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Local entrepreneurs head off on networking trip of a lifetime

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Mentors Padraig McBride (left) of Brandtone and Frank Madden (second right) of Crest Solutions with the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Connacht finalists (from left) Sean Brett, Steeltech Garden Sheds, Galway; Denise Tormey, PlanNet21, Galway; Michael O’Dwyer, TyreCheck, Kinvara, and Paul Young, Cartoon Saloon, Roscommon, pictured at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, where they joined over 100 former and present EOY finalists for the 2015 CEO Retreat to Berlin and Munich.

Four Connacht-based companies – three of them from Galway and all shortlisted for EY Entrepreneur of the Year – have touched down in Berlin for the 2015 EY Entrepreneur of the Year CEO Retreat.

The invitation-only CEO Retreat will see the group of entrepreneurs travel to Berlin and Munich on a week-long executive education programme focused on the future of industry.

Joined by over 110 of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs, the Connacht EOY finalists attending the CEO Retreat include Sean Brett (Steeltech Sheds, Galway); Denise Tormey (PlanNet21, Galway); Michael O’Dwyer (TyreCheck, Kinvara) and Paul Young (Cartoon Saloon, Roscommon).

“Regardless of sector, technology is increasingly going to transform the way that all businesses operate and develop their strategies in the future. The speed of innovation is accelerating; and keeping apace with this rapid change is essential to survival in the fiercely competitive business landscape” commented Kevin McLoughlin, Partner Lead for EY Entrepreneur of the Year.

“With this in mind, we have constructed a future-focused Retreat that will educate our group on the disruptive forces at play across all industries and equip them with the knowledge to build forward-looking strategies for their businesses and their people.”

The first leg of the Retreat was held in Dublin over the weekend and included talks from Managing Partner for EY Ireland, Mike McKerr, on the professional services firm’s growth story and future aspirations; EOY Alumnus, Colm Lyon (Pay with Fire) who shared the story behind Realex Payments’ journey from startup to recent exit; as well as David Hunt (Agrilarity) who discussed the future of agri-preneurship and the opportunities this holds for farmers, consumers and technologists alike.

“Germany is one of Ireland’s most resilient export markets making it a fitting choice for our first European Retreat,” explained Kevin McLoughlin.

“Total trade between Ireland and Germany amounts to over €20 billion per annum, and, as Europe’s largest economy and the world’s second largest exporting nation, gaining a foothold in Germany presents a number of opportunities for Irish entrepreneurs to further internationalise their businesses,” he added.

Fostering collaboration is central to the design of the CEO Retreat, which includes sectoral break-out groups and relaxed networking opportunities for the group of entrepreneurs to discuss the challenges they’re facing in a trusted environment.

To date, over 51% of the EOY community of entrepreneurs have done business together and the annual CEO Retreat is often referenced as the source of many new business partnerships and ideas.

Connacht Tribune

Rural broadband boost

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Remote workers in Galway can connect to high-quality broadband for the first time – following the launch of a new service with average minimum speeds of 20mbps virtually anywhere in the country.

With a simple plug and play installation, and no waiting time on deliveries, customers can be up and running 24 hours after their initial enquiry.

Broadband Anywhere from Magnet Networks is a new mobile technology product which will enable businesses and people working remotely and struggling with basic or no broadband connection to significantly upgrade their connectivity.

Operating on a separate IoT platform, using 4G LTE technology, Broadband Anywhere is not subject to contention and bridges the distance between the fibre exchange and the consumer – commonly known as the last mile.

Testing carried out at a number of locations in Galway resulted in guaranteed minimum speeds of 20mbps download and 20mbps upload while most were averaging between 40mbps – 60mbps.

The tests were conducted in Ardrahan, Bullaun, Bunowen, Clifden, Clonberne, Galway city and Tuam.

John Rattigan is MD of Lafferty Project Managers, based between Tuam and Dunmore – and he says that Broadband Anywhere is delivering speeds of 35 mbps, changing the experience of working remotely.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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.

 

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Connacht Tribune

At the Edge makes move onto the web

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Special guest....billionaire entrepreneur Iza Login

An international conference on today’s business leadership challenges originally planned to take place in Galway this October was relaunched online with a new focus this week.

Organisers of Leading at the Edge have re-engineered the event to focus on the barriers facing businesses in dealing with the fall-out from COVID-19.

The conference will bring together online, 300 leaders from organisations large and small in every sector from across Ireland to hear from international experts and local success stories on  what’s required to lead in this new environment: rapidly recovering revenue, rethinking the business model and accelerating digital.

“We believe that this conference will provide inspiration, how-to and direction to business leaders in this hugely challenging time,” says Galway resident Kevin Kelly, one of the organisers of Leading at thew Edge.

The event will bring a mix of interviews, presentations and round-table discussions on the themes of Recovering Revenue; Rebuilding Operations; Rethinking the Organisation; and Accelerating Digital.leadingatht

Billionaire entrepreneur and creator of Talking Tom, Iza Login, will talk about how she built a billion-dollar business from nothing, starting in the last recession and what learnings are still relevant today.

US TV personality and author Kelly Swanson will demonstrate how strategic storytelling engages your staff and your customers/clients with your organisation’s purpose.

They’ll be joined by Kevin Kelly, Patrick McKeown and Paul O’Kelly as well as contributors from organisations in Ireland which have compelling leadership stories to share.

The conference will take place on Wednesday, October 7. Early bird tickets are on sale on Eventbrite until the end of July; for further details see www.leadingattheedge.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Hotels peak at quarter full

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John Ryan...hotels need Government support.

Galway hotels will be just one-quarter full for these peak holiday months of July and August – down from an average of 90 per cent occupancy this time last year.

That’s according to the latest industry survey conducted by the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) shows national occupancy levels of 23% and 26% for the peak summer months.

The figures based on responses from 217 hoteliers across the country and was conducted during the last week in June.

Occupancy for September – traditionally a popular time for US visitors – currently stands at just 22 per cent.

IHF Galway branch chairman, John Ryan of the Ardilaun Hotel, said that the figures show plenty of availability in hotels and guesthouses in every county including Galway.

However, he added that the substantial drop in occupancy levels highlighted the unprecedented challenges facing the sector and the requirement for immediate interventions to support tourism businesses in Galway and across the country.

“When we look across the water to the UK, we see the decisive action taken this week by the UK Government in their Plan for Jobs,” he said.

“The slashing of their VAT rate from 20% to 5% is a clear sign of their commitment to support the recovery of their tourism and hospitality industry. Given how closely our economies are intertwined a similar cut here is necessary.

“The UK is not only Ireland’s biggest market for overseas tourists, it is also our biggest competitor,” he added.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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.

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