Roisin Lyons, who is a professor in entrepreneurship at DCU, has no time for the mindset that says, in effect, ‘Innovation? Oh that’s just for innovators’. “Everyone needs to be innovative”, she believes, “everyone needs to be enterprising, particularly with growing issues of sustainability in Ireland. People have to be more inventive about solutions”.
The Guinness Enterprise Centre, on Taylor’s Lane in the heart of Dublin’s Liberties, is managed by Dublin Business Innovation Centre and has been named the no.1 university associated business incubation centre in the world. In the first of two articles about the GEC, Dublin.ie talks to Eamonn Sayers, the centre’s manager since 2011. Dublin.ie: I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve got an idea. What can the GEC do for me here? Eamonn Sayers: The first step here is that we’ll try and put you in front of an entrepreneur who’s in the same industry. We’ll say have a chat with this person, see what they’re thinking. If you’ve identified your target market, again we’ll say we know someone here who’s in the same market and they’ll have a coffee with you too. Dublin.ie: Then what happens? Eamonn Sayers: Our role here is to help your company grow and scale. We help to make it become better and we help to make you a better entrepreneur. We create an environment and a community and a sense of belonging that makes entrepreneurs very comfortable, makes them enjoy the fact that this is their office, this is their workplace, so that both the entrepreneur and their teams are in the best place to grow their businesses.
Innovation is what has brought the human race as far as it has come… Because of innovation, we have tackled disease; we have navigated the globe by land, sea and air; we have sent men to the moon. Soon we will have driverless cars. Innovation, in many ways, defines us. But it also has its limits and drawbacks. There is an innate impulse to push things as far as they can go. At times you wonder why innovation has taken us in this peculiar direction. What is the need for this device? Why has this phenomenon taken over? This is when innovation becomes irresponsible. That innate drive to push boundaries can have consequences for the environment, commerce and social well-
I came over to Dublin from Edinburgh in 2005. I suppose it was bang in the middle of the good times. Back then, the atmosphere here was insane; there was so much going on, it was so busy. Ireland and Dublin were really riding the wave at that time. Employment was high, everyone was well paid, everyone had nice cars, you could get a loan if you wanted. Then we moved into hard times, and it’s changed a lot in that regard now. I think people are more grounded; there’s a sense of reality now. I don’t think the ordinary man is as tempted to get carried away. People are more concerned with value and being sensible. I think that’s a positive that can be taken out of the recession.
The second annual Dublin Startup Week, which took place from October 21st – 25th 2019, was a celebration of the city’s innovation and startup ecosystem. With five days of networking events, keynotes, panels and workshops – all free of charge – the event was aimed at future, current, and repeat startup founders. Find out more at dublinstartupweek.com Next up in this mini-series, we meet Natalie Novick, another of the event’s track captains. Natalie Novick is a University of California San Diego PhD student who now resides in Edinburgh. She live
The second annual Dublin Startup Week, which took place from October 21st – 25th 2019, was a celebration of the city’s innovation and startup ecosystem. With five days of networking events, keynotes, panels and workshops – all free of charge – the event was aimed at future, current, and repeat startup founders. Find out more at dublinstartupweek.com First up in this mini-series, we meet Colin Keogh, one of the event’s leading lights. David R Pollard, Gene Murphy and Colin Keogh are founders and organisers of Startup Week Dublin. Keogh is also