance of the main commercial and tourist areas of the City. It is well serviced by the road network, with access from Eyre Square and Lough Atalia. The PorterShed will not only house young and growing companies; it will accelerate their growth by combining collaboration, with access to a wide variety of support, national and international networks and events.

The ethos of the Galway City Innovation District is driven by the need to combine Galway’s economic assets (companies, education institutions and organisations), its physical assets (public and privately-owned spaces designed and organised to stimulate new and higher levels of connectivity, collaboration, and innovation), and its networking assets (the relationships between individuals, companies, organisations and institutions that have the potential to generate, sharpen, and/or accelerate the advancement of ideas).

NUI Galway Launches Unique TechInnovate Fellowship with Support from Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland has been announced as a sponsor of TechInnovate, a new technology entrepreneurship fellowship at NUI Galway. TechInnovate is a unique specialised technology innovation programme at the University, where teams identify real needs in a certain domain and invent/implement solutions. The programme is a 10 month full-time stipend-supported fellowship.

The full-time programme combines teams of high-calibre Fellows from either an engineering, business or design graduate background that aims to align unmet domain needs with a market opportunity. Team members are chosen to contribute their skills, knowledge and expertise as part of a multidisciplinary Fellowship team.

Now recruiting, TechInnovate’s focus is on enabling technology innovators and innovations, by producing more technology entrepreneurs in local startups, as well as more intrapreneurs in established technology companies in the West of Ireland. High-calibre Fellows are recruited to form 2-3 person interdisciplinary teams and participate in an intensive 10-month programme that goes from concept to product.

The programme has been inspired by BioInnovate, a successful medical device technology fellowship that is modelled on the prestigious and internationally-recognised Stanford BioDesign programme.

In parallel to the fellowship programme, the second aspect of TechInnovate involves a series of ten day-long industry training workshops that are offered to industry partners, and that mirrors the TechInnovation process undergone by the full-time Fellows. The aim of this stream is to instil intrapreneurial thinking among staff from participating corporates.

Tracy Keogh, Galway Community Manager at Bank of Ireland, said: “Support for the technology community is one of Bank of Ireland’s pillar activities, and we’ve implemented a number of successful initiatives around this in Galway. We’re delighted to invest further in the creation and growth of tech startups in this thriving community.”

Dr John Breslin, director of TechInnovate, and senior lecturer at NUI Galway, said: “In the West of Ireland, we need more people thinking entrepreneurially and intrapreneurially, and TechInnovate will provide an injection of these people into the tech ecosystem in the region.”

TechInnovate is a joint initiative from the College of Engineering and Informatics and the College of Business, Public Policy and Law at NUI Galway, and is supported by Bank of Ireland, Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway, the Galway University Foundation, NUI Galway, and the Western Development Commission.

Interested fellowship candidates can apply for the TechInnovate fellowship at before 8th April 2016. Candidates in the areas of engineering, information technology, design, law, and business must have completed an undergraduate degree in their area and should hold a postgraduate qualification or have equivalent professional experience.

TechInnovate Presents: The Galway Startup Guide

You probably know that the startup ecosystem in Galway has evolved and grown rapidly over the past two to three years, but it’s only when you put all the pieces of the puzzle together that you realise how much stuff is actually going on. As part of an effort to collate these resources, and under the auspices of TechInnovate, a new technology entrepreneurship fellowship from NUI Galway, we’ve published the first Galway Startup Guide.

From A to Z (well, from B to Y actually), we list all kinds of startup resources including:

  • The best recurring and one-off startup-related events,
  • Galway’s tech hubs including coworking spaces and startup offices for those looking for a place to launch,
  • key organisations helping startups to get started and scale up, and
  • networking groups and tech meetups where you can hear from experts, leaders and founders, because it’s good to talk, but even better to talk, listen and learn.

For each resource, we provide a short description, key contacts, their webpage, and Twitter handles where available. We have many small tech tribes, but they’re all part of a big Galway startup community!

You can download the Galway Startup Guide for 2016 in either single page format or as a double page spread.

TechInnovate is a 10-month stipend-supported Fellowship from NUI Galway that aims to create interdisciplinary teams of technology entrepreneurs (techpreneurs) who are embedded in a particular domain for 6-8 weeks to identify real needs, following which they invent, implement and iterate solutions. For more information, visit

Let’s Shine a Light on Galway’s Greatness

Picture of Black Head Lighthouse on Galway Bay (Allgau, Wikimedia Commons). My grandfather was the first lighthouse keeper here, having helped build it from 1935 to 1936 with the Galway Harbour and Irish Lights Commissioners (this Clare lighthouse was requested by the community of transatlantic liner captains and freighter masters using Galway Bay).

Galway has so much to be proud of that often remains under the radar. Sometimes we tend to be a bit “Irish” about the great stuff going on here, hiding our lights under bushels. So I wanted to make a plea to everyone in the West to shine a light on the creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship of Galway, the capital city of the West, whether it be through social media, word of mouth, or promotional material you may be creating for your organisation.

Here are some tidbits that many of you may have heard before, and some others that you may not have encountered thus far:

Barry O’Sullivan wrote an article in the Irish Times on Friday about various initiatives centred around what he dubbed “Silicon Square” in Eyre Square, including the Galway City Innovation District’s PorterShed, StartLab, and other projects that are aiming to raise the game in terms of innovation density in downtown Galway. The final line of his article summed it all up very nicely: “The folks in the west have a vision of Galway as a birthplace of ambition, so that our kids will have a choice to have amazing careers in the west, and not have to pack their bags for Dublin or San Francisco or even Lisbon.

Galway has a great reputation for quality of life and culture, but to attract the creators, innovators and entrepreneurs (and keep our own kids here) we should be telling them first and foremost about our ecosystem of internationally-renowned and award-winning tech and medtech companies, as well as the skilled and talented graduates and postgraduates from our respected educational institutions (NUI Galway, GMIT) and research centres (Insight, Cúram, GMedTech, CiSET, Marine Institute), because it is this density of ecosystem that will primarily draw them in.

The literary, arts, music and food events plus other outdoor activities to do around Ireland’s cultural heart and most multicultural city are a huge feature and added benefit, as it could be the Derroura mountain bike trail outside Oughterard, Ireland’s only Computer and Communications Museum, or the Food on the Edge extravaganza in Galway that further resonates with the CEO of a high-potential startup or multinational who is already considering Galway as a location. Few others can boast having Galway Bay, Connemara, the Corrib, the Twelve Bens, the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands on their wild Atlantic doorstep, not to mention the Galway Races, Arts and Oyster Festivals held here every year. Christopher Columbus even paid us a visit in 1477.

But we also need to appeal to those businesspeople who are just visiting Galway as a tourist destination (1.13 million visitors came to Galway in 2014) and who have no idea of the fact that there is a tech and medtech hub right under their noses. Real-time social media searches often unearth such people: I remember a few years ago, one of the heads of a large internet organisation was on holidays in Galway and I felt that we had missed out on an opportunity. It would be great to instantly make these people aware of the ecosystem here in case they choose to combine work with pleasure and have a tour of what’s going on.

I also do a daily search for the word “galway” along with “innovation”, “tech”, “technology” or “startup” on Twitter, Google News, etc., and as part of my routine I share out the interesting things I come across on social media. You too may have seen a fascinating story about a Galway innovator or innovation in the newspaper or elsewhere: we can all be ambassadors, so I am calling on you to share these good news stories (online, verbally, hand-written, whatever!) with your peers, colleagues and friends.

Let’s shine a light on the treasure that is Galway, the best small city in Ireland, Europe, and I believe, the world.

Ireland’s Talented 38 Technology Women 2015


This post is brought to you in conjunction with the Galway City Innovation District, a non-profit initiative working to develop a downtown innovation district in Galway, attracting creators, innovators and entrepreneurs who wish to work in close proximity to others in a supportive and connected environment. Follow @galwaycity

It’s National Women’s Enterprise Day in Ireland, so there’s no better time than this to publish our 2015 list of Ireland’s technology women, also known as the yearly “Talented 38”. This is the fourth annual list of Irish and Ireland-based technology women, all of whom are driving the ICT, medtech and/or startup scenes in Ireland, the US, and around the world, and shortlisted from a longer list of 83. You can also view our previous lists from 2014, 2013, and 2012.

Ailish Ryan /


Ailish Ryan is the director of (used by 20% of Leaving Certificate and 15% of Junior Certificate students), and more recently (covering GCSE and A-Levels for England and Wales). She is also a director of Ryan and Associates, has worked as a senior fire engineer for a large fire safety engineering practice. Ailish has a Masters in fire safety engineering from Ulster University and a BE in electronic and computer engineering from NUI Galway.

Áine Behan


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Áine Behan is the CEO and co-founder of Cortechs, developing engaging games to make users more relaxed and focused using brainwave technology and neuroscience. She was previously a research lecturer in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and has won a number of awards for her research. Áine has a PhD in neuropathology and an MSc in leadership and management development for researchers from RCSI, and a BSc in neuroscience from UCC.

Alice D’Arcy

STEAM Education

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Alice D’Arcy is the course director for STEAM Education, bringing innovative solutions for teaching science, technology, engineering, the arts and maths to young children. She was previously an environmental consultant and green campus facilitator for UCC, and has worked as a facilitator with SUAS, SEI and Animation Space. Alice has a PhD on the sustainability of agrifood systems and a BSc in applied ecology from UCC.

Anne-Marie Farrell



Anne-Marie Farrell is the head of behavioural economics research at Google in San Francisco, with a focus on designing experiences to strengthen Google’s marketing and product strategy. She has worked at Google since 2006 in a variety of roles, including senior strategy and business analytics manager and senior financial analyst, and previously worked in Accenture as a management consultant. Anne-Marie is a past student of NUI Galway, where she graduated with a BE in electronic and computer engineering in 2003.

Avril Copeland


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Avril Copeland is the founder and CEO of TickerFit, a cloud-based application that allows health professionals to provide personalised lifestyle interventions for each patient, based on their current health status. She has won a number of awards for TickerFit, including a National Healthcare Innovation Award in 2015, and is a founding member of Pieta House’s Darkness Into Light 5k walk/run. Avril is a chartered physiotherapist, with degrees in physiotherapy from RCSI and in exercise science from Belmont University.

Caitriona Lynch

C Infinity

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Caitriona Lynch is director of C Infinity, working with startups and larger enterprises to help them choose appropriate SaaS infrastructures and platforms as well as associated support services. She has also worked as a consultant and business advisor with C3 Consultants, as a financial and systems lead for Apple on their global ERP systems and business process reengineering projects (including iTunes), and in various financial roles with Black & Decker and PWC. A co-organiser of the recent Entrepreneurship at Work event at NUI Galway, Caitriona is a qualified chartered accountant with Chartered Accountants Ireland, and holds an MBS in finance and financial management services from UCC.

Caroline Cawley O’Neill


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Caroline Cawley O’Neill is the CEO and board member of ITAG, the Information Technology Association of Galway, whose remit is to promote, strengthen and grow the information technology industry in the West of Ireland. She is also the promoter of ITAG Skillnet, delivering tailored training and learning programmes to over 50 companies involved in the IT sector in the Galway area, and she has a background in HR with senior posts in general management and public relations (Cigna, Business Advantage). Caroline strongly supports the arts, is actively involved in local fundraising for various charities and community projects, and has a qualification in human resource management from GMIT.

Ciara Clancy

Beats Medical

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Ciara Clancy is the CEO of Beats Medical, aiming to revolutionise how people with Parkinson’s are treated, assessed and monitored using technology, with the goal of improving their mobility and independence. She was a finalist at the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards for Europe in 2015, and was the startup / overall winner for the Dublin region of the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur Awards in 2014. Ciara has previously worked at Nike, and is a chartered physiotherapist with a BSc in physiotherapy from TCD.

Danielle Mallen


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Danielle Mallen is the co-founder and COO of Acteavo, a B2B reservation and management software solution for tour and activity companies. She is also co-founder of TripClocker, and previously worked as an investment portfolio manager with Bank of Ireland. Danielle has an MA in international relations and a BA from DCU, and is a QFA with the Institute of Banking.

Deirdre Ní Luasaigh


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Deirdre Ní Luasaigh is co-founder and COO of CultureArk, a digital archiving platform for brand archives, creative agencies and cultural heritage organisations. She has previously worked in creative director and graphic design management roles with various companies including Hähnel Industries, EPC Direct and Uppercase. A native Irish speaker from Dún Chaoin in the west of County Kerry, Deirdre has participated in the Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers programme at CIT and in the LaunchPad programme at the NDRC.

Diane Hodnett


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Diane Hodnett is an executive director at AEConnect (part of AquaComms), a new transatlantic subsea fibre optic cable system that connects North America with Europe and joins Ireland at Killala in Mayo. She was previously founder and CEO at Sea Fibre Networks, and before that was director of corporate development and Netherlands country manager at euNetworks. A BComm graduate from UCC, Diane is also a mentor at the synthetic biology axlr8r and on the organising committee of Techies4TempleStreet, a technology community charity event for Temple Street Hospital.

Edel Browne

Free Feet

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Edel Browne is the founder of Free Feet, a multi-award winning medical device designed to treat gait freezing for people with Parkinson’s disease. She is a past participant on the STEMette’s Outbox Incubator in London, a founding member of the Digital Youth Council in Ireland, and a global youth ambassador for AAT (America’s Amazing Teens). Edel is currently studying for a BSc in biotechnology at NUI Galway, and is a past best individual award winner at the BT Young Scientist competition in 2013.

Edel Flynn

Element Property

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Edel Flynn is co-founder and director at Element Property, providing coworking space for startups in Dublin’s city centre. She was previously CEO (and before that COO) of the Digital Hub Development Agency, and has worked as operations manager for Regus’ EMEA business centres, and as head of information for Visit Britain. Edel is chair of Bizworld Ireland, which helps tweens to learn about critical thinking, team work, digital skills and enterprise, and has a BA in international business studies from Sheffield Hallam University.

Emer O’Daly

Love and Robots

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Emer O’Daly is co-founder and CEO of Love and Robots, a design brand that makes unique and customisable 3D products that customers can tweak online for printing on demand. She was previously a lecturer in digital design/emergent technologies at UCD, and worked as an architect at Heneghan Peng, where she coordinated designs on projects such as the Grand Egyptian Museum. With her Love and Robots co-founders, Emer has won a number of startup awards (Spark of Genius, Seedcamp, DCU Ryan Academy Propeller), and she also has a MArch from Yale and a BArch from UCD.

Evelyn O’Toole

Complete Laboratory Solutions

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Evelyn O’Toole is the CEO of Complete Laboratory Solutions, a contract lab that provides microbiological analytics to the pharmaceutical, medtech, food and water industries, and employs over 100 people. Prior to CLS, she managed a laboratory for Gaelic Seafoods, an aquaculture subsidiary in Ireland, and prior to that she worked in the UK as a QA and R&D analyst in Hammer Paints. Evelyn has a diploma in business development from IMI, a diploma in “train the trainer” from NUI Maynooth, a diploma in pollution assessment/control from Sligo IT, and a certificate in applied biology from Athlone IT.

Fiona McCarthy



Fiona McCarthy is executive director HR at Dell, where she has worked for over 17 years, and is also a global HR business partner for Dell. She previously worked at Boston Scientific, AST Computer, Analog Devices and DEC, and is a passionate advocate of young women entering the disciplines of engineering, science and technology. Fiona has an MBA from UL, a postgraduate diploma in computer systems analysis from NUI Galway, and a BA in economics from UCC.

Helen Ryan

Creganna-Tactx Medical

Helen Ryan was CEO of Creganna-Tactx Medical, Ireland’s largest indigenous medical device company and ranked among the world’s top 10 medical device outsource providers, between 2005 and 2013. She is a board member of Enterprise Ireland, and previously worked with Tyco Healthcare (Covidien), Medtronic and CR Bard in product development and R&D functional management roles. Helen has completed a senior executive programme with Stanford University, has an MSc in project management from UL, and a BE from NUI Galway.

Jayne Ronayne


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Jayne Ronayne is co-founder and CEO of KonnectAgain, which aims to reconnect past alumni and institutions together to ensure that institutions receive the most up-to-date information on their alumni. She is co-founder of Graduate Founders with Connor Murphy (encouraging graduates to run a startup), a member of the One/Thousand Network, and co-founder of UrYearBook (also on UCC’s Ignite programme). She has a degree in government, public policy, marketing and management from UCC, where she was also president of their Entrepreneurial and Social Society from 2011 to 2012.

Joanne Dolan

Insight Centre for Data Analytics, DCU


Joanne Dolan is the site general manager at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics in DCU, one of four sites in Ireland’s largest decentralised ICT research institute and funded by Science Foundation Ireland. She also leads Girls Hack Ireland, an initiative which aims to generate knowledge and interest among girls to pursue the academic disciplines of STEM subjects through creative and interactive learning.

Julie Currid


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Julie Currid is co-founder and COO of Initiafy, which helps companies like Domino’s, Pfizer, Adobe, Sodexo and Lidl to manage the initial steps each employee and contractor takes to become part of their team. She previously worked in business development with EazySafe, as territory manager for Loreal, as a marketing and sales manager with Puratos, and as a promotions executive with UTV Media. Julie has a BSc in management and marketing from DIT, was a participant on the Going For Growth programme in 2014, and is interested in technology startups and female entrepreneurship.

Katie Tsouros


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Katie Tsouros is co-founder and CEO of Artfetch, an ecommerce platform that globally selects, curates, and sells emerging contemporary art online. She is an ambassador to the One/Thousand Network, a member of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers, and previously held positions at IMMA, Artwise Curators, Sadie Coles HQ, and the Rubicon Gallery. She has an MA in contemporary art from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art and a BA in art history and philosophy from UCD.

Kim Tighe

HP Galway

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Kim Tighe is a solution lead with HP’s enterprise services division in Galway, where she has worked in a variety of roles over a ten-year period. She previously worked as a solution architect with HP, as a researcher at HP in conjunction with the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway, and as a software engineer at the company. Kim has a first class honours BSc degree in information technology (computer science) from NUI Galway, and is a fundraiser and supporter of children’s cancer charity Hand in Hand West.

Lauren Boyle

European Digital Girl of the Year


Lauren Boyle is the founder of Cool Kids Studio, teaching life skills to kids aged 3 to 12, e.g. what to do on a rainy day (plus maker projects), how to deal with bullies, making friends, healthy eating and meditation. She is also the founder of Cool STEAM Kids, promoting STEM/STEAM/STREAM to 10 to 15 year olds, and she was also named as European Digital Girl of the Year at the European Ada Awards in 2014. As well as being an app and web developer herself, Lauren is a member and mentor with the national/global CoderDojo movement, where she helps teach other kids how to code.

Linda Kiely


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Linda Kiely is co-founder and director of Voxpro, a multilingual business process outsourcing provider set up twenty years ago and headquartered in Cork that now employs nearly 500 people. With Voxpro she has won multiple awards, including Deloitte Best Managed Company and EY EOY Finalist in 2013, and she previously worked in Pageboy Communications and the Department of Foreign Affairs. Linda has qualifications in HR from Coombes HRM, as an accredited strengths practitioner from Libra Coaching, in HR from Cork IT, and in marketing from the College of Commerce.

Lisa Ruttledge

Sen Academy

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Lisa Ruttledge is co-founder and CEO of Sen Academy, whose mission is to improve student understanding, confidence and engagement in mathematics through challenging, self-led activities. She was previously co-founder and director of the Think Academy, worked as an engineering consultant with GE and as an engineer with EirGrid, and has taught at UCD and on KPMG’s Bright Sparks programme. A winner of the Impact Series Minnovation Award (best social idea to change Ireland) from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland/JP Morgan in 2014, Lisa has a PhD and BE in electrical/electronic engineering from UCD.

Louise O’Sullivan


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Louise O’Sullivan is the founder and CEO of Anam Technologies, a leading provider of innovative and intelligent mobile messaging security solutions. She previously worked at Logica as leader of their service delivery business in the UK, and before that as project manager for Aldiscon’s short message service centre implementations. Louise gained her initial training in business from the internationally recognised Shannon School of Hotel Management.

Mairéad Ní Mhaoilchiaráin

Irish TV

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Mairéad Ní Mhaoilchiaráin is founder and managing director of Irish TV, connecting Irish communities and businesses worldwide through its satellite and online video offerings that are targetted at the Irish disapora. She previously worked as CEO of Gnó Mhaigh Eo and director of Mayo Media Productions, in advertising roles at the Irish Times and the Irish Echo newspapers, and in journalism roles with RTÉ and Foinse. She is a graduate of the entrepreneur’s programme at GMIT, and studied for a BA and higher diploma in applied communications (ard-dioplóma i gcumarsáid fheidhmeach) at NUI Galway.

Martina Skelly


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Martina Skelly is co-founder and CEO of YellowSchedule, a cloud-based appointment management and client CRM tool for the mental health sector, with customers including GoDaddy and GoodLife Fitness. She was previously the owner and operator of, and has worked in variety of online marketing roles with Activate Marketing, Digino Marketing, and the Mercer Accommodation Group. Martina was winner of the Women in Business Award at the Vodafone Startup Awards in 2013, and has a diploma in international sales from DIT and a BSc in software/design/multimedia from Plymouth University.

Mary Carty

Outbox Incubator

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Mary Carty is co-founder of the STEMette’s Outbox Incubator, the first STEM-focused incubator for girls under 22, provide seed funding, mentorship and support to those who have innovative STEM business ideas. A board member of the Irish Internet Association, she was previously CEO of online agency Spoiltchild, co-founder of email marketing platform Toddle, and before that county arts officer for Meath County Council. Mary has lectured widely on business development and entrepreneurship in universities and colleges across Europe, and has an advanced diploma and MA from Ulster University, and a BA and diploma in fine art.

Mary Moloney

CoderDojo Foundation

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Mary Moloney is the global CEO of the CoderDojo Foundation, responsible for CoderDojo’s operations and growth worldwide, with 800 coding clubs in 60 countries reaching 40,000 kids and young people 7 and 17. She was previously a partner at Accenture, where she filled managing director, CEO, COO and talent/HR director roles within Accenture and for international financial/professional services and high-tech clients. Mary is active in various business organisations, including board of director roles for the Dublin Fringe Festival and the European Professional Women’s Network, and she is a law graduate from TCD.

Norah Patten

International Space University

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Norah Patten is an adjunct faculty member and co-chair of the space humanities department in the International Space University’s space studies programme. She previously worked as a composite materials researcher at the Irish Centre for Composites Research at UL, a lecturer in engineering at UL, and in engineering roles at Alcatel-Lucent and Boeing. Norah is the Irish national contact point for the Space Generation Advisory Council, and has a PhD in aeronautical engineering and a BE in aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering from UL.

Patricia Scanlon

SoapBox Labs

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Patricia Scanlon is founder and CEO of SoapBox Labs, developing a speech technology-based assessment and personalised learning platform for young children learning to read or learning a language. She has held research positions with Bell Labs Alcatel-Lucent (working with businesses and collaborators to design and develop innovative products), the IBM TJ Watson Research Centre, and Columbia University in New York. Patricia has a PhD in electronic engineering/digital signal processing from UCD (on feature analysis for audio and visual speech recognition), and a BScEng in electronic/electrical engineering from DIT.

Rhona Togher

Restored Hearing

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Rhona Togher is co-founder and CEO of Restored Hearing, creators of the “Sound Relief” streaming online sound therapy to alleviate tinnitus or ringing in the ears, and the forthcoming “Sound Bounce” responsive hearing protection headset. The original idea for Restored Hearing emerged from a project that she and co-founder/CTO Eimear O’Carroll entered for the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in 2009. In charge of the logistics and manufacturing side of Restored Hearing and now based in Westmoreland Street (having come through Wayra and NovaUCD), Rhona graduated with a BSc in physics from UCD in 2013.

Sinéad Kenny

DiaNia Technologies

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Sinéad Kenny is founder and CEO of DiaNia Technologies, a medical device materials technology company based on NUI Galway’s campus focusing on a series of products incorporating built-on components while maintaining a low profile so that they are easy to fit into the anatomy. She was previously a design engineer with Creganna for nearly eight years, a healthcare consultant with Altran, a lecturer in polymers and materials at UL and LIT respectively, and has worked on regulatory affairs with Cook Medical. Sinéad has received funding under the SME Instrument of Horizon 2020, and she has an MSc in project management, a PhD in biomedical cements, and a BE in materials science from UL.

Siobhán Ní Chofaigh

Mint Tek Circuits

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Siobhán Ní Chofaigh is the founder and CEO of Mint Tek Circuits, whose aim is provide an online marketplace for hardware developers building prototypes to make it faster, easier and cheaper for them to source their hardware needs. She is also a part-time European projects coordinator for the “Startup Scaleup” internet of things accelerator at the DCU Ryan Academy, and has worked in a variety of operational and business development roles at Noni Lifestyle, Beta Layout, Sanmina, Infineon, Betatherm and Bemitech. Siobhán is a passionate about teaching kids how to design and build hardware using a PCB and components (through Hardie Kids), and she has an MBA from UCD and a diploma in electronic engineering from DIT.

Sonya Lennon


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Sonya Lennon is co-founder of Frockadvisor, a social commerce platform for independent fashion retailers that has received a number of awards including an Irish Times FUSION Award in 2013 and an Arthur Guinness Fund Award in 2012. She is also the founder of Dress for Success Dublin, is a board member of the Crafts Council of Ireland, and presented the television show “Off the Rails” for seven years on RTÉ. Sonya’s work with Frockadvisor has been recognised by Astia, a global community dedicated to the success of women-led, high-growth ventures, and the company has been supported by Enterprise Ireland HPSU, NDRC LaunchPad, and Wayra.

Tanya Duncan



Tanya Duncan is the managing director of Interxion, a Dublin-based cloud and carrier-neutral data centres company, where she has held a number of positions before becoming MD in 2005. She is vice chair of the Telecommunications and Internet Federation outsourcing services industry group in IBEC, and began her career in the telecommunications sector with roles at Esat BT and KPNQwest. Tanya has qualified in business administration and management from IMI, has a graduate diploma in business studies from DBS, and has a BA in mechanical and manufacturing engineering from TCD.

Tara van Zyl


Twitter | LinkedIn

Tara van Zyl is the founder and CEO of seamless, a platform offering the film and television industry a private and secure solution for real-time approvals, notifications, and communication. She released the iCostume app in 2013 for tracking costume continuity on film sets, and has worked in the film industry for over 20 years on a variety of projects including Game of Thrones and Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. Tara has won various awards, including first prize for the Bell Labs IPMashup in 2015 and winner of NDRC Female Founders in 2014, and has qualifications in digital marketing, web design, and fashion technique and design.

This post is brought to you in conjunction with the Galway City Innovation District, a non-profit initiative working to develop a downtown innovation district in Galway, attracting creators, innovators and entrepreneurs who wish to work in close proximity to others in a supportive and connected environment. Follow @galwaycity

AIB Announce Five Year Partnership with Galway City Innovation District

AIB has announced a five year partnership with Galway City Innovation District (GCID), a new initiative supporting startups and business innovation in Galway City and the West of Ireland. The initiative brings together Galway Chamber of Commerce, Galway City Council, NUI Galway and GMIT to form the GCID.

Initially AIB is sponsoring the PorterShed, the first building to be opened as part of the GCID initiative, which is located close to Eyre Square. The PorterShed will house an accelerator program, high potential startups and entrepreneurs, as well as providing coworking space and an open area for workshops and seminars. It is expected to open early next year.

Additional buildings are due to open over time, and it is envisaged that this innovation district could eventually support up to 20,000 workers. The innovation district is expected to be similar to Dublin’s so-called ‘Silicon Docks’ area where companies such as Google and Facebook are based.

The PorterShed was once used as a Guinness storehouse, and is located on CIE land at the back of Ceannt Station. It will have capacity for 85 workers, and it is also hoped it will encourage more multinationals to establish a base in Galway.

Announcing this key partnership for AIB at the Venture West Conference, AIB CEO Bernard Byrne, said: “Developing an innovation district in the heart of Galway can serve as a catalyst for high growth companies, and is a model that worked in other cities such as Boston. This will help address the economic imbalance between the West of Ireland and the East coast.

“The Galway City Innovation District is the first part of an ambitious plan to support the growth and development of innovative companies across the West of Ireland. AIB is delighted to be involved in the development of this new innovation district for Galway and the West of Ireland.”

According to the President of Galway Chamber, Frank Greene, the Galway City Innovation District will be a driver of new enterprise and commercial activity in Galway City and ultimately in the county and region.

“This cluster of entrepreneurs, startups, accelerators and incubators will nurture collaboration and knowledge sharing. Galway Chamber, with our partners, is proud to be an initiator of the GCID which, by creating jobs, will also increase the need for services and in turn, further increase employment,” he said.

Maurice O’Gorman, council member of Galway Chamber and board member of the Galway City Innovation District said: “Commencement of work on the PorterShed is a significant milestone in the implementation of our vision for a downtown city innovation hub, which will attract young technology companies with strong growth potential, including many of our existing superstars.”

Dr John Breslin, senior lecturer at NUI Galway and also a board member of GCID added: “We also want to provide a place where incoming tech companies and investors visiting Galway can have a visitor’s seat and can network with some of the best companies that the West has to offer. This is an ideal location for attracting visiting companies and for giving them a feel for what it would be like to be based here: close to transport, cafés and restaurants, and everything else that downtown Galway has to offer.”

35 Events are Lined Up for the Startup Gathering in Galway Next Week: Here’s the List!

Startup Weekend Galway

18:30 on 02/10/2015 in GMIT, Dublin Road, Galway

Developers, designers and business development folks will come together to pitch an idea and launch a business, all in one weekend!

Register at

Organised by Startup Weekend Galway

Startups: How To Launch?

14:00 on 05/10/2015 in Bank of Ireland Workbench, Mainguard Street, Galway

Learn from Declan Droney, CEO of Kinvara Smoked Salmon on how to launch a startup. Advice on all aspects of setting up a business, helping the nascent, aspirational and seasoned entrepreneur to start, scale and succeed.

Organised by Bank of Ireland

Female Founders: East Side Story

07:45 on 06/10/2015 in Galway Technology Centre, Mervue Business Park, Wellpark Road, Galway

Leading female business leaders from Galway and surrounding areas share their business experiences, whilst also discussing the support they have received from various networks and structures (such as GTC) which have led to their business success.

Register with

Organised by Bank of Ireland

Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship

14:00 on 06/10/2015 in Bank of Ireland Workbench, Mainguard Street, Galway

Digital marketing and entrepreneurship session with Ashlee Chin, Events Manager for OMIG (Online Marketing in Galway).

Organised by Bank of Ireland

Speed Networking with Ibec

08:00 on 07/10/2015 in Bank of Ireland Workbench, Mainguard Street, Galway

This speed networking event provides a great opportunity to increase your network, forge new connections in your local area, and build awareness for your business.

Register at

Organised by Bank of Ireland and Ibec

Interactive Workshop on “From Concept to Commercialisation”

15:00 on 07/10/2015 in Bank of Ireland Workbench, Mainguard Street, Galway

A practical workshop on the key milestones for your initial product/service idea all the way through to market launch.

Register at

Organised by IMS Marketing


19:00 on 07/10/2015 in Monroe’s Upstairs, 14 Dominick Street Upper, Galway

Featuring leading tech startups from Galway showcasing their products at the expo, “Ted Talk”-style speakers on thought-provoking topics, and an interactive technology awards night covering the West of Ireland.

Register at

Organised by JCI Galway

5 Steps To Creating a Marketing Asset and Networking

07:00 on 08/10/2015 in Unit 14, Ballybane Enterprise Centre, Galway

Providing entrepreneurs with a place and environment where they can take time out to think about their business, share ideas, learn from each other, build connections and grow. Also showing them how to use direct response marketing to get more customers.

Register at

Organised by GKIC Ireland

Building your Personal Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

13:00 on 08/10/2015 in StartX6, 16 Mary Street, Galway

Panel discussion and meetup with experienced information entrepreneurs and mentors to learn how to build your own support network to boost your personal entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Register at

Organised by StartX6

The Right Tool, The Right Job

13:00 on 08/10/2015 in Bank of Ireland Workbench, Mainguard Street, Galway

This workshop, run in a crowd format, is about solving and expanding your set of tools to succeed with your business and profession. Examples covered are BuzzSumo,, OnePageCRM, Element Wave, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Keyword Tool, Evernote, App Annie, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and more.

Register at

Organised by Chris Mortimer

Right from the Start: Startup Stories

18:30 on 08/10/2015 in Innovation Hub, GMIT, Dublin Road, Galway

Join us for an evening of colourful startup stories from successful entrepreneurs based in GMIT’s Innovation Hub in Galway: Kevin McCaffrey, Founder of Tr3dent; Brendan McLaughlin, CEO of Capsos Medical. A networking opportunity to meet other GMIT Innovation Hub companies, staff, members of Galway Chamber will take place afterwards.

Register at

Organised by Galway Mayo Institute of Technology

Mindful Way Conference

09:15 on 09/10/2015 in ILAS Building, North Campus, NUI Galway, Galway

This conference aims to bring mindfulness visionaries, higher education leaders and university students and staff together to share the evidence-based impact of mindfulness on performance, wellbeing, entrepreneurship and society. Keynote speakers include Alfert Tolle, Director of Google’s Nordics LCS in Dublin.

Register at

Organised by NUI Galway

Going International

09:30 on 09/10/2015 in Bank of Ireland Workbench, Mainguard Street, Galway

“Going International” will feature 4-5 WestBIC startup companies who will share their experiences on establishing an international presence. There will also be a keynote from an established entrepreneur with success in international trading, sharing the highs and lows of breaking into international markets.

Register at

Organised by WestBIC

Public Procurement for SMEs

09:30 on 09/10/2015 in Harbour Hotel, New Dock Road, Galway

A public procurement workshop for SMEs, describing how a small business can compete and win in both national and international procurement processes.

Register at

Organised by Galway Local Enterprise Office

Social Bootcamp Galway (Morning)

09:30 on 09/10/2015 in Clayton Hotel Galway, Ballybrit, Galway

A half day of social media training for small businesses who need to quickly learn how to use social media to grow their business. Featuring well-known journalist Conor Pope and Spark Digital owner Felicity McCarthy.

Register at

Organised by Spark Digital and Conor Pope

Horse Sense for Business People Workshop

10:00 on 09/10/2015 in Rockmount Equestrian Centre, Rockmount, Claregalway

Horse Sense for Business People is a new, exciting and effective way to cut straight to the heart of any business issues and find real solution-focussed answers in the presence of a horse! Equine-facilitated learning is recognised globally as a powerful and experiential tool that very quickly breaks down barriers and changes behavioural patterns.

Register at

Organised by Horses Connect Enterprises Ltd.

Social Enterprise: A Success Story

10:00 on 09/10/2015 in SCCUL Enterprise Centre, Ballybane, Galway

Featuring three previous SCCUL awards winners who have developed award-winning social enterprises based in Galway. Share in their success stories, engage in questions and answers, and network post event.

Register at

Organised by SCCUL Enterprises

Startup Galway Pitches Meetup

13:00 on 09/10/2015 in Galway Technology Centre, Mervue Business Park, Galway

6-8 companies will pitch in front of an expert panel and compete for a range of prizes. Lunch and networking will follow.

Register at

Organised by Galway Technology Centre and Startup Galway Pitches Meetup

StartGalway Portumna

13:00 on 09/10/2015 in The Hub, St. Brendan’s Street, Portumna

Open clinic with startup mentors, panel discussions on topics relating to starting your own business, and a startup hackathon.

Register at

Organised by Evert Bopp

Student Entrepreneurship Structures on the Way for NUI Galway: MakerSpace, Blackstone LaunchPad, and More

13:00 on 09/10/2015 in Library, NUI Galway, University Road, Galway

This event previews and introduces student entrepreneurship structures on the way for NUI Galway. This event is only for staff and students of the University. You need a valid student or staff card to enter the venue. Introduction to student entrepreneurship in NUI Galway, the NUI Galway MakerSpace, Blackstone LaunchPad, demos and tour.

Register at

Organised by NUI Galway

Design Your Future: From Young Researcher to Medical Device Entrepreneur

13:15 on 09/10/2015 in CÚRAM, Biosciences Research Building, NUI Galway

The purpose of the event is to promote entrepreneurship as a career path to researchers at different stages of their career, and is an opportunity to help young scientists in their career development and offer them an interdisciplinary discussion forum within an exclusive circle. Speakers include John Power, CEO of Aerogen, and Evelyn O’Toole, Founder of CLS.

Register at

Organised by CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices

Enterprise Ireland Supports for Startups in the West Region

13:15, 14:15, 15:15 on 09/10/2015 in Enterprise Ireland West Region Office, Mervue Business Park, Galway

Three briefings on Enterprise Ireland supports for startups in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. These briefings will be of particular value to people thinking of starting an innovation-led business in manufacturing or internationally traded services. Business professionals who want to appraise themselves of current supports are also welcome.

Register at

Organised by Enterprise Ireland – West Region

Medical Device Innovation: Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur Training

14:00 on 09/10/2015 in BioInnovate Ireland, Block E, NUI Galway

BioInnovate Ireland is a forum which combines resources to catalyse and lead medical innovation by delivering the next generation of specially trained fellows and skilled graduates to the medtech market place. This seminar will discuss the BioInnovate programme and outputs.

Organised by BioInnovate Ireland

HR Forum for Business

14:30 on 09/10/2015 in Meyrick Hotel, Eyre Square, Galway

“Startups: Critical Aspects of Employment Law” is for employers, business owners and HR professionals. This will encompass the key HR practices that startups need to be aware of as a new business. It is an opportunity to listen and learn from Ibec practitioners about the implications of legislation on an organisation.

Register at

Organised by Ibec

Patents Workshop: Building a Business on Your Ideas

14:00 on 09/10/2015 in Harbour Hotel, New Dock Road, Galway

This seminar, aimed at small business-owners, entrepreneurs, inventors and startup companies, will provide an insight into what patents, trademarks and industrial designs are, how they should be managed, and how awareness of IP rights can assist in converting an idea into a business opportunity (while being mindful of due diligence considerations).

Register at

Organised by Galway Local Enterprise Office and Irish Patents Office

Presentation Skills and Elevator Pitch Seminar

14:00 on 09/10/2015 in Pillo Hotel, Headford Road, Galway

Session for participants to assess professional presentations, where TED presentations are viewed on screen, and an assessment draws out the principles of effective communication. The main points of an elevator pitch are discussed, with example pitches viewed and assessed.

Register with using the subject Startup Gathering 2015

Organised by ITAG

Social Bootcamp Galway (Afternoon)

14:00 on 09/10/2015 in Clayton Hotel Galway, Ballybrit, Galway

A half day of social media training for small businesses who need to quickly learn how to use social media to grow their business. Featuring well-known journalist Conor Pope and Spark Digital owner Felicity McCarthy.

Register at

Organised by Spark Digital and Conor Pope

Digi for Business

14:00 on 09/10/2015 in Bank of Ireland Workbench, Mainguard Street, Galway

A Bank of Ireland representative will lead the discussion on how best to utilise digital platforms to maximise your business output, ensuring your business is digital savvy, and being prepared for ever changing buyer behaviour.

Organised by Bank of Ireland

An Afternoon for Startups at the Workbench for Startups

15:00 on 09/10/2015 in Bank of Ireland Workbench, Mainguard Street, Galway

Taking place in the customised, bespoke workspace that is Workbench Galway, a panel discussion featuring startups from a variety of sectors and industries providing real-life stories and insights on how they designed, delivered and built their businesses.

Organised by Bank of Ireland

ISA TechBrew

16:00 on 09/10/2015 in Electric Galway, Abbeygate Street Upper, Galway

ISA TechBrew is an informal gathering of software company management and technology leaders, getting together to chat over a bite and a beer. Under the topic “Startups: Three Customers is Not a Business: Pivot, Persevere or Pack-It-Up”, this event is for leaders, investors and advisors in tech companies. Mic FitzGerald from OnePageCRM will speak.

Register at

Organised by Irish Software Association and Ibec

Cloud Computing

16:30 on 09/10/2015 in Bank of Ireland Workbench, Mainguard Street, Galway

Taking the mystery out of cloud computing, industry experts will discuss and explain cloud computing, and how it can benefit your business.

Organised by Bank of Ireland

Galway 2020

18:00 on 09/10/2015 in Bank of Workbench, Mainguard Street, Galway

Galway is bidding to become the European Capital of Culture 2020. This presentation will give you insights into the programme designed to achieve this vision, why Galway, and how you can get involved!

Organised by Bank of Ireland and Galway 2020

Data: Insight / Power Of The Big Data

19:00 on 09/10/2015 in Workbench, Mainguard Street, Galway

Olivier Van Parys, Head of Analytics at Bank of Ireland, provides advice on the importance of data to a company at different stages of their growth, and how it can to utilised to deliver bottom-line results to businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Organised by Bank of Ireland


20:00 on 09/10/2015 in a venue to be confirmed

A place for early stage startups to demo, showcase and pitch their companies to a friendly crowd and network with founders, developers, marketers and investors.

Register at

Organised by Ex Ordo


17:00 on 10/10/2015 in a venue to be confirmed

This will bring together startups, SMEs and corporates to address specific members’ issues in a peer-to-peer learning environment.

Register at

Organised by Shadowplay

Galway Medtech Map: Ireland’s Medical Device Cluster

Galway has a vibrant ecosystem of medical technology startups, multinationals and research centres that in total employs in the region of 8,333 people. Based on the popularity of our recent Galway Tech Map which showed the concentration of ICT companies in Galway City and County, we’ve decided to produce a medtech version to complement it and to highlight the medical device cluster in Galway.

Here is the first version of a Galway Medtech Map that shows the growing medtech ecosystem in Galway, Ireland. If your organisation isn’t on the map, you can download a copy and create your own version as we have released it under a CC By Attribution Share Alike license.

The Galway Medtech Map is available in a variety of formats: PDF A0/A1/A2/A3/A4/A5 for posters and printouts, PDF, PNG, bigger PNG.

(Edit: SVG, EPS and AI versions are available here.)

Feel free to share via social media and use in your presentation decks. If you wish to make a suggestion for next year’s version, just email with the subject “Galway Medtech Map”.

Some interesting facts about Galway’s medical sector are given below, courtesy of the Galway Dashboard from Galway City and Galway County Councils, who commissioned the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway to undertake an economic baseline study to support the development of an economic plan for the city and county. You can download their full medical sector overview from their website.

  • Galway employs one third of the country’s 25,000 medical device employees and the West accounts for 39% of regional distribution of medical device employees.
  • There is a significant cluster of medical device companies with Medtronic and Boston Scientific being the largest MNC employers.
  • Boston Scientific Ireland Ltd employs 2,800 individuals and Medtronic Vascular Galway Ltd. employs 1,882 individuals.
  • The medical device cluster in Galway occurs through university-industry linkages, a continuous development of a skilled labour pool, international reputation through the success of Boston Scientific and Medtronic, the growth of supplier firms and knowledge transfers establishing new startups.
  • The medical device companies within this cluster are supported by such organisations as Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Local Enterprise Office Galway, GMIT and NUI Galway.
  • Galway has become recognised for its specialisation in coronary devices.
  • The Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering has given rise to an average of 22 graduates per year since 2003.
  • A BioInnovate team recruited in Galway, focusing on cardiovascular disease, identified the need for a vascular support device and technology to improve vascular embolism.
  • REMEDI has recently received €47 million in funding grants for pioneering research initiatives for 36 research projects involving over 200 researchers.
  • GMedTech has obtained over €3.5 million worth of funding for an applied biomedical research project and has developed three cardiovascular type simulators for assessing heart attacks, stroke and aortic aneurysms.

A full map of the medical technology sector in Ireland is also available from the Irish Medical Devices Association.

Missing the BMW i3! Final Thoughts on @MyElectricDrive…


I was one of the fortunate few to be chosen as an ESB ecars ambassador for the 2014/2015 Great Electric Drive, during which I trialled the BMW i3 electric vehicle (EV) over a four-month period. Since we are now at the end of the ambassador programme, I thought I would update and repost an interview I did for BMW Magazine towards the end of my trial.

Explain your involvement in the ESB ecars “Great Electric Drive” scheme?

In February last year, my wife Josephine sent me on a link to the ESB’s “Great Electric Drive” call for EV ambassadors, as she thought that being a lecturer in electronic engineering at NUI Galway and an all-around gadget freak would make me an ideal candidate. The Great Electric Drive runs a yearly scheme whereby a team of ambassadors from all around Ireland trial an EV.

I put in my application, citing my interest in EVs and my social media reach, and was one of about 30 lucky ambassadors selected from over 20,000 applications!

How did you find the BMW i3?

The i3 is a pleasure to drive – from that first experience of the silent and speedy take off, and then being able to actually hear the music in the car as you drive along, to the nice feeling of pulling in at home without having had to fume up at the petrol pump.

What has been your initial impression of the BMW i3?

I’m amazed by how technologically-advanced it is: EVs have come a long way since the early electric cars of the 1880s! It’s fascinating as an electronic engineer to observe such a convergence of technologies in the i3: high-voltage batteries, mobile devices, internet connectivity, regenerative braking, remote control apps, multimedia storage, voice recognition, rapid charging, touch-sensitive input mechanisms, sensor information systems, and more.

When I was in the US in October, I was able to load up the “BMW i Remote” app on my phone to see where the car was parked, monitor its state of charge, and even remotely turn on the air conditioning when I touched down in Shannon Airport. The smartphone app can also also show you the range you can drive the EV to in all directions, using its current location and the roads nearby. You can also send it a destination from your phone or laptop, which will instantly appear in the navigation system. It won’t drive you there just yet, but the parallel parking assistant gives you an idea of what is possible and the way things are going in the future.

What are the most noticeable differences when driving an EV, as opposed to an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle?

I’ve noted that there is a general perception that electric cars are slow, and that they must take a while to get going. In fact, the opposite is true – I’ve never driven a car that is so responsive, and when you go back to an ICE (internal combustion engine) car, it can feel very sluggish in comparison. The BMW i3 delivers 250 Nm of torque, which powers it to go from 0 to 100 km/h in about 7 or 8 seconds. The top speed is about 150 km/h (on a German autobahn!). It’s fast.

What made you initially consider driving an EV?

I am passionate about EVs, and frequently tweet out stories about EV’s expansion across the US, Europe and now Asia.

In 2013, I rented an EV [Leaf] under the Drive Electric Orlando pilot car rental scheme, where I drove from Orlando to the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. Drive Electric Orlando offers cheaper car rental, free valet parking and free charging around the Orlando area, so it was a good opportunity to try out EV driving for longer than just a test drive.

Does driving an EV impact your decisions on what journeys you can take?

If you’re travelling about 20 to 30 km to work daily, then there is very little change to your journey apart from plugging the EV in and out. I now have a charge point installed at home, and I used to plug in the EV every one or two days depending on how low the battery was. It normally takes between three and five hours to bring the battery back up to full, but if it is fully depleted it could take longer (an overnight job).

If you’re going across country, you will probably need to factor in charge times and stopping points, but you get used to it quickly and build up some favourite waypoints.

My home charge point is an AC charger, the same as the majority of the public charge points around the country, but the public fast charge points have a much higher power output – 22 kW as opposed to the 3.6 kW I have at home – and can therefore charge faster (as low as one or two hours in some cases). Then there are the rapid chargers which can charge up compatible EVs in just 30 minutes…

Do you suffer from “Range Anxiety”?

The i3 does a good job of showing you charging points along your routes, so once I had planned my journey there usually weren’t any issues. I’m the kind of person who drives with the empty fuel tank warning light perpetually on, so maybe I don’t suffer from range anxiety as much as others!

I’ve found that the ‘pure electric’ range of the i3 is about 130 km, but that may be increased by 20 km or so if you enable either ECO PRO or ECO PRO+ mode (which limits speed and optimises ‘coasting’), or may be decreased through more aggressive driving (like any car). Also, advances in battery technology mean that this range is increasing yearly as future EV development continues. The BMW eight-year warranty on the battery is a great endorsement of its expected lifespan, as I know a common question is will the battery stay effective.

Would you recommend a BMW i3 to others?

I already have. A colleague of mine was interested in buying one and went for a test drive with me recently, and I’ve given spins to countless colleagues at NUI Galway, students, startup founders, multinational CEOs, local tech leaders and random others who have all been entranced by the drive. It’s been fun to watch the faces of my passengers when the car silently pulls away, and also when the park assistant does its thing!

What has been the biggest benefit of driving a BMW i3?

Apart from the cost benefits and instant response, there is a great feeling of situational awareness and safety that is part of the Connected Drive experience. The i3 has a mobile data connection built into the car that makes it possible for rescue services to be dispatched to your GPS location if an accident occurs and an airbag deploys, or if you manually pull an SOS switch above the rear-view mirror. Real-time traffic information is displayed via a red/yellow/green (slow-moving/medium/fast) line beside the road on the navigation system, using data obtained from the mobile network, smartphone apps, vehicle fleets and police reports.

Can you give an indication of the fuel savings that you have made while driving the BMW i3?

My petrol car was costing me about €10 per 100 km. I do about 1300 km per month, which is about €130 per month on an ICE. The equivalent cost for the BMW i3 (if I was just charging at home; sometimes I charged at the public charge points) would be about €42, so that’s a saving of €90 per month straight away before considering cheaper road tax, service costs, etc.

How much does a full charge cost?

At present, charging at Irish public charge points is free, so you simply swipe a card provided by ESB ecars to charge up. The BMW i3’s battery capacity is roughly 20 kilowatt-hours, which means that at a cost of just under 20 cents per kilowatt-hour it costs less than €4 to charge on a home charger.

Estimates are that it costs about €3.25 to drive 100 kilometres, and this compares to about €10 for my ICE (€1.50 per litre here in Ireland, at seven litres per 100 km). Bear in mind that if you have night-rate electricity installed at home, this would be even cheaper (half price).

Was the addition of the REx a useful option?

The range extender – a small 650cc motorcycle engine whose sole function is to provide additional electric power – is a great option to have. This can add an additional 100 km to the range (giving a total of 230 km or more). Since it is about 200 km from Galway (where I work) to our capital Dublin, this makes it possible to do the full journey in ECO PRO mode, or to have a quick stop along the way at one of the rapid chargers if driving in COMFORT mode.

The i3 I had did trips from Dublin to Galway, Galway to Limerick, and Limerick to Dublin on a single electric charge with the range extender kicking in to complete the journey (its nine-litre tank costs about €13.50 to fill). If you’re going any further than 230 km, you’ll probably want to charge up somewhere along the way.

Some of the i3 EVs (including the one I was driving) have the rapid charge option, which means you can charge to at least 80% in around 20 to 30 minutes (using the CCS-type DC rapid charger). I live in Connemara, so on my Dublin to home trip, I charged up in Kilbeggan for 30 minutes to make sure I’d have enough “epower” to get me home.

How sophisticated is the public charging infrastructure?

In Ireland, you might be surprised to hear that we now have over 1200 public charge points between Northern Ireland and the Republic, or one for every 5333 people. That’s actually pretty high, because the top state in the US in terms of electric vehicle infrastructure, California, has one charge point for about every 7500 people. Texas, the state with the second highest number of public charging points in the US, has one for every 16500 people.

Also, the ESB have rolled out nearly 70 DC rapid chargers around the country (30 minute charge time). There are two types here, CHAdeMO and CCS (BMW), but they are now installing dual-type DC rapid chargers too.

Would you swap from an ICE vehicle to an EV permanently?

Yes. My main limitation is that we have six in our extended family, so I still need an MPV for our cross-country trips. I’d love to change our second daily commuter car to an EV.

Has driving this EV had any impact on your family?

It turned my kids and I into show offs! We loved showing off the i3 and all its features at school drop offs and at work.

I also listened to more music during my few months with the EV than at any time over the past eight years, thanks to the 20 GB built-in hard drive which had a good chunk of my music collection on it (2000 tracks, I rotated to new ones once a month).

What has been the reaction to the car by friends, colleagues, the general public?

The car itself changes perceptions of EVs because the BMW i3 looks fantastic. During the few months that I had it, there were many, many pictures taken of it and with it. The opposing coach doors and lack of central pillars (because of the carbon fibre reinforced body) are very eye catching.

I even saw someone recording a video of the i3 from the car following behind me as I drove home one day. I had never driven a BMW before the i3, but I did notice special interest from those who are driving BMWs or own BMWs, looking to see who is this newest member of the family and to find out what are the resemblances to the cars they drive and love.