Galway entrepreneurs travel on one of Ireland’s biggest unofficial trade missions

A delegation of more than 100 of Ireland’s top entrepreneurs soaked up the best that South Africa had to offer – and more importantly stockpiled expert advice from some of the brightest in their fiends – at the annual EY Entrepreneur Of The Year CEO Retreat last month.

The travelling delegation included this year’s three Galway-based finalists – Ruth, David and John Mackey of Mbryonics Limited, based in the IDA’s Dangan Business Park; Dr Barry Flannery of Xerotech, based in Claregalway Business Park, and Kenneth Fox of Channel Mechanics, based in Ballybrit Business Park.

They were joined by programme alumni representing a broad spectrum of industries as well as representatives from Enterprise Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland.

The Irish entrepreneurs spent the week in South Africa where they will participate in a comprehensive programme of networking, executive coaching, and education.

The itinerary included meetings with some of South Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders as well as inspirational talks by global thought leaders on a variety of topics.

The retreat also featured visits to University of Cape Town Graduate Business School, township development hub, Philippi Village, start-up incubator, Innovation City, and a host of successful companies based in the region.

“The EOY retreat to South Africa as I look back on it feels like a fever dream of experiences amongst some of Ireland’s most influential entrepreneurs,” reflected David Mackey this week.

“We had the privilege to be exposed to some of the protagonists and authors of South Africa’s first chapter of democracy such as Francois Pienaar, Zelda La Grange and Judge Albie Sachs just as South Africa moves into a new political chapter with the ANC’s losing majority for the first time.

Pictured: 2024 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year finalists, Dr. Barry Flannery of Xerotech, Clare Hughes of CF Pharma Group including Telenostic, Ciaran Burke of Swoop and Ivor Queally of QK Group South Africa pictured alongside Newstalk’s Bobby Kerr pictured at the 2024 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year CEO retreat which took place in Cape Town, South Africa.

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