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Startup Gathering aims to build Galway’s future as globally competitive startup hub

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Galway is one of the key cogs in what is set to be the biggest regional distributed startup event in the world, Startup Gathering 2015 will take place across Ireland from October 5 to 10.

Because Galway will host its Startup Gathering Day on Friday, October 9 – one of in excess of 50 events planned across the week in Galway, Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Waterford for national and international entrepreneurs.

Under the theme ‘Start, Scale and Succeed from Ireland’, Startup Gathering 2015 aims to promote entrepreneurship and help identify entrepreneurial talent at an early stage across the country; help develop world class regional startup hubs around the existing strengths in each region to accelerate the growth of startups in Ireland, and to raise the international profile of the startup sector in each region of Ireland to global entrepreneurs, investors and R&D teams.

Part of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation’s Action Plan for Jobs 2015, the Startup Gathering is a key building block towards making Ireland a global startup hub by 2020.

Startup Gathering 2015 is being led by Startup Ireland, a public private not-for-profit partnership dedicated to the goal of making Ireland the best place in the world to start and scale a startup.

The initiative is being championed by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, together with the Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash, who is chairing the Startup Gathering National Steering Group.

In Galway there will be a strong emphasis on developing startup hubs around the key strengths in the Galway region, the MedTech and ICT Technology sectors, as well as promoting startups and entrepreneurship across all industry sectors.

In preparation for the Startup Gathering Galway events, a ‘Town Hall’ meeting was hosted recently by the Startup Gathering Galway City Coordinator John Breslin, a well-known startup community leader in Galway, together with Bank of Ireland.

Representatives from multi-national companies, large corporate, local Government, Universities, Institutes of Technology and the startup community gathered to discuss the goals of Startup Gathering 2015 and to assess the full scope of events and initiatives that can be accelerated for Startup Gathering Galway and the development of the world class startup hubs around the MedTech and ICT Technology sectors in Galway.

“This is a real opportunity to create alignment across key public and private stakeholders in the Galway region to build on Galway’s economic strengths and develop world class startup hubs in Galway,” said Mr Breslin.

Connacht Tribune

New President for Local Ireland

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Left to right, Bob Hughes, Executive Director, Local Ireland, Dan Linehan, Head of Irish Times Regionals and Declan McGuire, Operations Manager of the Connacht Tribune.

The new President of Local Ireland, the association representing local news publishers around the country, is Head of Irish Times Regionals Dan Linehan.

Mr Linehan takes over the presidency from Declan McGuire of the Connacht Tribune. His appointment was confirmed at the recent Annual General Meeting of Local Ireland at Bloomfield House Hotel near Mullingar, Westmeath.

Mr Linehan, who has served as Vice President of the organisation for the last two years, said: “The coming years are a very important time for local publishers with many important issues to be addressed, including the implementation of the Future of Media Commission recommendations, defamation reform, the role and support for local publishers in public service reporting and helping publishers develop commercial digital offerings.”

Speaking at the AGM, Mr McGuire acknowledged the work done by the Executive in the past two years under the direction of Executive Director, Bob Hughes, on several projects related to the publishing industry but most especially the successful conclusion of the long-running campaign for the abolition of VAT on newspapers.

He also wished Mr Linehan the very best in his new role as President of the association for the next two years.

Mr Hughes thanked Mr McGuire for his leadership and support during his term of office and said he looked forward to working with Mr Linehan on the key policy priorities for the association, including Government supports, Government advertising, fair remuneration for content from the tech platforms and the reform of the legislation for defamation.

Local Ireland members also elected Seán Mahon, Managing Director of the Southern Star, as Vice President for the next two years.

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Connacht Tribune

Employers’ group hears of key challenges facing businesses in the region

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Pictured at Regional Insight Series in the Galmont Hotel are: Trevor O’Rourke, (CEO, Fibre Networks Ireland); Senan Colleran, (Head ESB Assets, Generation & Trading, ESB); Eilish O'Sullivan, (Human Resources Director, Medtronic); Danny McCoy, (CEO, Ibec); Helen Leahy, (Head of Regional Policy, Ibec); Ruairi Conroy (Diligent Corporation) and Fergal O’Brien, (Executive Director of Lobbying & Influence, Ibec). PHOTO: Michael Dillon.

The shortage of affordable housing is the single biggest impediment in attracting and retaining workers in the West, according to business group Ibec.

At a ‘Regional Insights Series’ meeting in the Galmont Hotel in Galway last week, employers were told that capacity constraints and labour supply are the key challenges facing business growth in the region.

Ibec Head of Regional Policy Helen Leahy said: “There must be greater focus by government on enhancing quality of life issues such as housing and infrastructure which are driving labour shortages in the region.

“Ibec’s vision for the West is to realise its potential to become a globally competitive location. An inadequate supply of affordable housing is now the single largest impediment to attracting and retaining talented workers, without whom business investment and expansions are not possible.

“Labour shortages are a real concern for businesses in the region. People decide where to live and work based on quality of life and access to high quality services and amenities. Industry tends to follow talent, and in this regard, the region needs to have all the building blocks in place as the attraction and retention of world-class talent becomes increasingly competitive on a global level,” said Ms Leahy.

Amongst Ibec’s priorities for the West are:

  • Addressing housing and infrastructure challenges
  • Transitioning towards a new growth model with Net Zero energy powered by Atlantic offshore wind resources
  • Adapting businesses to the new economic realities
  • Enhancing capacity and skillsets to achieve sustainable development objectives
  • Investment in people and skills
  • Creating competitive advantage through digitalisation
  • Innovation as a key driver of productivity growth

 

 

 

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Connacht Tribune

Survey finds one in five retailers in Galway want to go fully cashless

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Conor Quirke of BOI Payment Acceptance: move to card payments.

One in five Galway businesses want to go fully cashless, as the move towards card payments and tapping continues unabated post-Covid.

In all, 22% of Galway businesses would like to be fully cashless, according to a survey carried out by BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA), a provider of payment technology solutions, which asked Irish businesses about the current payment landscape as well as business confidence and concerns.

Over one-third (36%) of Galway businesses were unaware there is no contactless limit on mobile wallets – just below the national average – while 54% believe the increase in card over cash transactions has helped them run their business.

Six out of ten Galway businesses expect to grow this year despite the cost-of-living crisis and running costs dominating as key concerns; 62% believe their business will grow over the next twelve months despite global economic uncertainty.

Unsurprisingly cost-of-living increases and running costs were the main concerns the majority of businesses had.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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