Archive for September, 2010

President McAleese at the Ryan Academy Investment Conference

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Throughout the Invest Ireland 2010 conference the Ryan Academy in Citywest Business Campus has been a hub of Irish entrepreneurs, foreign investors and Irish venture capitalists, brought together through Invest Ireland in an exciting US investor style conference.

President McAleese attending the Invest Ireland 2010 Conference in the Ryan Academy

Speaking at the Invest Ireland Conference today President McAleese said, “This gathering of entrepreneurs with new and lively business ideas, and of professional investors with vibrant investment models, is an exciting concept and one that will be viewed with great interest in Ireland particularly at this time as we intensify our efforts to increase our exports and stimulate our domestic economy.”

 “Jobs are not created by spectators or by doing nothing. They are created by people with sound business ideas who can move their ideas skillfully from the drawing board to the factory floor. The more support, mentoring and encouragement those entrepreneurially-minded ideas people receive, the quicker will be the translation from good idea to decisive action. Both groups of people here today have much to offer each other – the insight and acumen that only experience can bring and the optimism and audacity of the fresh new entrepreneur.  By bringing these together we can create mutually beneficial relationships which create the engines of endeavor through which economic activity begins and gains momentum,” she continued.


Open Day for Unemployed Graduates and Professionals – New Innovation Programme

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

The DCU Ryan Academy is delighted to be running the Business Innovation Programme Open Day on Friday, 8th October 2010 in conjunction with WorkSearch 2.0.

The Business Innovation Programme (BIP) is a seven months programme starting in late October, which is funded under the government’s Labour Market Activation funding scheme, whereby the DCU Ryan Academy will take on a large number of unemployed professionals (engineers, architects, finance etc) and put them through an intense new product development and innovation programme (DCU Special Purpose Award in Innovation).

These participants will also be placed in innovation teams during the programme, embedded in local companies to develop new products, markets and innovation processes. By using the skill sets these participants already have we can add a new layer of skills around innovation which these companies need and that will make participants highly employable in the future.

The day will consist of a series of taster sessions to give potential participants an idea of the Business Innovation Programme content.  The schedule for the day is as follows:

10:00am Tour of the facilities at the Ryan Academy and an introduction to the Business Innovation Programme

10:30am An advice and information session for work searchers, facilitated by Aaron Downes, founder of WorkSearch 2.0 and Creative Development

12:30pm Lunch

1:15pm How to Network Effectively – A practical skills workshop on developing your career and your potential through effective networking, delivered by Geraldine Lavin, Programme Manager for the Business Innovation Programme

3:30pm How Innovation Works in Practice – The experiences of a Senior Manager

4:00pm What is Innovation? – A practical introduction to innovation, delivered by Peter Robbins, founder of the Innovation Foundation

5:00pm Close

This is a free event and people can attend all or some of the day, but registration is essential.  For registration, please contact Anne-Marie Scott at 01 7006764 or

Invest Ireland Is On! Venture Capitalists Descend on Citywest

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

At the Launch of Invest Ireland 2010

So the day is finally here, amidst lists and badge, flags and tables, and frantic calls with journalists, the DCU Ryan Academy in Citywest prepares for the arrival of over forty investors, from Ireland and the US, not to mention dignitaries such as President Mary McAleese, Frank Ryan CEO of Enterprise Ireland and the U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires. Invest Ireland is ready to go!

Eleven companies are preparing their final pitches, which occur throughout  tomorrow, while everyone gathers at a formal opening this evening. Some positive news for a change. Technology areas including medical diagnostics, medical devices, biotechnology and software, a good overview of the kinds of technology companies coming out of Ireland. On top of that we have a number of Science Foundation Ireland CSETs showing their emerging technologies at a showcase this evening.

New Social Financing for Northern Ireland

September 28, 2010 1 comment

Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT), a community finance development organisation, is partnering with Big Issue Invest (BII), a UK-based provider of loans to social enterprises, to offer new finance to social enterprises in Northern Ireland through the Social Enterprise Investment Fund. UCIT is investing £250,000 into BII’s Social Enterprise Investment Fund in order to bring the initiative to Northern Ireland.

The partnership offers social enterprises in Northern Ireland access to a £10million investment fund. This investment fund, along with the advice and support of the Social Economy Network in Northern Ireland, will enable the sector to strengthen its position as an essential and invaluable part of sustainable and inclusive economic development.

Speaking at the launch event, Seamus O’Prey, Chair of UCIT, commented: “UCIT is committed to assisting social enterprises to become more efficient and have adequate resources in place. I am delighted to be working with BII in bringing this fund to Northern Ireland as it will enable local groups to get access to these investment opportunities.”

Nigel Kershaw, CEO Big Issue Invest, commented: “In order for the social economy sector to make its mark and play an effective role in the economy it needs access to support and investment. Working with UCIT we identified the clear need for a method to provide medium and long-term funding for social enterprises. The Social Enterprise Investment Fund presents a new and innovative way of introducing finance to Northern Ireland’s social enterprises.”

WINSENT Social Entrepreneurship Networking Event

September 27, 2010 Leave a comment

There is a Winsent Social Entrepreneurship Networking event, which will be held on Tuesday 5th October in the South Dublin Council Chambers from 6.30pm – 10pm. Gary Palin from the Doherty Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership in North Carolina will be a guest speaker and  Paul Kelly from Console. Further details can be found on the WINSENT website.

The WINSENT Project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Ireland Wales Programme (INTERREG 4A).

Invest Ireland 2010 – Linking US and Irish Venture Capital

September 27, 2010 Leave a comment

The Ryan Academy is in full flow today as we prepare for the Invest Ireland conference, where a group of Irish tech companies get to pitch to a joint group of Irish and US venture capitalists and angel investors. This is the biggest conference the Academy has run and it specifically aimed at not only raising money for Irish companies but also to promote Ireland as a place to invest, contrary to recent international newspaper headlines. So what is the conference about?

Invest Ireland is an exciting new conference which aims to connect Venture and Angel investors with Ireland’s most promising Entrepreneurial ventures.  The event will be held at the DCU Ryan Academy in Citywest from 28th – 30th September 2010.

Through Invest Ireland, the Ryan Academy together with Arizona State University will bring a number of carefully selected US investors to Ireland to sit alongside their Irish counterparts and engage with entrepreneurs from all parts of Ireland.

The event will link leading sources of investment capital with emerging growth businesses, start-ups, and university technologies, all seeking a variety of funding options. To investors, the conference will offer qualified ventures in which to invest. To entrepreneurs, it will present an efficient way to reach those investors.

Key features of the conference are:

  • US Investors sourced by Arizona State University.
  • Irish Investors in collaboration with the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) and InterTrade Ireland.
  • Entrepreneurs – investor ready, ICT and Life Sciences companies sourced through Enterprise Ireland, Invest NI, universities, sponsors, venture capital associations and open competition.
  • Exhibition of Emerging Companies from Science Foundation Ireland Centres for Science, Engineering & Technology (CSETS) and other university research units.
  • High profile speakers include President Mc Aleese, senior speakers from the State Agencies and a well known Irish Entrepreneur.
  • Quality pre-conference programme to ensure that Entrepreneurs are investor ready.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Update on Ryan Academy Seed Accelerator Fund

September 23, 2010 Leave a comment

It has been a number of weeks now since we announced the fund, and although we have been quiet we have been busy too! There are a number of activities going on behind the scenes which we can’t talk about at the moment, but they are exciting! We are also talking to a number of corporate partners, who will not only come on board as mentors but will also offer the participating startups free services and equipment, anything we can do to lower the cost of starting and help the bootstrapping of the organisations.

The call for participants will now take place in November rather than late October as originally proposed. It will be an online form. We are hoping to close the deals for 8-10 startups by the end of the year. These startup companies will all be located in one incubator style location, which is part of the deal, and will be in the mentor-driven programme from January to March 2011. We are looking at some cool locations for the mentor programme at the moment.

What kind of companies are we looking for? Ones with strong technology teams, with ideas that have a global market and with the drive and ambition to make it work. Similar to the ones that other accelerators like Techstars, Y Combinator and Seedcamp have been funding. Web 2.0 companies like online gaming, location-based services, and process improvement software. We are also interested in hardware and devices companies too. We are very keen on startups coming from academic institutions and not just DCU ones, and we will be talking tot the tech transfer offices around Ireland about the programme. We are happy to talk to prospective startups in advance if it helps them prepare for the call.

We hope to make an additional announcement in the next few weeks, and will be launching the fund at a special event in November that interested participants should attend.