Archive for March, 2011

Forum on Youth Entrepreneurship in Dublin Castle April 15th

March 30, 2011 6 comments

In a further attempt to get Ireland to a ‘better place’ in terms of entrepreneurship and in particular youth entrepreneurship, a new forum has been set-up that will have it’s initial large scale meeting in Dublin Castle on the 15th of April starting at 8 a.m.

Sponsored by the Department of Education and Skills and with the Taoiseach Enda Kenny in attendance, the objective of the forum is to convene stakeholders and generate debate on delivering a National Strategy for Youth Entrepreneurship in Ireland. The focus will be on developing an entrepreneurial mindset at Primary and Second level education and on harnessing opportunities for creating entrepreneurial thinking and activities at community level.

Current initiatives and activities will be highlighted and examples of National, Local and International best practice will be presented. Our leading entrepreneurs will participate in the debate through round table discussion with the intention of evolving a vision and a set of actions which will form policy and strategy going forward. Developers of this initiative include the DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship, Kilcullen Kapital Partners, NFTE, DIT and Ernst and Young amongst others. Attendance is by invitation only though there are places available to the media. More information on this event here.


VivaColombia Joins Low Cost Carrier Gang

March 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Last week brought a new player in the Low Cost Carrier market – a market led by Irish company Ryanair. “Viva Colombia¨, is the newly launched low fares airline of Colombia, that aims to offer the lowest airfares. VivaColombia is joining a select group of low-cost airlines around the world that offer their customers airfares as low as 15 USD if booked in advance, like Ryanair in Europe, Tiger Airways in Asia and VivaAerobus in Mexico.

We have a personal connection with this through one degree of separation – the organisation that is the main investor behind the Propeller Accelerator (currently support six Irish technology startups in a collaboration space in Dublin) is also one of the investors in this new airline. Irelandia Aviation has had a very a successful experience with Ryanair, the airline that carries the most international passengers in the world.  Irelandia is an investment fund which has achieved success in the world of low-cost airlines with Tiger Airways in Asia, Allegiant Air in the United States and VivaAerobús in Mexico.

In many ways, the Low Cost Carrier model has radically changed mobility for the larger population. Indeed Ireland has seen the effects of cheap air travel in terms of immigration and emigration in recent decades. For “VivaColombia”, lowering costs and finding efficiencies in all areas will be the key to success in its business model, which it has benchmarked against its sister airlines.Every cost counts, from the largest to the smallest; all costs are meticulously scrutinized in order to pass those savings on to customers. According to the press release “our focus on reducing costs is essential in keeping or promise to customers that we will always have the lowest possible fare to travel safely and on time.”

The Battle for Discounts – Groupon or LivingSocial?

March 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Mashable have just published a story by Sarah Kessler where LivingSocial, the main Groupon competitor, seems to be on course to surpass Groupon in terms of size by January 2012. This is based on recent numbers being published that show for every $10 of deals sold on either platform, $4 of them take place at LivingSocial. Not really the thing you want if you are planning a massive IPO to the tune of a rumoured $25 billion as Groupon is doing. Add to that the growing complaints from the retail sector about the push to the bottom in terms of discounts.

One wonders how much of this is due to the recession and how much will be sustainable if and when a pickup occurs? Are we really living in the era of the permanent deal? Of course deal culture is not unusual in the retail trade, if you look at advertisements by the larger retails organisations in any country. The full story about the LivingSocial revenues on Mashable here.

Free "Business in the Community" Event Tomorrow

March 24, 2011 Leave a comment

DCU Business School would like to welcome all DCU staff and interested parties to a free event taking place tomorrow Friday 25th March between 1 and 6pm in the Terence Larkin Theatre (DCU Campus) focusing on the role of enterprise in the community.

This event is being organised by the Business School and will feature speakers from DCU in the Community, DCU Educational Trust, NorDubCo, Business in the Community and some prominent social entrepreneurs.

There are additional details including an agenda and list of speakers on the Techspectations website. The event is free and you are welcome to attend some or all of the event.

If you have any questions or queries, please send an email to:

Google Offers Non-Profits Free Stuff, but only in the US

March 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Google has just launched ‘Google for Non-profits’ which offers exclusive products and enhanced online resources, but only to help U.S.-based nonprofits reach more donors, improve operations and raise awareness for their cause. Come on Google! Surely you can at least offer it in countries where you have a presence (hint, hint….Barrow Street).

If approved, organisations can access Google’s suite of product offerings designed for nonprofits: up to $10,000 a month in advertising on Google AdWords, free or discounted Google Apps and lots of other stuff. It seems to be a simple enough application process, and a nice piece of corporate social responsibility (while pushing Google products of course, but we can forgive that). More information on the official Google Blog here.

ASU Targets Student Startups through Edson Program

March 21, 2011 Leave a comment

For those interested in creating the next generation of entrepreneurs, particularly in the youth/student entrepreneurship, you should look at what our friends in Arizona State University (ASU), America’ largest University (70,000 students and counting) are doing in this space, particularly their Edson Student Entrepreneurship Initiative. This student accelerator has been going for a number of years now and is a good example of what can be done while students are still in college.

It provides winning student teams with funding, space in SkySong, and a mentor-led program. Since 2005 they have produced a number of exciting companies.

Location for the Edson Program

The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative harnesses the entrepreneurial energy, excitement and creativity found in ASU’s student body. It provides funding, office space and training for teams of students across the university to explore their innovative ideas for business products and services in partnership with faculty, researchers and successful entrepreneurs from both the academic and private sectors. The program will help students succeed in any enterprise, large or small, for-profit or not-for-profit, domestic or global.

EU Launches New Social Innovation Initiative

March 21, 2011 1 comment

The European Union launched last week a new initiative aimed at social innovation. Called Social Innovation Europe, it aims to create a ‘dynamic, entrepreneurial and innovative new Europe.’

Indeed. Strong words on the subject by the EU: “The time has come for Europe to embrace the broad concept of innovation and set an example globally. By 2014, Social Innovation Europe will have become the meeting place – virtual and real – for social innovators, entrepreneurs, non-profit organisations, policy makers and anyone else who is inspired by social innovation in Europe.”

Through a series of gatherings, and a new online resource, Social Innovation Europe aims to:

  • connect projects and people who can share experiences and learn from each other;
  • develop an easily accessible resource bank – so you can find about other projects, organisations and ways of working;
  • develop a resource bank of up to date policies at local and national levels and provide information on funding opportunities;
  • facilitate new relationships between civil society, governments, public sector institutions and relevant private sector bodies
  • develop concrete recommendations in financing and in upscaling/mainstreaming of social innovation in Europe

Further information is here.