Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Business

College drop-out / entrepreneur shakes up rich list

Avatar

Published

on

Paul Kenny of Cobone an internet millionaire and entrepreneur who dropped out of college in Galway and made a successful career in Dubai.

Paul Kenny left Galway for Dubai in November 2007 in the middle of a Masters degree at NUIG and returned six years later a millionaire.

The Sunday Times places him fourth in its list of millionaires aged 30 or under: just behind Rory McIlroy and ahead of One Direction’s Niall Horan.

‘That attracted a fair bit of attention in Ireland and abroad,’ says Paul, ‘although the article seriously over-estimated my financial worth.

How did a self-confessed college drop-out go from a lowly internship to digital media magnate in six years?

‘It wasn’t a straightforward path,’ he says, ‘as I didn’t set out in 2007 with a clear aim to be at the top of this or any other business.

‘One thing I learned early in Dubai was to ask myself ‘What can I do now?’ when faced with a new situation and to not be afraid of failure when deciding what action to take.

‘The answer became apparent very quickly,’ he says.

‘It was – anything I wanted to do. I was unconstrained by background or education, in an environment where people were accepted for their abilities and where there was huge opportunity for personal and business growth.

He was recruited by Emirates as a marketing consultant and felt that he had landed in the right company in the right role. He quickly found that he had a knack for generating revenue and helped bring in almost a half billion dollars income in his first five months.

He also discovered that it was his ability to work at speed, changing direction quickly to adapt to markets and technology which was key to delivering this performance.

But after six months he says that he wasn’t a fit for the company and again found difficulty with having a boss.

‘I was 25, a college drop-out who had spent less than three years in the workplace and had left three different jobs,’ he says.

‘I wasn’t exactly an ideal candidate for another marketing role, so I had to ask myself again, ‘What can I do now?

The answer this time lay more within his own control.

He contacted some venture capitalists he knew and within four weeks, in August 2010, he had raised €1.4m in equity and had started Cobone. He was now a full-fledged entrepreneur.

By the end of 2012 the company was attracting the interest of investors looking for opportunities in emerging markets and in March 2013 US investment firm Tiger Global acquired Cobone in a deal reputed to be worth $40m.

Paul and key members of the management team were retained and funds were made available for future growth.

Cobone reached profitability in 2013 and he quickly turned his attention to a travel business Triperna.

‘Cobone continues to grow but the market is possibly no greater than $100m in total,’ he says.

‘The travel market on the other hand is estimated at $35bn, so there’s a lot more scope for growth.

Between the two businesses about 80 people are employed and they are experiencing month on month growth in excess of 70%.

When asked what advice he’d give to a start-up entrepreneur in Galway, he says that once they have a working product they should aim to grow quickly. Having ‘early-mover’ advantage in a market is really important he says.

‘If financing is needed and not available locally, then get on a plane and find it,’ advises Paul.

‘There are investors looking for opportunities all over the world.

Looking to the future, Paul says that there is so much that he’s about to do that he will be kept busy for a short while at least.

‘I love trying to do the impossible,’ he says.

In his own words: ‘What can he do next?

The answer would appear to be an awful lot. Watch this space.

A longer version of this interview and more on Paul’s plans for the future can be found in this week’s Tribune here

Connacht Tribune

GMIT conferring for employees as best in class

Avatar

Published

on

Seventeen employees from manufacturing engineering companies all over Ireland will be conferred with GMIT’s first ever professional apprenticeship award at an online ceremony hosted by GMIT and Ibec next week.

Conferrings for the Bachelor of Engineering in Manufacturing Engineering will take place remotely next Thursday, March 4.

The GMIT group are among 37 professional apprentices nationwide to recently complete their three-year programme, developed by Ibec’s Irish Medtech Association and GMIT, together with representatives from the medical technology sector.

This first group of apprentices includes many students who were long-time employees of their companies and who were identified as having the potential to develop on Technician and Engineer career paths.

Galway-based companies involved include Cambus Medical, Creganna, Merit Medical, Synecco, M&M Qualtech and MSA Safety.

In a follow-up to this, GMIT and Ibec will then host a free online Employer Briefing on March 24 from 11am to 12 noon, providing up to date information on this Engineering Apprenticeship programme, funding, and other supports to help upskill existing employees or take on promising school-leaver apprentices.

The online briefing will provide information on the Government grants scheme (€3,000 grant per apprentice) which will expire on June 30.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Top award for Galway firm

Avatar

Published

on

Pat O’Donnell

A recruitment company co-founded by a Galway man, with offices in Headford and Dublin, was one of the big winners at the ninth Chambers Ireland National InBUSINESS Recognition Awards.
Galway executive search firm, Principal Connections, was named Best Executive Recruitment Firm at the 2020 awards, which took place later than usual this year, at the end of last month.
Principal Connections – the Irish office of Agilium Worldwide LLC with offices in Headford and Dublin 4 – was co-founded by Galway native Pat O’Donnell and ‘Female Business Leader of the Year’ Hilarie Geary.
Mr O’Donnell was delighted with the company’s achievement. “As a senior executive and board search firm, Principal Connections is in a privileged position. Each day we work towards appointing many of the senior executives and board directors who drive Irish business,” he said.
“To be recognised for excellence in this endeavour, I feel truly honoured and especially delighted to accept this prestigious award,” he added.
This year’s winners were selected from across 19 distinct categories based on the criteria of: ‘resilience’, ‘exceptional performance’ and their response to the ‘adversity’ presented by 2020.

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

US software provider selects industry veteran to lead European HQ

Avatar

Published

on

Ruairí Conroy..Diligent’s Site Lead.

A US software provider – at the cutting edge of assisting multi-nationals in the area of corporate governance – has announced the appointment of an industry veteran to head up their new European Hub, based in Galway.

Ruairí Conroy, who has been appointed as Site Lead, will oversee Diligent’s European Hub – including recruitment, department integration, business operations and facilities.

Most recently he served as the Senior Vice President of Inside Sales at SiteMinder, a cloud platform for hotels, where he was responsible for recruiting and expanding operations at the Galway site.

Last November, Diligent announced plans to create more than 200 local jobs in Galway across several business functions – including customer support, customer success, finance, product, HR and marketing.

The Corporation, described as a leading modern governance company with a platform used by nearly 700,000 board directors and leaders, is headquartered in New York City.

Reacting to his appointment Ruairí Conroy said that Diligent’s commitment to growing in Galway – engaging with the community and building a top-performing workforce – was what really drew him in.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending