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Silicon Valley Global
O F F I C I A L P U B L I C AT I O N O F T H E I R I S H T E C H N O L O G Y L E A D E R S H I P G R O U P
ITLG SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL AWARDS AARON LEVIE, FOUNDER & CEO OF BOX,
INSPIRING TOMORROW’S TECHNOLOGY LEADERS
MEET SARAH FRIAR
ITLG DISTINGUISHED LEADERSHIP AWARD High Honors For Dr. Ann Kelleher, SVP Intel SVG
“ITLG WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY”
AN EDUCATION IN ROBOTICS
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88 | High Achievers The ITLG “Silicon Valley 50”
11 | Welcome
40 | Baby Boom
66 | The Perfect Host
by ITLG President & Founder, John Hartnett
Moment Health founder Nuala Murphy talks to SVG
What makes a great conference venue?
13 | ITLG News All the latest technology news and updates
20 | HR Vision Employee engagement delivers for DHL
22 | The Age of AI AI to boost Irish GDP by €48bn
24 | Simply Automatic Growth of IOT & Horner APG
26 | Women in Tech Busy agenda for ITLG’s ‘women in leadership group’
28 | Meet Sarah Friar Sarah Friar, CFO, Square, in the hot seat
32 | Paving the Way to Success High hopes for Enterprise Ireland’s female entrepreneurship unit
36 | Kate Gunning A life in Science
44 | Trailblazers Kuehne + Nagel: At the top of their game
46 | Young Innovators Cultivating tomorrow’s tech leaders
54 | Open for Businesses Bank of Ireland embraces the new fintech revolution
58 | Get Social Meet the creators of the Sociometer
60 | The Story of Salinas A city in transition
63 | Convention City Dublin: A rising star in the conferencing sector.
64 | Cead Mile Failte Meet in Ireland
68 | Reimagining Made Perfect Croke Park meetings and events
71 | High Flying Research Alan O’Riordan talks nanoscience
74 | An Education in Robotics The path to bringing Vex Robotics to Ireland
80 | Smart Futures Promoting STEM careers to school students
82 | All About Talent. Collaborating for engineering talent:
86 | Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, UCC Unlocking the mysteries of the microbiota
88 | High Achievers The ITLG “Silicon Valley 50”
112 | Finding Space Tech companies dominate Dublin’s office market SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 5
ITLG Management team Published in conjunction with Devlin Media The Irish Technology Leadership Group SVG Partners
Former Chairman & CEO, Intel
Founder & President, ITLG;
Corporation; Chairman, ITLG
Founder & CEO, SVG Partners
Vice President, Platform
Contributing Editors John Hartnett Aine O’Donovan Editorial Panel Helen Hartnett Emily Breslin
Intel Corporation Dublin Office 29 Charlemont Lane, Clontarf, Dublin 3 Tel: (01) 805 3944 California Office 750 University Ave, Suite 260, Los Gatos, CA 95032 Tel +1 408 380 7200 Fax +1 408 380 7205 Massachusetts Office 76 Ellsworth Road, Hyannis MA, 02601 Tel 15 08 7762 897 Managing Director John Hogan
Program Manager, ITLG & SVG
THRIVE Program Director, SVG Partners
Managing Editor Tommy Quinn Production Manager Joanne Punch Copy Assistant Lauren Gillan Sales Team Tony Doyle Martin O’Halloran Linda Hickey Paul Halley Helen Fairbrother Design Minx Design www.minxdesign.ie Print Swift Print Solutions Contributors Lynne Nolan Jimmy Geoghegan Nicola Donnelly Kevin Carney Photographery Jeff Rumans Thinkstock.com
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Barry O’Sullivan CEO, Altocloud
Richard Moran, Ph.D. President, Menlo College
Chris Buddin Managing Director -Global Head of Clean Technologies and Renewables and Internet of Things, Goldman Sachs
ITLG Advisory Board
SVP & Head of Market
EVP Corp Dev Optivia
Founder and CEO, PCH International
IT Venture Fund at BDC
Biotechnology Program, UC Davis
H. Brian Thompson
Consul General of Ireland
President at WSM Capital, LLC,
Executive Chairman Global
Founder Cybersource Corp.
Telecom & Technology (GTT)
Former Kleiner Perkins
Managing Director of Emerging
Caufield & Byers
Companies Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Chief Operating Officer (COO)
EVP of Global Platform
Development at GoDaddy
Konosuke Matsushita Professor of
General Partner at Andreessen
Mairtini Ni Dhomhnaill
Management at Stanford University
John O’ Grady
SVP & Regional Director North
Managing Director - Eastman
Head of Early Stage Banking at
and South America
Silicon Valley Bank
Chief Product Officer, Citrix
Vice President and General
Graduate School of Business
Invest Northern Ireland
& Cloudsmith, Inc.
Manager of Intel Services Division at Intel
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ITLG Hall of Fame Members. Kevin Barrett
Chief Evangelist Content Management Platform at Medidata Solutions
Co-Founder & President at Stripe
President, Communications & Enterprise Compute at Flex
Former CMO at Intuit
Co-founder & Managing Partner at SansaA
Former Chairman & CEO at Intel Corporation
Senior Vice President at NetGear
Vice President at Intel Corporation
Managing Director at
Â Co-Founder & Content Strategist at Stripe
UK & Ireland Country Manager at Pinterest
Managing Director at Trident Capital Cybersecurity
Chair of the Board at PayPal
VP Digital Marketing Technology at The Walt Disney Company
CFO and Operations Lead at Square
Chief Marketing Officer at Belkin International
Managing Director at PWC
James Carroll Chief Platform and Globalization Officer at Go Daddy
Liam Casey Founder & CEO at PCH Internatonal
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GM at Jaybird, SVP & GM at Ultimate Ears
VP and Managing Director, EMEA at LinkedIn
ITLG Hall of Fame Members. PJ Hough
Former Co-founder, Chairman & CEO at Macrovision
SVP Senior Product Officer at Citrix
Head of Early Stage at Silicon Valley Bank
Founder & Managing Partner, Atlantic Bridge Ventures
Chief Information Officer at Apple
SVP Global Sales at Polyverse
Head of Marketing at Google
Corporate Vice President at Intel
President at WSM Capital LLC
Vice President & General Manager, Consumer Business at SoundHound Inc.
Vice President, Global Public Policy at Netflix
Global Channel Chief at Dropbox
Partner at Scale Venture Partners
General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz
SVP Business Development & Emerging Businesses at Box
HP Chief Technology Officer, Global Head of HP Labs
Senior VP at Eastman Kodak
CEO at Altocloud, Advisor to CEO at Genesys
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Welcome W elcome to the 2018 Spring edition of Silicon Valley Global which is being published on the eve of our Silicon Valley Global Awards event taking place at Stanford University on March 15th, 2018. This annual event recognises and celebrates the achievements of Irish and Irish-American technology leaders working at the highest levels of the industry and making a significant impact in their field. Our 2018 Silicon Valley 50 honoree listing which is published in the current issue features some of the most prominent names in the industry and demonstrates the ever-growing stature and influence of the Irish diaspora on the West Coast and across the US. Education, Female Leadership and Entrepreneurship have been key focus areas for ITLG. One of the key initiatives originating from the Irish Governments “Global Irish Economic Forum” at Dublin Castle – 2013 was to build a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation among our youth. To that end, our “Young Innovators” event which was launched in 2014, and repeated in 2016. The programme is a public-private partnership between ITLG and Limerick Institute of Technology, secondary schools, and government state agencies and companies such as Aer Lingus, Dell, Cisco, Intel, Google, Facebook, Dropbox and Shannon Airport. Young Innovators brings together nearly 1,000 second level students, teachers, mentors and speakers from across Ireland and tasks them with the challenge of imagining the world 50 years from now and developing solutions for societal challenges and other challenges that may arise. During the one day competition students are mentored by experts across STEAM roles in business, research and academia, and experience the incredible creative technologies and applications of sciences in business and research today. Teams will compete for the accolade as well as an array of the latest technology
John Hartnett, President & Founder, ITLG
gadgets. The top prize winners will be flown to Silicon Valley courtesy of Aer Lingus for an exciting weeklong internship where they will see, first hand, leading technology companies such as Google, Intel, Facebook and Dropbox in action. Unfortunately, this year’s event scheduled for March 2nd had to be postponed due to the severe disruption caused by Storm Emma. The event will be rescheduled but, in the meantime, I hope you enjoy reading about the impact the event has had on past participants and winners. Another of our key initiatives is to support female leadership and women in Technology. We have recently formed a WIT (Women in Technology) steering committee to lead this initiative. We have an amazing group of very accomplished women who are focused on connecting, mentoring & paying it forward! Our most
recent salon event was a huge success and we look forward to many more. In this current issue we talk to a number of these prominent women who have made their mark in the sector. ITLG continues to work to strengthen and support the bridge between Ireland and Silicon Valley and in this regard we are working with the Northern Irish Government and Invest Northern Ireland. Several of our ITLG members participate on the West Coast Advisory Council. I hope you enjoy the magazine and I look forward to meeting you at the ITLG Silicon Valley Global Awards or at a future ITLG event. John Hartnett, President and Founder, ITLG
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ITLG news , events and headlines from the IT world
Tax Reform Boosts US Competitiveness The head of the IDA, Martin Shanahan has said that tax reform in the US will make the country more attractive for business, but he doesn’t believe it will have a significant impact on Ireland. Shortly before Christmas, the US House of Representatives signed off on the most comprehensive overhaul of the US tax code in 30 years. Corporate tax rates were reduced from 35% to 21% while the legislation also gives other business owners a new 20% deduction on business income. This is an effort to make the US more competitive and it will make the US competitive,” he said. “That may mean there are marginal calls which they hope a company will decide rather than come to Europe or Ireland. But does it signal a significant change from an Ireland perspective. I don’t think so. “It isn’t all about tax, which we continually point out. Many of the decisions we saw in the latter part of last year were made in the full knowledge of what was coming through in the taxation bill. It hasn’t dissuaded investors and I expect the coming months to be strong in terms of inward investment. Shanahan added that the UK is no longer as much of a competitor as previously due to the Brexit vote. Counting the Numbers IDA Ireland, the state agency which oversees foreign direct
Davos Tech Gathering
Head of the IDA, Martin Shanahan
investment has defended its job creation statistics in an exchange with the Dail’s public accounts committee (PAC), which questioned its methods. In a statement the Committee said it was “not assured of the adequacy of the methodology” used by the IDA to verify job numbers at its client companies. The all-party committee said a self-assessment survey used fails to provide sufficient reassurance or clarity in relation to the number of jobs created and recommends “more robust methodology” for calculating employment figures. However, the IDA said the employment survey was carried out by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and added that it used a “tried and tested methodology” and the selfreporting system was similar to that used in the national population census.
Paddy Cosgrave, Founder of the Web Summit which moved from Dublin to Lisbon in 2016 hosted an event at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos recently, with Accenture’s Paul Daugherty and Black Eyed Peas frontman and philanthropist will.i.am and Estonian Prime Minister, Juri Ratas. Will.i.am is a successful tech investor and was made Director of Creative Innovation by Intel in 2011. IDA also hosted a dinner in Davos which was attended by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, U2 frontman Bono and businessman Dennis O’Brien.
Little Goes Far Social media news agency Storyful will be bigger than Reuters and the Press Association in the next three years, according to the company’s founder and CEO, Mark Little. “Storyful is the first news agency in the social media age. We’re leading the transformation,” he said. “In three years’ time, if you want to get content from the social web that’s valuable and engaging you’re going to use one of our tools or one of our services. “We have trebled all of the metrics and revenues.”
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3D Print Maestros MCor Technologies, the 3D printing company aiming to roll out 3D printing to the mass market and a former finalist in the ITLG Global Technology Awards has announced that it will participate at the inaugural Irish SME Business Awards Final 2018. The awards will celebrate the hard work of the best professionals and businesses in the Irish SME sector. Thousands of nominations were received from the Irish public over the past months and Mcor is among the list of finalists. Numerous prestigious accolades will be awarded to the most deserving individuals and establishments, including Young Achiever of the Year, Growing Business of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year and many more. Mcor’s most recent product, the Mcor ARKe was launched at CES in 2016 and this 3D printer offers full colour 3D printing on the desktop that is also low cost to run, professional quality
Tech talent shortage The tech talent shortage continues unabated, according to a new survey that highlights a dearth of experienced candidates in Ireland. A new report from Prosperity, a Dublinbased recruitment company that focuses on hiring technology specialists says there is “an acute shortage” of developers, with UI designers and user experience design candidates in short supply. “While there are headwinds, there does remain considerable hiring activity in the Irish digital and tech sectors,” said Prosperity’s managing director, Gary Mullan. “The recessionary pressures of former years have eased, if not evaporated, and companies here are generally underpinned by sound financials and projections, or indeed international
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and eco-friendly. Mcor won the CES Best of Innovation Award for this product and was also a winner at the Edison awards in the office technology category in 2017. Mcor sells through a network of 50 dealers in 150 countries. “We are thrilled to be a finalist in the inaugural Irish SME Awards,” says Dr Conor MacCormack, Co-founder and CEO of Mcor Technologies Ltd. “It is an honour to be named in the business growth category as we have made great efforts since launching the ARKe to expand our business into new territories and penetrate other large lucrative markets. We believe our newest product will be an industry disruptor and are excited to be recognized in Ireland as business leaders.”
profiles,” he added. The study shows that a growth in algorithm-driven advertising is leading to a shortage of qualified developers, with most roles being filled from candidates based overseas. In addition, there is a big demand for marketing and contentrelated positions such as pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimisation (SEO) specialists, brand managers and content professionals. However, many companies face an uphill struggle as candidates from outside Ireland increasingly prefer cities such as Paris, Berlin and Lisbon over Dublin, due to cheaper prices.
MCor Technologies is in the process of raising a further €3.5m to support product roll outs. The company raised the funds required from existing backers which include John Ryan, who was appointed Chairman of the company following a €2m investment by SVG Partners, the company founded by ITLG founder and President, John Hartnett. John Ryan is a co-founder of Macrovision, which he built into a €1.4bn Nasdaq-listed company.
Show me the Money
Niamh Bushnell, chief executive of TechIreland
Funding Limerick Start-Ups Start-ups in Limerick raised over €70m in funding last year, more than any other country apart from Dublin. Seven start-ups in Limerick raised more than €72.7m, according to TechIreland. However, much of the figure was accounted for by the €50m raised by radar and wireless communications company, Arralis. Niamh Bushnell, chief executive of TechIreland said it demonstrates the ability of big companies to succeed and prosper in the region. Start-ups in Louth came second in terms of funding raised with €44.1m followed by Kilkenny with €30m, Galway with €27m and Cork with €22.8m. Outside Dublin, cities dominate as locations for start-ups. Tech Ireland’s 2017 Region Review found Cork, Galway and Limerick had the highest number of start-ups in the regions, with 142, 105 and 63 respectively. Counties with fewer than five startups included Offaly, Leitrim, Cavan, Laois and Longford.
PCH International, Irish custom design manufacturing company that works with Fortune 500s and hardware startups to develop, manufacture, package, and distribute products as well as manage supply chains is in advanced talks aimed at securing a substantial financial injection. An audit report for the company which was founded in Ireland in 1996 by entrepreneur Liam Casey confirms that it is in the process of raising funds from “various parties” and it is expected that the company is seeking to raise at least €15m. Casey is one of Ireland’s most celebrated entrepreneurs and earned the moniker Mr China on the account of the extensive network of contacts he established in the country where he started operating from n 1996. From its Shenzhen base, PCH sought to become the hardware manufacturer of choice for the growing number of leading US companies which started to hiring contractors to manufacture from
PCH, Liam Casey
China. The company made accessories for Apple and Beats, the headphone brand, and provided an end-to-end service, from design, engineering and manufacturing to packaging, fulfilment and retail distribution. Casey is also a serial supporter of start-up companies in Ireland and around the world and established the successful accelerator programme Highway1.
Housing Threatens FDI A report commissioned for the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland has warned that the housing crisis could damage Ireland’s competitiveness. According to the report, more than 30,000 new one and two-bed rental properties will be needed in Dublin to sustain new jobs in the FDI sector. The report says 232,500 new housing units will be needed across the country in the next five years, including 81,500 in the greater Dublin area. 82,500 will be required to house renters, including 32,500 in the capital. Demand for new houses is thought to be running at a minimum of 40,000 and closer to 50,00 per year, according to the report on the housing shortage
and its impact on foreign direct investment (FDI). Rapidly expanding companies and new arrivals are experiencing significant problems housing staff due to the lack of city-center apartments, according to the report. It says that housing is one of the main pressure points when looking to recruit to expand their Irish operations.
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AI Meets SOSV Sean O’Sullivan’s investment firm SOSV has stumped up more cash for the Dublin-based artificial intelligence startup Aylien which has raised €2 million in its latest funding round. The company, launched in 2012, announced today that it had raised the money in a funding round led by the Atlantic Bridge University Fund, which invests in companies spun out of research work. SOSV and Enterprise Ireland, both existing investors, also participated in the funding round. The firm raised nearly €600,000 from investors in early 2016. Aylien said that the cash would be to “grow its Dublin team, secure its first hires in the United States, expand its product offering and make its cutting-edge technologies available to more global enterprises”. It said that 70 jobs will be
Global 1st for Irish Science Ireland ranked first in the world for nanoscience research with a €5 return for every €1 invested, according to a new report. The report, carried out by Trinity College Dublin finance professor Brian Lucey, said that nano and materials science was worth €500m to the economy and had supported 14,000 jobs in the past decade. Nanoscience is the study of tiny particles while materials science involves the study of the properties of materials in construction or manufacturing such as ceramics and metals. Mr Lucey’s report found that the Science Foundation Ireland-funded research centre Advanced Materials and Bio-Engineering Research (Amber) had along with its Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices predecessor generated a gross output of more than €500m over 10 years from an income of €108m.
created as a result of the investment. The company produces software platforms that make sense of large amounts text. Its products are used in complex data analytics projects by large multinationals, such as Sony and Microsoft. It has just launched a new product which allows users to easily create custom text analysis models. The text analysis platform is in private beta and will be rolled out over the coming months. Aylien has also worked with academics in several of Ireland’s top universities including National University of Ireland Galway, University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin. The firm currently has 18 staff, all based in Dublin, and had accumulated losses of around €687,000 at the end of 2016 according to its latest accounts. SOSV, previously known as SOS Ventures, was established by IrishAmerican investor Sean O’Sullivan
in 1993. The outfit has $300 million in assets under management and maintains a base in Cork.
It said the former worked with more than 200 companies in Ireland and internationally, while its researchers were awarded €45m in European funding. The centre’s researchers have published over 2,400 research papers generating over 76,000 citations. Director Mick Morris said nanoscience and materials science in Ireland will lead on the international stage in the next decade. “This report showcases the critical importance for Amber to continue to be funded for world class research so that we can deliver, scientific, economic and societal impacts into Ireland for the benefit of the entire population,” he said. Projects have included a partnership with Fosters and Miller beer maker SABMiller to increase the shelf life of bottled beer, as well as discovering a new material to repair damaged knee cartilage. Its advanced microscopy laboratory has some of the world’s most advanced microscopes, allowing material to be viewed at atomic scale.
Innovation and Research Minister, John Halligan said the research has led to a significant influx of foreign direct investment into the Republic. “Leading multinationals have stated in this report that a key reason for their selecting Ireland as a base, is their work with Amber. “Its researchers are making worldfirst discoveries that are leading to new Irish start-ups, and helping global corporations deliver new applications in the areas of ICT, energy and medicine, among others,” he said.
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Genesys acquires Altocloud. Silicon Valley software player Genesys has acquired Altocloud, the Galwayand California-based AI customer conversion platform founded by ITLG board member, former Cisco Senior Vice-President and Dragon’s Den star Barry O’Sullivan. Genesys is a 28-year-old Silicon Valley tech firm that employs more than 3,000 people. As a senior vice-president at Cisco, he helped mastermind the acquisitions of tech companies such as WebEx, for $3.2bn, and has been an active angel investor in start-ups in Ireland and California. Prior to the acquisition, Altocloud had raised around $3m from investors that include Delta Partners, Digicel Group and ACT Venture Capital. Altocloud’s technology combines machine learning with real-time communications in a software-as-aservice platform for businesses. Genesys said that the acquisition of Altocloud will strengthen its capability in AI and machine learning to help organisations to deliver highly responsive and predictive customer experiences from sale to services. “The acquisition of Altocloud bolsters our ability to optimise and connect the entire customer journey to ensure the best business outcomes,” said Paul Segre, chief executive officer of Genesys. “We are particularly excited by applications like Altocloud, which give organisations a live look into the behaviour of consumers and their potential as customers. By empowering employees with this depth of actionable insight, organisations are better positioned than ever to convert shoppers into buyers, leads into customers and consumers into brand advocates.” The Altocloud platform has helped firms reduce cost per lead by 62pc, cost per chat by 72pc, engagement
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Start Me Up
ITLG board member, former Cisco Senior Vice-President and Dragon’s Den star, Barry O’Sullivan
rates rise 80pc and card abandonment rates fall by 30pc.“We built Altocloud because we saw a more dynamic way to drive better business results by taking advantage of the power and potential of AI,” said O’Sullivan. “We are excited to join a proven customer experience innovator and AI leader like Genesys, so we can extend the reach of our revolutionary journey management technology even further to help thousands of companies across the globe through hyper-personalised, digitally connected experiences.”
2017 was Ireland’s best year in relation to the number of new startups. A total of 22,354 companies were established in 2017, amounting to 61 every day. The figures released by business and credit risk analyst Vision-net exceed the previous record of 21,145 which was achieved in 1998, twenty years ago. Dublin (46%), Cork (10%) and Galway (4%) were the most popular counties for start-ups. Carlow, Sligo, Roscommon, Longford and Leitrim had the smallest share. However in a detailed new survey by Nestpick which ranked the world’s top 20 destinations for start-up companies, Ireland failed to make the top 20. While scoring well in the areas of “start-up ecosystem”, gender equality and healthcare, Dublin’s scoring was impacted by its performance in income tax, salaries and affordability. Singapore was rated the best place for start-ups while Helsinki came second and San Francisco third. European cities Berlin, Stockholm, Zurich and Hamburg all came in the top 10 while Dublin was ranked in 23rd spot.
Limerick brothers Patrick and John Collison
Stripe Success for Dublin
A fruitful Partnership Nuritas have entered into a collaboration with Nestlé aiming at discovering bioactive peptide networks within specific target areas of significant value. In order to achieve the common goal, Nuritas will deploy its award-winning and novel technology platform, which uses Artificial Intelligence and DNA analysis to predict, unlock, and validate highly efficacious peptides, exclusively from natural food sources. Nestlé will use their considerable scientific know-how and applications expertise to validate the efficacy of these new discoveries within the target applications. “At Nuritas our mission is to positively impact billions of lives worldwide and we therefore are delighted to be collaborating with Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company on such an important project. We are really looking forward to beginning this impactful journey together”, said Nora Khaldi, former UCD researcher, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Nuritas. Richard Stadler, Head of Food Safety and Analytical Science at the Nestlé Research Centre said: “As our understanding of food and nutrition continues to grow, our global research and development network is looking ahead to discover how we can help enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future for everyone. Research partnerships such as that with Nuritas help us achieve that goal.”
Stripe, the Global payments services company founded by Limerick brothers Patrick and John Collison has announced that will open its first engineering center outside the United States in Dublin. Stripe’s European headquarters are already in the Irish capital, where it has about 100 employees. Stripe plans to hire “a few dozen people” over the next few years to staff its new engineering hub and work on Stripe’s payment products. Stripe’s first European launch was in 2013, when it became available in Ireland. The pace of its international expansion has picked up over the last couple of years, with the opening of its Dublin office and launches in Asia and key European markets including France and Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Its services are now available in 25 countries and it has about 1,000 employees worldwide. Chief executive officer Patrick Collison said that Stripe initially considered hiring engineers in several European countries. They decided to create a hub in Ireland instead because the country has a “consistent approach of being outward looking and globally minded”. Questions over Britain’s post-Brexit future also influenced the decision. “The decision was certainly not made by Brexit, but certainly when we were evaluating all the different countries across Europe the uncertainty was a factor,” Collison said. Stripe last announced a funding round in November 2016, when it raised a $150 million Series D that gave it a $9.2 billion post-money valuation from returning investors General Catalyst and CapitalG (formerly Google Capital). Stripe has already started hiring for a number of positions, including engineering managers and “full stack, backend/API” and support engineers. Stripe which employs more than 1,000 people around the world handles billions of dollars in transactions every year. Patrick Collisson praised Ireland for continuing to welcome foreign nationals into the country and said Ireland should be proud for not succumbing to the “nationalistic and inwardlooking tendencies” which have arisen in parts of the world.
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Employee Engagement delivers for DHL As industry leaders DHL Express must consistently strive to stay a step ahead of the competition and their employees are the key factor that set them apart. They believe that employee engagement is a key driver of success in the competitive global market and have received numerous accolades in recent years demonstrating their commitment to ensuring a trusting relationship with their employees. 20 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
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t DHL Express our business strategy, or ‘Focus Strategy’ as we refer to it internally, is built on four pillars: Motivated People providing Great Service Quality to facilitate the retention of Loyal Customers which in turn will generate a Profitable business. And it’s not by coincidence or by accident that Motivated People is the starting point of this strategy. In DHL Express Ireland we have a clear appreciation that employee engagement goes to the very core of what we are seeking to achieve as a business. We understand that employees need to feel valued and know that their voice is heard. To ensure this is the case on both a local and global level, we have a number of barometers to measure employee engagement throughout the year. Every September employees across the DPDHL group take part in the Employee Opinion Survey (EOS). Management listen to what employees across the world are saying and structure annual plans to guarantee continued improvement in our journey from Good to Great. In 2017 the EOS results continued to rise proving that DHL employees are highly engaged! We don’t only rely on our internal measures to tell us this though; we employ a number of external measurement tools also. In 2018 DHL was certified as a Top Employer for the 4th consecutive year. This certification topped off a fantastic 2017 during which DHL was recognized as the 8th Best Workplace in the World by the Great Place to Work institute. Both of these processes involve a rigorous examination of the company policies, procedures and culture while the GPTW method also gathers confidential employee feedback through surveys and comment boxes allowing employees to have their say. On a local level DHL Express Ireland has partnered with Great Place to Work since 2014 on our journey to become an Employer of Choice. Our efforts were rewarded at the Clayton Hotel on February 21st when we were recognized as one of the Best Large Workplaces in Ireland for the 4th consecutive year. This is a testament to the people who form the backbone of our network, that differentiate us from the competition by going the extra mile. Our people work hard for DHL and in return
DHL want to create a culture of innovation across the group and be in pole position to shape the future of logistics. The Start-Up Lab began as an idea to bring colleagues together to promote creative thought and it was so successful that in 2017 we had 8 global winners instead of the anticipated 1! we work hard to support and encourage employee engagement with a range of activities and initiatives that foster and reinforce our overall approach. Our Annual Family Day is one such activity. It provides an opportunity for an employee’s personal and working life to come together in a fun way and emphasizes that DHL is a company that values its employees and appreciates the importance of worklife balance. In 2017 we moved this event to Tayto Park where employees enjoyed full access to the park as well as lunchtime entertainment to keep the kids occupied when inevitably the rain came down! DHL want to create a culture of innovation across the group and be in pole position to shape the future of logistics. The Start-Up Lab began as an idea to bring colleagues together to promote creative thought and it was so successful that in 2017 we had 8 global winners instead of the anticipated 1! The key objective of the Lab is to encourage employees to let DHL
bring their ideas to life and to submit ‘intrapreneurial’ concepts that will allow DHL to explore more specifically new digital business models that will increase operational efficiency and enhance the customer experience. Our mission as a global logistics company already contains a strong social component – to use our services and capabilities to connect people and improve lives. “Living Responsibility” is our global corporate responsibility program and it goes beyond simply donating funds to charity; we want our employees to use their strengths and talents to benefit others. In Ireland this approach is best represented by our partnership with Pieta House, where in addition to ‘traditional’ fundraising, DHL staff provide their support and assistance to help out with a range of Pieta House activities. Indeed you could say that DHL employees have really taken this approach to heart! In 2017 DHL Ireland employees entered a global competition (DHL’s Got Heart) to show how much heart they had by celebrating everyday heroes in the business who use their spare time to make the world a better place. Employees submitted applications outlining how they contributed to charitable causes from children’s charities, to environmental protection agencies and animal rescue shelters, to have a chance to win a substantial contribution to their chosen charity. Every country winner received a donation for their charity and a selection of regional winners were flown to Dubai to attend DHL’s Global Management Conference in January for the announcement of the global winners. And while these and other activities are very important, ultimately it is how we interact with each other on a daily basis that is most significant. The mantra to deliver results without compromising on respect is therefore reinforced throughout all our training and performance review activities. Motivated People is at the cornerstone of our business strategy and we will continue to invest – both time and resources – to make our people feel valued.
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The Age of AI Irish GDP could be boosted by an additional â‚¬48 billion by 2030 as a result of wider adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), according to new research by PwC. 22 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
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he study which plays down the threat of widespread job losses resulting from the technology says that AI presents a significant commercial opportunity for Ireland with a chance to increase gross domestic product by more than 11 per cent if it moves to embrace it. However, Ireland is currently lagging the rest of the world in terms of AI investment at just 36 per cent versus 54 per cent globally. The potential impact of AI on the Irish economy is also slightly lower than the global average - 13.8% by 2030 (US$15.7 trillion). Yet it is higher than in other European economies and the study finds that Northern Europe could see an increase of 9.9% by 2030 (US$1.8 trillion) with Southern Europe boosted by 11.5% (US$0.7 trillion). According to Ronan Fitzpatrick, PwC Ireland Digital Director, the State has the foundations to successfully adopt AI in the near term, but adds that the right investment in skills and technologies need to be made to translate this into longer-term benefits “The potential size of the AI prize for Ireland’s economy is huge, with the potential to transform business,” said Fitzpatrick. “There could be significant but varied gains across all sectors. The impact on productivity could be competitively transformational and disruptive. However, he warned that businesses which fail to harness AI could find themselves undercut on price and turnaround times, losing significant market share as a result. The adoption of AI will mean some jobs inevitably become redundant, but the report
“The adoption of AI will mean some jobs inevitably become redundant, but the report contends that others will be created by the shifts in productivity and greater consumer demand. The analysis concludes that it is likely that the effect on jobs in Ireland in the long term will at least be neutral, if not net positive.” contends that others will be created by the shifts in productivity and greater consumer demand. The analysis concludes that it is likely that the effect on jobs in Ireland in the long term will at least be neutral, if not net positive. “Much of the focus of AI to date has been on the impact that increased automation will have on jobs. While we expect that the nature of jobs will change and that some will be susceptible to automation, our research also shows that AI adoption may result in previously outsourced jobs being brought back to Ireland,” said Mr Fitzpatrick. “AI will make everyday products better, more personalized and cheaper over the longer term, which we predict will fuel increased demand. Helping people do their
jobs more efficiently with AI technologies and automating the more mundane and repetitive aspects will also increase Ireland’s productivity and is also likely to result in rises to real wages,” he added. The research shows that the majority of the Irish economic gains will be driven by enhancements in consumer products. Consumer spending will be stimulated by increased product quality (3.7% by 2030), more personalization and greater variety of products (4.1%). New businesses entering the market will lead to higher quantities of production and more affordable goods. Increased productivity, through augmentation of labor and automation of some roles, will also drive gains. While Ireland has the potential to adopt AI in the near term, investment in skills and technologies is key. To that end, a new Masters in Artificial Intelligence in the University of Limerick aims to underpin and enhance Ireland’s mastery of the AI space and hopes to achieve just that. The masters program will teach modules such as Machine Learning and Data Mining and will be part-time, with a large proportion conducted online. The subjects were developed with the help of 36 companies already working in the area of AI and the industry is also funding one-third of the cost through. Paul Healy, CEO of SKillnets says it is vital that Ireland develops the necessary skills in an area which will exert a significant impact in the coming years. Referencing a 2015 study by the OECD which found that 30% of jobs in Ireland could be at “significant risk” due to automation – he stresses this is only a concern if people aren’t re-skilled to adapt to the changing economy. It’s a rapidly evolving field and there isn’t a household or employer that won’t be impacted to some extent by artificial intelligence, even over the short-term, three to four years.” This is he says will be across many applications from medicine to law to manufacturing. “In high-end manufacturing and many of the routine, minutiae-based operations that humans are doing now will be replaced.” SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 23
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Growth of IOT & Horner APG Automation is the name of the game and it is helping companies across every sector to become more efficient and stronger global competitors. To succeed, founder and Managing Director of Horner Ireland Limited, Brenda Cooper says that companies need to find the right solution providers, the right technology and the best available expertise.
en years ago, the Internet of Things (IOT) was unheard of and automation was mostly associated with the production of products and assembly lines in standalone factories. There were a considerable number of suppliers in the market selling standalone PLC’s and IO and the focus was on Human Machine Interface (HMI) and Input /Outputs (IO) units linked to machines. Horner developed an automation control product based around an Operator Control System (OCS) with one configuration software, and protocols to talk to many different networks and machines. Part of the world-wide Horner Electric Group that was founded in 1949, they have been designing 24 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
PLC’s, communication products, HMI’s and their related products since the early ‘80s. Established in the Marina Commercial and Retail Park since 1997, Horner APG provides quality and customer satisfaction, as global leaders in the design and manufacture of factory automation control solutions. Horner in Cork provide full support for European customers and distributors including European logistics, manufacturing, product design and development, custom product development and technical support. Their range of programmable logic controllers and human machine interfaces are widely used across the industry in all sorts of automation applications from food processing to water treatment, energy and environmental control applications.
The company ethos is to design and manufacture innovative products that are simple to use and which provide significant value to its customers. “Given size and flexibility we are able to quickly and efficiently design and manufacture custom products at volumes that competitors do not,” says Brenda Cooper, Operations Manager and CEO at Horner APG. “Product innovation and customization is the thing that has made us successful in this niche, in that we are continuously developing products and tailoring them to exact customer requirements and we sell about $20m worldwide, of which over 20% is made up of European sales.” Customer demands have evolved significantly since the Cork operation was
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first established twenty years ago, according to Brenda. “Customers are looking for networked controllers via the web and the IoT, also called Factory 4.0, and is assumed as part of the solution. IoT refers to the networking of physical machines by using embedded actuators, sensors and other devices that can collect or transmit information about the machines,” she explains “The information is collected from these devices instead then analyzed to optimize, service and produce products, processes and services.” IoT allows worldwide communication and enables the service and product markets delivering support to areas of energy, water, heating, security, food and managing services including technical support. IoT systems allows for the creation and control of smart environments. Technologies such as RFIDs (Radio Frequency Identification) and robotics are key enablers. Data capture, control and modeling with big data analysis and automation allows industry to remain flexible and competitive. Recycling of water and energy management is key in the competitive process for most manufacturing companies and can be easily managed via today’s automation tools, according to Brenda. Information via ‘Big Data’ is helping business manage proactively with minimal resources globally. “Data has become an asset, similar to human or financial resources and is allowing innovation in technology and development of new products and process,” she explains. “Weather, transport, health, energy and banking data is instantly available on mobile phones to support key personal and business decisions.” The figures are striking. The growth of mobile technology is supporting this IoT growth which is estimated by the European Commission to be one trillion euro in 2020. The growth of sensor technology has supported IoT technology development with the declining sensor price and advanced sensor technologies and evolution of high speed networking technologies. A potential barrier to the achievement of a single European market for the IoT has to do with issues linked to the capacity to handle a large diversity and very large volumes of connected devices, and the need to securely
Innovation, IOT and Industrie 4.0
Brenda Cooper Brenda Cooper is a graduate of UCG and holds a MBA from Strathclyde University. She has worked in the ICT industry with Digital Equipment, FMC/Snap-on Tools and is celebrating 19 years with Horner. She is a board member of the Cork Electronic Industries Association (CEIA) and of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
identify them and be able to discover them so that they can be plugged into IT systems. Brenda says that it is important to promote an interoperable IoT numbering space for a universal object identification that transcends geographical limits, and an open system for object identification and authentication. She points out that some aspects of numbering are already addressed in the 2016 review of the EU telecoms rules. Horner has worked with European customers to understand their needs and developed a Web based Automation Portal to manage data from business application. It also allows the user to create a website with data being pushed to the web from many devices for subsequent data analysis on an aggregate basis. It supports two-way communications to control and manage via the web from any internet connection or device. Product and process optimization can be achieved and modifications made over the web thus reducing the need to be onsite to effect improvements.
The world is becoming a more connected place and customer requirements in factory automation are no exception to this trend with a specific initiative called Industrie 4.0. To support this, Horner APG launched a new remote access service to customers two years ago – WebMI and WEB Portal. This gives customers remote access to their machines and data via the Internet. This provides real time information and the option to control and modify machines remotely. The Cork office provides the innovation management that controls product development on a worldwide basis and has a competitive advantage from a time zone point of view being between the USA and ASIA, giving a good time overlap with both continents. “We have a very good delivery track record and communication with our customers, which in terms of meeting their needs is essential, so in that sense we’re in a position to deliver engineering and production in a short timeframe,” says CEO, Brenda Cooper. Other benefits for Horner’s customers include shorter lead times, faster responses, and receiving a prototype in weeks rather than months. “Cork is an excellent base for PCB contractors and service providers and if you want printed circuit board (PCB layout), plastic tooling or plastic molding, there are a lot of companies providing this service in the Cork region in the ICT industry,” stated Brenda.
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ITLG Women in Technology The ITLG has a dedicated ‘Women in Leadership Group’ which supports women in building successful technology careers and making the most of their leadership potential
he ITLG recently established a WIT (Women in Technology) steering committee to support female leadership and women working in the technology sector. The group consists of a number of extremely accomplished women who are focused on connecting, mentoring and paying it forward. The group also works on initiatives to help advance more women in senior leadership roles within the technology sector. The group’s first ‘Women in Technology’ Salon which was hosted by Caroline Donahue, former CMO of Intuit, was a 26 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
resounding success and further events will be scheduled through the course of the year. The ITLG Silicon Valley Global Awards which takes place at Stanford University on March 15th will also feature a panel discussion on the topic of ‘Women in Technology’. ITLG Hall of Fame member, Katie McMahon Vice President and General Manager at SoundHound Inc., will serve as the moderator for the fireside chat which will also include two distinguished SV50 female leaders, Dr Alison Darcy, CEO and Founder of Woebot Labs and Anne-Marie-Farrell, head of Small Business Marketing at Google. Another highlight of the ITLG Global
Awards is the ‘Distinguished Leadership Award’ which will be presented to Ann Kelleher, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Technology and Manufacturing Group at Intel Corporation. Ann is also a key member of the ITLG WIT group and is deeply committed to helping women succeed in the technology industry. Heather Humphreys, Ireland’s Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation will also speak at the event, while Dr. Craig Barrett, Former CEO & Chairman of Intel Corporation will participate in a Fireside chat with Aaron Levie, Founder & CEO of Box.
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Ann Kelleher: Distinguished Leadership Award
for the company’s worldwide manufacturing operations. Before assuming her current position in the Technology and Dr. Ann B. Kelleher is senior Manufacturing Group, Kelleher vice president and general was general manager of the Fab/ manager of the Technology Sort Manufacturing organization. and Manufacturing Group In that role, she was responsible at Intel Corporation. She is for all aspects of Intel’s highresponsible for corporate quality volume silicon manufacturing. assurance, corporate services, Earlier in her Intel career, Kelleher customer fulfilment and supply was the site manager of Intel’s chain management. She is also Fab 11X fabrication facility in responsible for strategic planning Rio Rancho, New Mexico, the
natural language voice interfaces. Katie is vice president and general A mobile industry veteran, Katie manager at SoundHound Inc., McMahon has been at the the Silicon Valley-based company forefront of working with emerging renowned for its breakthrough technologies that change the way voice and A.I. technologies. She people interact with connected leads the consumer business for devices. She drove the global, mass- the SoundHound music search market adoption of mobile music app and Hound the voice search recognition and is currently focused and assistant app, and manages on the next major revolution in key strategic partnerships for human computer interaction: expanding the Houndify A.I. and
Anne-Marie Farrell Anne-Marie wants to know you, your users and your product and wants to help make those the best in world. As the head of Small Business Marketing at Google, Anne-Marie spends every day helping millions of businesses
Alison Darcy Alison Darcy, (PhD) CEO and Founder of Woebot Labs Inc. a company that aims to make the best psychological tools radically accessible for everyone. She created Woebot, a friendly
AI-powered chatbotthat delivers cognitive behavior therapy at scale. Woebothas been featured by Wired, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Forbes, the BBC, The Times (London); and the Washington Post.A clinical research psychologist, Alison was Faculty in
plant manager of Intel’s Fab 12 facility in Chandler, Arizona, as well as the factory manager of Fab 24 in Leixlip, Ireland. Kelleher joined Intel in 1996 as a process engineer, going on to manage technology transfers and factory ramp-ups in a variety of positions spanning 200mm and 300mm technologies. She holds a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, all from University College Cork in Ireland
voice platform. Katie previously was vice president of business development at Shazam, where she led the company’s mobile strategy from 2004 through 2009. Prior to Shazam, Katie was the Founder and CEO of Westport Communications Inc., a mobile data and services company in Tokyo. In 2002, she was recognized as the first western woman to launch a technology company in Japan.
all over the world grow their businesses. With a strong focus on delivering data rich, innovative and creative marketing programs aimed at helping small businesses connect with their customers online. From 2013 to 2015, Anne-Marie led the Irrational Lab team, a behavioral economics lab at Google, focused
on designing experiences to strengthen Google’s marketing and product strategy. Starting in Google Dublin in 2006, AnneMarie has worked across multiple areas, including strategy, business analytics and finance having started her career in Accenture as a management consultant.
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford School of Medicine for a decade where she developed digital health interventions for young people. With both a technical and scientific background, Alison works at the intersection of mental health and technology.
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Meet Sarah Friar ITLG is thrilled to share our exclusive interview with Sarah Friar, CFO at Square. Sarah, originally from Strabane, Northern Ireland, is an ITLG member and past Silicon Valley 50 honoree. In her interview, Sarah shares her insights on women in technology, how her Irish roots have shaped who she is, her involvement with Ormeau Baths in Belfast and with Ladies Who Launch, and more. Women in the field of technology are definitely in the minority, so why did you decide to pursue a career in tech? Can you tell us a little bit about your path and how you got to where you are today? There are a few things that I’ve used to guide my decisions through the years. One of the first things I thought about was what gives me energy and sparks creativity. For example, I love to travel, I love interacting with people and building teams, and I really enjoy analyzing problems – the more mathematical the better. There wasn’t necessarily a single job that checked all those boxes, but it helped guide me toward types of careers, and types of companies that I thought would enable me to mold a job into a passion. I feel particularly passionate at Square with our purpose of Economic Empowerment. It’s very fulfilling to feel that what I do every day at work is having an impact out in the world – if even with a single merchant. It was also very important to me to be in control of my career. I always look for ways to create “spikes.” It’s better to have one or two things you’re an A+ at, rather than 10 things you’re a B at. One of the best pieces of advice I got from a female mentor was to find a 28 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
career where the outcomes could be measured quantitatively. This helps remove some of the systemic or perception biases that can hold women back: it doesn’t matter who you know, or how many sports games you’ve attended with them – it’s about strong, measurable results. A career in tech lends itself to that because it’s an industry that embraces data and logic. How do you feel your Irish roots have shaped who you are, and where you are, today? I grew up in a small village in Northern Ireland during the height of The Troubles, surrounded by bombings and shootings. But I was really lucky to have family that taught me the importance of giving to others above all else. My parents’ lives were centered on helping others: my mother was the district nurse and my dad was the personnel manager at the local mill. They instilled in me a “people first” mentality that I have to this day. I often talk about it at Square and I truly mean it. If you put others first, it just keeps coming back to you in spades. My job as a leader is to build and support a strong team that will carry our organization forward. Also, for me personally, putting others first just makes me really happy.
I also believe The Troubles were ultimately solved by bringing everyone up to a certain level of wealth and comfort, hence why I feel driven to help small businesses start and thrive, as a way to bring lifeblood into a community. What do you consider to be the biggest challenge for women working in technology? Well, unfortunately, there are massive systemic biases, and not just in tech, but in every industry. One positive is that there seems to be much more discussion and acknowledgment about these biases, particularly in recent months. Of course, there’s still so much work to do, and as a society, we either care about it and we’re going to change it, or we pay it lip service but don’t actually care. At Square we’ve invested in things like teaching unconscious bias training to everyone. It starts with awareness - where might we be making assumptions or allowing preconceptions to cloud our views on someone’s abilities and output. It’s why it’s important to set clear goals in advance, quarterly and annually. That way we can more objectively measure outcomes but allow people to be wildly creative in how they achieve those goals.
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Ormeau Baths is a co-working space and tech community based out of an historic former bath house in the heart of Belfast. The entrepreneurial campus helps the brightest and best indigenous tech start-ups gain access to new networks, funding and expertise and to give them the tools to flourish in global markets.
Have you seen attitudes/culture change since you started your career? Yes and no. In one of my first jobs it was expected that women wear a skirt to work! Can you imagine? Today, thankfully, I believe we’re focused much more on what people can do, rather than how they look. I’ve also moved through numerous countries in my career: the UK, South Africa, and now the US. I do believe that here in California the ability to think big and embrace risks is still much further along than what I see in the UK. I have been working with a couple of Northern Irish startups, Hurree and Momenthealth.io. Both founders are passionate, creative, and full of hustle, but I constantly hear them being told to think more rationally – which is just code for “Don’t think too big.” Or being told to be much more mindful of risks or spending etc. To use my 30 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
husband’s favorite quote, “You can’t increment your way to greatness.” I’d love to see the business community there be more embracing of the entrepreneurs who are really putting themselves and their companies out there. What advice would you give to women looking to break into technology? Well, in addition to thinking about what makes you happy and taking steps to ensure you’re in control of your career, I’ve found mentors to be invaluable. But it’s important to be front footed in pursuing mentors and look for people that aren’t just like you. And you have to be persistent because they’re probably very busy, so you need to be creative to find ways to fit into their schedule. Also – and this is a step many people overlook – after you meet with them, follow up. And not just to say thank you, but
to close the loop. Thank them for what they said, tell them what you did, and tell them what the outcome was. You want them to know that the time they spend with you is meaningful. Also ask how you can help them – you’ll be surprised! And it’s a great way to make them want to continue to spend time with you. In your view, what steps should be taken, as a community and as a sector, to help sway the pendulum for women? We have to keep using our voices to speak up. There can’t be real change until everyone acknowledges there is a problem, and sadly – though there has been some progress – there is still a long way to go. For example, in the US, only 6% of the S&P 500 companies have a female CEO. This is an undeniable gap. With a problem this big, everyone has to do
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Ormeau Baths is founded by entrepreneurs Jon Bradford, Mark Dowds, Aaron Taylor and Steve Pette with support from tech leaders from Northern Ireland’s digital diaspora, including FanDuel’s Nigel Eccles and Sarah Friar of Square and is proud to partner with Barclays Eagle Labs at Ormeau Baths as one of its major partners.
their part – not just women, men too. How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life? I’ve been so fortunate to have incredible mentors in my life, and it has 100% made a difference for me. One of the biggest moves in my career – leaving Goldman Sachs – actually came about from talking to one of my mentors. He told me that I would be a great operator, and he told me this every time I would see him. It caused me to question my career choice to date and gave me such confidence to take the leap. Any time I’m thinking small, he’s always thinking big on my behalf. Jack is similarly a great mentor - he’s always pushing me to stretch. In my reviews, he says, “I want you to figure out how to be the best CFO in the world.” He never thinks small and it’s really freeing. From a personal perspective, Ruth Simmons, one of Square’s board members, comes to mind. She’s just amazing. She’s
been at Square to talk with our company, and she shared some experiences and challenges from her childhood. What makes Ruth stand out to me is her optimism, love of life, and commitment to learning. She is completely uplifting and inspiring to be around. In the past, you have shared four tenets that you live and lead by – Get a daily adrenaline rush; Do what you love; Pay it forward; Create a Board of Directors, and use them mindfully. Can you elaborate on these? I’d start off by saying that they’re all very related – it’s all about being proactive and setting yourself up for success. I focus on getting a daily adrenaline rush because it helps ensure that you’re constantly pushing yourself, and not just to learn and improve but also to take risks. We talk about this a lot at Square. The company has been successful so far, but we want to make sure this doesn’t make us complacent, that we continue
to take principled risks. Doing what you love is how you turn your job into a career and into a real passion. Paying it forward creates long-term loyalty and wins hearts. Take the time to take the call, provide a short burst of mentorship, make an intro, give some real-time coaching. All of these things also make you happier, which I believe creates a well of energy that you can draw from when things are challenging. You are involved in Ormeau Baths, a tech incubator space to foster startups in Belfast. What is the climate of entrepreneurship in Ireland today? I’m so delighted to be supporting the Ormeau Baths and innovation within the city of Belfast. There’s a burgeoning tech scene in Northern Ireland, and I’m really excited to support the region’s entrepreneurs. Ormeau Baths provides entrepreneurs with a physical office to work from, but, importantly, it also offers them the opportunity to access a network of expertise and SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 31
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experience from professionals here in Northern Ireland and internationally. That network is a critical part of any startup’s success and something I’m really proud to be part of. What inspired you to start Ladies Who Launch? It’s all about creating economic empowerment, closing the gap, and doing everything we can to ensure everyone has access to the tools they need to succeed. With my co-founder, Kelly McGonigle (also at Square) we’re focused on providing Community, Education, and Inspiration. Female entrepreneurs are an underserved group within an underserved group. As we’ve seen firsthand at Square, entrepreneurs and small businesses typically don’t have access to the same tools as larger businesses. And we see that women are particularly underserved. For example, only 18% of traditional loans go to women-owned businesses while at Square this rate is 54%. Ladies Who Launch is a creative outlet for us to start small and get these women meeting each other and garnering inspiration from those who have achieved success and therefore know the tough journey of founding and building a startup. Our evening events are a font of happiness and energy - you all should come to one!
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“I’ve found mentors to be invaluable. But it’s important to be front footed in pursuing mentors and look for people that aren’t just like you. And you have to be persistent because they’re probably very busy, so you need to be creative to find ways to fit into their schedule.” When you reflect on the Ladies Who Launch event in Belfast, what are the key things that come to mind? We were fortunate to have an incredible group of women participate, and my key impression was a thirst for more community building. Ireland, Northern Ireland, Belfast – these are not well served in terms of events like this, and the attendees were so appreciative beyond what I’ve seen in other cities. The audience was largely women who are already on a journey of running their own businesses. They brought pragmatism, wisdom, and lessons learned, and they were really seeking ways to think bigger and scale. Northern Ireland is an exciting but small market, so going beyond its borders is a must for most of these women. If you could go back and give your “younger self” any advice, what would it be? Have no fear, don’t hold yourself back. Also, it may not be easy to stand up and speak out for what’s important to you, but you will be amazed at how fulfilling and empowering it will be for you and for the people around you.
High Achiever Sarah Friar is Chief Financial Officer at Square. Sarah joined Square in July 2012 from salesforce.com, where she served as SVP of finance & strategy. Prior to salesforce.com, Sarah worked at Goldman Sachs for over 10 years, with experience in corporate finance, M&A, and equity research, and ultimately as lead oftware analyst and business unit leader for Goldman Sachs’ Technology Research Group. She previously worked for McKinsey in both London and South Africa. Sarah sits on the boards of New Relic (NEWR), a software analytics company, Slack, a business communications platform, and is the vice-chair of the Board of Spark, a nonprofit passionate about changing the lives of at-risk middle schoolers through mentorship. She sits on the Advisory Council for N. Ireland Executive Ministers, providing advice on key economic issues and trends in the US which are likely to impact the growth of the Northern Irish economy. Sarah is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Finance Leaders Fellowship Program and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. She earned her MEng in Metallurgy, Economics, and Management from the University of Oxford and her MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, where she graduated as an Arjay Miller scholar
Horner APG G
Centrepoint, Centre C Park Road, Cork, IIreland reland Tel: +353 21 4321-266 4 Fax: +353 21 4321-826 4 www.horner-apg.com Email: sales@ @horner-apg.com www.horner-apg.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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Paving the Way to Success
Máire Walsh, SVP, Digital Technologies at Enterprise Ireland’s Silicon Valley office discusses the role played by the state agency in assisting Irish start-ups to succeed in the US and reveals the growing impact of Enterprise Ireland’s Female Entrepreneurship unit which supports ambitious female entrepreneurs through funding, knowledge and special networking events.
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Could you give us a brief introduction to Enterprise Ireland and what it’s doing for the startup scene? Enterprise Ireland is the venture capital arm of the Irish government. We work in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, innovate, and scale globally through funding, advisory, and partnerships. We have invested in over a thousand startups from seed to Series A and are the largest seed stage investor in Europe and third largest VC in the world by deal flow. We have 33 offices globally. What is your role at Enterprise Ireland? I’m the SVP of Digital Technologies based in our Silicon Valley office. Our office works with the top 10% of Irish companies. My focus is on Enterprise SaaS, SaaS and travel tech companies that foster innovation, solve business problems, and deliver significant value to clients and partners. Can you tell us a little bit about your career path? After finishing a Master’s in Business Studies at NUI Galway in 2001, I wanted to experience the world; and the U.S. offered a window into adventure and possibilities. From managing an ecommerce store; to becoming a partner in a consulting business, and through board service, I’ve been lucky to have always worked with talented team players and exceptional mentors. I’ve also worked in partnership with leading media and tech companies where being innovative, creative, and driven helped propel success. Key to all my experience were relationships formed and nurtured. At the end of the day, people and the relationships you build, make all the difference. What do you think is the biggest challenge for women as they start a new business? Earning respect can be hard for women as they start a new business. Respect from investors, key stakeholders, and potential partners can be hard won. Many female entrepreneurs need to work harder to gain credibility, however, this can strengthen their resolve to succeed.
Female Entrepreneurship clients at the Enterprise Ireland HPSU Showcase 2017”
What steps has Enterprise Ireland taken to encourage more women to start new businesses? At Enterprise Ireland, our CEO Julie Sinnamon is a woman that grew through the ranks to now lead our organization. Through her leadership, and that of Sarita Johnston, we established the Enterprise Ireland Female Entrepreneurship Unit in response to an underrepresentation of female entrepreneurs in Ireland. Our purpose is to support ambitious female entrepreneurs through funding, knowledge, special networking events so they are fully equipped to launch and grow high potential startups. In 2017 we made 67 investments in female led startups, which now equates to approximately 37% of our total annual deal flow. Enterprise Ireland’s objective is for investments in female led start-ups to exceed 50% of our total deal flow in the coming years. Has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life? If so, how? Yes, I truly value mentorship and have been lucky enough that it has made a difference in my professional and personal life, and in fact in many cases, it has been intertwined. My experience working, or volunteering for
women’s leadership or arts organizations, coupled with playing soccer for over ten years with people from all walks of life has unwrapped mentorship in many ways. Which female leader do you most admire and why? I’ve always admired Mary Robinson, the first female President of Ireland. When she was running for office, I was highly influenced by the fact that someone from my home county of Mayo could reach such heights. One of the primary reasons I admire her is her work did not end when her presidency did; she went on to become a leader in the UN and was a role model for women throughout the world. On a more personal level, my grandmother Nora, mother Rita, and sister Catherine have always been hugely influential. What advice would you give to a young person who is contemplating starting their own business? Believe in yourself and your drive to succeed. Ask for help, people like helping people. Put yourself out there—attend networking events, explore mentorship opportunities, speak at conferences. Arm yourself with fundraising knowledge. Never stop selling. SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 35
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A life in Science Kate Gunning has a unique background in the field of biotechnology and the life sciences. With a focus on applications in genomics she has demonstrated expertise in both process and product development. She talks to Silicon Valley Global about her life at the cutting edge of science. 36 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
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because there was no holding back. There were no barriers to our advancement. It was important to learn how to lead because we grew at such an accelerated rate. Over the course of six years we brought three genome labs together and I was part of that team and I embraced it all. It was very fulfilling to be in an environment where everyone was engrossed in the work and very supportive of each other. We were all on the same path at an exciting point in science.
n her current role as Principal/ Lead Technology Consultant at Biovisability, Kate’s main focus is on working with emerging biotech companies and bioinnovation facilities both in the US and in Europe to further bioscience discovery and commercialization. A graduate of the Dublin Institute of Technology, she began her career in Nuclear Medicine and Clinical Pathology in Dublin and London, UK. Your Twitter bio says you are “passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, film, social justice, and Ireland.” With regards to innovation and entrepreneurship, can you tell us about your path and how you got to where you are today? I started as a scientist with qualifications from the Dublin Institute of Technology and began my career in clinical chemistry and was very entrenched in that space for a number of years. After getting a Donnelly Visa, I came to the United States and transitioned into the genomic space in molecular biology. I was introduced to people at Lawrence Berkeley labs back in the mid-90s where the Human Genome Project was taking off and I was privileged to get in on the ground with a growing group at the Department of Energy and became involved with the engineering side of the Genome Project. I then worked at Applied Biosystems where I became more focused on product development and was fortunate to spend time working with customers from all over the world. I had opportunities to interact with many different groups within a large corporation which gave me a broad understanding of science, product development, marketing, and the voice of the customer. I transitioned into consultancy and realized pretty quickly that there was a need to work with Irish companies who wanted to expand their businesses here in the US. I began working with the development agencies both North and South - with Invest Northern Ireland and with Enterprise Ireland in particular - and found that there were opportunities to work directly with those organizations in helping them expand the emerging life science and healthcare companies coming out of Ireland. It was of interest to these organizations to have people on the ground who knew the landscape and understood how the industry was developing here on the West Coast. Having an understanding of how business
was done in Europe and also the differences in translating those businesses, and how the healthcare system is different here in the US was very important as well. I love working with innovators and especially at the early stages in their development and my clients include other international start-ups and universities. Being able to work with Irish companies in the US was something that I hadn’t envisioned but has given me a feeling that I have the best of both worlds. I now have more opportunities to travel to Ireland and feel very fortunate that I can be their representative here but also get a chance to connect and build my relationships back in Ireland. I am very lucky. You were on the cutting edge of science when you worked on the Human Genome Project. What was that experience like? This was such an exciting time in science and in my career. I had a clinical background and had moved to genomics where I found that I had a love for robotics and automation. At that time, there was a great need to speed up how we were sequencing DNA. I had the opportunity to get involved with the engineering side of the genome project in designing new automation to accelerate and industrialize the molecular science processes. I relished my time in the genome lab. My career advanced pretty rapidly
It seems that there is a strong presence of women in your field compared to other STEM fields. Why do you think that is? I think in the biosciences you definitely see more women. It is attractive, and it is taught well in schools. In physical sciences and in engineering, there still is a higher percentage of men and I think that is partly because there has been less emphasis on women in the analytical sciences and also because mathematics has been perceived to be more challenging. We need to be more encouraging of women to get involved in the physical sciences and to help them understand that it will open up a lot more worlds to them, particularly in the engineering field. You’ve been an avid mentor for young professionals and emerging entrepreneurs and this includes being a mentor at the UC Berkeley Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. Why do you feel mentorship is so critical and how has mentorship made a difference for you? I definitely think mentorship is hugely important, whether you seek it out or whether you admire and watch somebody from afar. I didn’t directly seek out a mentor, but I had a boss when I was in my early 30s who believed in me and who saw the opportunities to advance my career faster than I did myself. So, mentorship happened more organically for me. I was fortunate to have had this person in my court and they really helped me shape my career when I wasn’t even being as strategic about it as I could have been. I see young professionals now who want to progress quickly and are strategic, but having somebody with more experience and more wisdom to help them think more expansively about their careers and to help them understand that making mistakes is okay, is really important. SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 37
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With regards to your passion for social justice, you’re very involved in the organization; The Last Mile. How did you get involved and why did supporting this particular organization appeal to you? The Last Mile is a program that provides career training in prison with mentorship and job placement upon release. The US has 5% of the world population but has 25% of the world’s incarcerated population and a 60% recidivism rate. This is a huge problem that needs to be addressed. I learned about The Last Mile through my connections at Rocketspace, a company that supports tech startups as they scale, and where some of the employees are graduates of the program. I immediately felt a very strong need to get involved because I believed this was such an amazing opportunity to help people prior to their release, the “returned citizens”, have an opportunity to get jobs and not to return to prison. I was 38 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
You are very active in the bay area Irish community including your role as executive director of the San Francisco Irish Film Festival. How and why did you become involved in this program? I got involved with the Irish Film Festival about eight years ago as a volunteer to help with their marketing and sponsorship. My role has changed and grown since then, so much so that I took over as executive director two years ago. I love the fact that the Irish are making amazing films, and this is the one organization that allows the Irish community, the IrishAmerican community and the wider Bay Area community, to experience films we wouldn’t normally get access to. It is a great opportunity to bring Irish film makers to the Bay Area and to expose our local community to the diversity and richness of their work and to bring an awareness to this great art of film making that is coming out of Ireland.
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I work with Culture Ireland and the Irish Film Institute and they are immensely supportive in helping us bring the film makers and their films to the US. I myself do not have a background in film and am not so artistic or creative but I definitely love and appreciate what other people do and I just love that we can share it. That to me is the most important thing, especially for those who are living here in the US, who feel a disconnect sometimes from Ireland. There is nothing better than seeing Irish people come to the festival and walk away thrilled that they got this great experience about Ireland from an Irish film maker. It is fascinating to learn how you have managed to weave all of your passions and skills to create this web of Irish and American relationships. With that said, what do you miss most about Ireland, or do you feel you have actually built enough of a connection that you now have the best of both worlds?
We need to be more encouraging of women to get involved in the physical sciences and to help them understand that it will open up a lot more worlds to them, particularly in the engineering field.
I do feel like I have the best of both worlds. Iâ€™ve been lucky to be able to engineer my career so much that I am surrounded by Irish people and Irish culture. I would love to spend more time in Ireland and I aim to do that as much as I can, but I get to interact with Irish people both here and when I go home. I miss the warmth of the Irish people on a daily basis, but I have a great community in the Bay Area who have been out of Ireland for 10, 15, 20 years and who are in the same situation, and that Irishness never goes away. I think I miss the beauty of the countryside and, coming from Dun Laoghaire, thereâ€™s nothing I love more than going for a walk down the pier, but I feel like sometimes I am back on that pier when I walk down Crissy Field and get access to the bay. The Irish connections here in the Bay Area are so strong and valuable and I feel very lucky to be a part of a community that works hard to maintain strong links back to Ireland and works hard to support and care for each other. SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 39
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A Star is Born! Moment Health came into this world last October. Six months on and its baby steps are leaving quite the footprint. The founder, Belfast born Nuala Murphy talks to Silicon Valley Global 40 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
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t was burgeoning entrepreneur Nuala Murphy who gave birth to Moment Health at the same time as the skies above Ireland were pregnant with Storm Ophelia. Ireland has recovered from its first hurricane, but Nuala Murphy’s whirlwind year continues unabated! Indeed, on the basis of the reception so far afforded Murphy’s start-up, one would be advised not to hold one’s breath waiting for tech youngster Moment Health to disappear from the radar anytime soon. The world of technology is intensely competitive but Moment Health appears to have the X factor and all the ingredients required to thrive and prosper. Certainly, it has emerged onto the scene with a tick in almost every box: At least that’s what nine out of ten besotted parents say; both the expectant and the new. Simply said, Moment Health aims to prioritize Maternal Mental Health and provide new parents with the tools and knowledge they need to sustain good mental wellbeing, from pregnancy through to parenthood. “My passion is to make maternal mental health mainstream, and to normalize it; to let mums and parents know they’re not going mad, they are suffering from a treatable illness and where and when to seek help,” Murphy told SVG. Moment Health’s CEO sees technology as the perfect vehicle to deliver support to improve – and even save – the lives of new parents. Like the most potent of storms, Moment Health isn’t hanging about in making an impact as it seeks to connect mothers and new parents with the tools and knowledge they need to sustain good mental health. With quicksilver movement, the company has already gone international with its suite of easy-to-use and inclusive tools easing the burden for a whole generation of new parents. Moment Health’s mission has been finetuned with surgical precision, resulting in its easy to follow website (www.momenthealth. io), and an innovative app, which features a mental health symptom checker, an emotional diary to track moods and identify triggers, as well as a directory of local support services. The Moment Health app, developed with clinicians and healthcare professionals, screens for perinatal, postnatal and associated anxieties, and includes additional features
Maternal Mental Health research shows that at least 20 per cent of women and 10 per cent of men are diagnosed with symptoms of anxiety or depression during pregnancy or early parenthood. such as a helpful guide to practical and accessible coping strategies. The company’s founder is quite clearly a woman on a mission to help mothers and their nearest and dearest. The genesis of her journey to founder and CEO of Moment Health takes us back to her twenties when work experience with some high-profile commercial companies across Europe gave her very valuable professional skills, building on the degree she earned in applied languages and linguistics from the University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology and a semester in the prestigious Universite de Geneve. A graduate position with a company based in Northern Ireland saw her hone her business skills even further. Building relationships was her forte while energy, and a zest for life, were her calling card. In doublequick time, Nuala Murphy became the focus of many a head hunter with Unicorn’s loss being Ulster Carpets’ gain at one stage, followed by a [professionally] life-changing move into medical technology in 2006. A beast of a software company with tentacles in the US and the UK, it was in this role that Murphy became engaged in heading up product marketing, building a team brand and the marketing function and helping the company make inroads into the healthcare sector. “It was at that stage I began to get a real insight into the healthcare industry, how
products should be developed < ultimately listening to the frontline staff and all key stakeholders to ascertain what we all now call “product market fit”> and brought to market. ,” Nuala explains. “That kind of experience was instrumental in leading me down the path to what I’m doing now from a woman’s health point of view and as a young mother myself. Understanding the problem from all angles first before attempting to solve it has been a huge part of our journey to date”. A brief dalliance in the world of startups afforded the would-be Moment Health boss a valuable insight into the business of sentiment analysis. At the same time, she walked the tightrope between career, pregnancy and raising two young children, and says she experienced the stresses and strains of pregnancy and wondered what happens if a mother doesn’t get the level of care I was lucky to have received? “I also experienced the angst of a mother going back to work, which when juxtaposed against my work, revealed this huge societal issue of maternal mental health and the possible need for supports beyond what already existed. Leaving her start-up days (as an employee) behind her, and with encouragement from friends and family, she began to actively explore the possibility of planting the seeds from which Moment Health would germinate. “My background is in marketing, I am a chartered marketer and google squared accredited (Nuala completed her digital marketing course online on her second maternity leave and graduated with distinction) it was this that helped me get in shape to go and talk to people about my idea,” Nuala adds. “I connected with researchers, with health professionals, with technologists and – most importantly – with women, who were universally telling me “we need this, we needed this” Nuala Murphy found the ‘need’ as described in anecdotal evidence, was clearly backed up by statistics and academic testimony. For example, that as many as 20 per cent of women and 10 per cent of men suffer depression or anxiety during the perinatal period; that one in four women SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 41
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The Moment Health app has been developed with clinicians and healthcare professionals. It screens for perinatal, postnatal and associated anxieties, and includes additional features such as a helpful guide to practical and accessible coping strategies. suffer maternal mental ill health during pregnancy; and that almost a quarter of women who died between six weeks and one year after pregnancy died from mental health related causes – the more apparent it becomes that there is a great need for improved intervention and availability of treatment, not just here but on a global scale. “There’s three times in a woman’s life when they have physiological changes that can affect their mood and that’s puberty, pregnancy and menopause. But it’s very important to point out that when it comes to parenting it doesn’t discriminate. It can come upon anyone at any time.” Bringing such mental health issues into the mainstream, getting them fully debated and acquiring greater recognition for them is one of the drivers of Moment Health. “That’s why we established this business. That’s why I have partnered with leading academics and technologists and experts in this field. Its why the Moment Health Board and advisory team consists of individuals who have built and scaled tech companies, brought technology products into the healthcare 42 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
sector with product design and UX being central to our vision. ( Sarah Friar CFO of Square, Board Member Slack/Walmart is a big supporter of Nuala’s mission and has become a mentor to Nuala and the Company on this journey and Sheryl Sandberg’s Foundation and Initiative Lean In of which Nuala is one of the most well known and respected Leaders which saw her earn the role as host last year in the first Lean In European community event ) Ultimately that’s why our early stage investors TechStartNI the local arm of Pentech Ventures along with Invest Northern Ireland have understood our vision and bought into it. With Moment Health, my goal is to facilitate meeting that need for mothers and empower sufferers and their families. It’s about using the power of technology to tackle maternal mental health and improve accessibility to services that parents – mums and dads – suffering depression or anxiety from any stage during pregnancy onwards so crucially need and deeply deserve. Anyone suffering from maternal ill health anywhere in the world deserves the opportunity to
realize they’re not going mad; that they are experiencing a treatable illness they can recover from. Once they know that, it’s about showing people where and how to get help. Already we see the app is working and will be publishing internationally on this this year.” “We believe we can greatly heighten awareness of mental health issues to not only mothers and their families, employers and society at large through our communication tools and through our alliance or partnerships with different global organizations. We are also close to launching our corporate offering, where Moment Health can be incorporated into an organization’s own wellness program, or it can be offered as a standalone support tool. Our products have the potential to pre-empt absences and speed up recovery by connecting parents with the support they need for long-term recovery. This will see us truly making maternal mental health mainstream”. Given access to networks to the investment community and other entrepreneurs in the female health sector, no one could possibly bet against Moment Health not delivering on its vision.
l e v e L d on c Se School e mm a r g o r P boi.ie/schoolprogramme
Bank of Ireland is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
We’ve a range of programmes for Secondary School students to learn new skills and have some fun along the way in enterprise and innovation, arts or sports. •
TY Academy in Innovation & Enterprise
Junk Kouture, recycled fashion competition
Bond Trader, real life market trading competition
Leinster & Munster Rugby
FAI Soccer Competition
Athletics Ireland Partnership
Life Saving Skills, CPR
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Trailblazers Kuehne + Nagel: At The Top of their Game
uehne + Nagel is one of the world’s leading logistics providers. Today, the Kuehne + Nagel Group has more than 1,300 offices in over 100 countries, with over 74,000 employees. Kuehne + Nagel Ireland was established in 1996 and in 2013 Pamela Quinn took over the role as the Managing Director at just 36 years of age. It’s a role which saw the Managing Director named Image Businesswoman of the Year for 2016, recognizing her as one of Ireland’s most smart and successful women. Kuehne + Nagel’s market share growth is due to both a clear strategy and a defined focus on attracting and retaining talented employees. Along with remarkable profitability growth stats, Kuehne + Nagel has simultaneously grown its employee base by 24%. “Diversity facilitates a range of opinions, options and ideas; thereby giving 44 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
any company the best possible solution by exploring avenues that they may not have thought of otherwise,” says Pamela Quinn. However, the steep growth in employee numbers does not come without its challenges and having a high number of new positions means lots of internal moves and new starts. “Change is constant and we have had to work diligently on ensuring that employees feel both supported and empowered during these changes. Our sustained high ranking in the top 10 Best Workplaces in Ireland during the last seven years through this growth period confirms that we have maintained a work environment where talent can thrive and the organization can adapt and achieve its goals,” acknowledges Pamela. “Commitment is a key ingredient to this. We know that innovation and transformation can create an ambiguous and challenging work environment at times but as long as our employees know what we are trying to achieve and they trust our ability
to achieve it, they commit to the vision of Kuehne + Nagel Ireland.” Kuehne + Nagel’s strategy pays particular attention to innovation and future-focused solutions for customers. They do this by analyzing a customer’s supply chain as a whole and seeing where Kuehne + Nagel can offer real value both in terms of efficiency and cost. Ireland is one of the leading locations for the pharmaceutical industry in the world and accounts for just over half of all Ireland’s goods exports – circa €64 bn. This means that logistics companies need to stay innovative to keep up and this is something that Quinn is acutely aware of: “Kuehne + Nagel are leading the way in the transportation of pharmaceutical goods in Ireland. We work closely with our customers to stay abreast of the ever-changing needs of our industry to ensure we can offer sustainable and compliant solutions.” In today’s strict regulatory environment,
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“We are bucking the trends of the industry by being the first to market with intelligent supply-chain solutions for Irish companies. It’s this kind of future-focused thinking that has allowed us to grow at the rate we have grown and stay so far ahead of the competition.” there is certainly no shortage of regulations that pertain directly to the pharmaceutical industry, especially when pharmaceutical products are being distributed internationally. “Quality plays an important role in Kuehne + Nagel and we have integrated high standards of quality into the heart of the operation of our business. In February 2017, our global KN PharmaChain airfreight network was certified by the International Air Transport Association as CEIV Pharma (Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics). Locally here in Kuehne + Nagel Ireland, we go beyond just the industry standards of quality. We offer customized solutions for temperature control risk analysis during transit and we continually invest in our network and facilities to accommodate industry standards. We also actively invite our customers to perform their own audits at our premises allowing them to inspect our quality standards and procedures first hand” comments Pamela. “As the market leader in the industry, Kuehne + Nagel set the benchmark and we know we have the expertise to support the rapid growth of the pharmaceutical industry and its exacting standards. It’s through this expertise that Kuehne + Nagel play their part in ensuring that Irish companies continue to have their competitive edge in this market.” Within the logistics industry, it’s not just pharmaceuticals that the area of compliance is important. It’s critical for any consumer products, whether its fresh food that needs to be transported and stored to a particular
industry standard at safe temperatures; or whether its high value technology products that need to be transported in a secure environment through every leg of their journey. The transportation of goods often exchanges several hands as it will regularly have to travel through multiple countries and be handled by different carriers along the way. It is this complex supply chain that creates complications in the area of both security and industry regulations for logistics companies when offering solutions to their customers. “We have concentrated our efforts on overcoming these challenges because our customers need to know that they can rely on Kuehne + Nagel to transport their goods through a global network. They can rely on us to provide solid confirmation that their goods are secure at all times and that we are following regulatory standards at every part of the supply chain from pick up to delivery,” clarifies Pamela. “This is critical for food-based products in particular that need to arrive at their intended destination in the same condition as they were shipped. Moreover, we have a dedicated team who can analyze the risks and offset those risks in advance of a shipment moving through our
network with the use of technology.” It’s this value-add that allows Kuehne +Nagel to offer solutions to their customers that they don’t even know they need or want yet. “We are bucking the trends of the industry by being the first to market with intelligent supply-chain solutions for Irish companies. It’s this kind of future-focused thinking that has allowed us to grow at the rate we have grown and stay so far ahead of the competition.” It seems that the future continues to look bright for Kuehne + Nagel as they show no signs of slowing down in offering Irish businesses solutions to their supply chain needs. With such a fast-paced growth rate, they are clearly hitting the mark in the logistics industry and Pamela Quinn has a clear and transformational vision to take Kuehne + Nagel Ireland to new heights.
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ITLG Young Innovators 2018
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In partnership with Headline Sponsors
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ITLG Young Innovators In Action One of the key initiatives originating from the Irish Governments “Global Irish Economic Forum” at Dublin Castle – 2013 was to build a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation among our youth.
o that end the “Young Innovators” event was launched in 2014, and repeated in 2016. Our 2018 event scheduled for March 2nd was unfortunately postponed due to the adverse weathers conditions resulting from storm Emma & will be rescheduled in the very near future. The programme is run in partnership with Limerick Institute of Technology, as well as secondary schools, government state agencies and companies such as Aer Lingus, Dell,
Cisco, Intel, Google, Facebook, Dropbox and Shannon Airport. ITLG Young Innovators brings together nearly 1,000 second level students, teachers, mentors and speakers from across Ireland and tasks them with the challenge of imagining the world 50 years from now and developing solutions for societal challenges and other challenges that may arise. “With the rapid pace of technology and change, it is vital that we continue to innovate
and create solutions to challenges our world faces. Driving innovation to solve the societal challenges of the future is the focus of this ITLG Young Innovators challenge,” said John Hartnett, Founder and President of the ITLG, “We want to stimulate skills such as problem solving, creativity, concept development and presentation within the young people attending, and give them a true experience of innovation and entrepreneurship at work.” On the day of the Young Innovators event, Shannon Airport is transformed into SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 47
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RTE Dragons, Gavin Duffy, Eleanor McEvoy, Chanelle McCoy, Alison Cowzer, and Barry Oâ€™Sullivan will judge the 2018 ITLG Young Innovators event.
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Pictured at the launch of the 2018 ITLG Young Innovators Challenge – RTE Dragon and ITLG Co-Founder Barry O’Sullivan, Karen Haskett and Celine Joyce from Aer Lingus (sponsors), with students from, Gort Community.
an incredible student think-tank. During the competition students are mentored by experts across STEAM roles in business, research and academia, and they experience the incredible creative technologies and applications of sciences in business and research today. Professor Vincent Cunnane, President of LIT commented, “We’re very proud to have driven Young Innovators since the beginning. This event reflects much of what LIT is about – excitement, passion, innovation, the intersection between academia and real-world expertise. It’s great to see students and teachers practice innovation skills and opening doors to the possibilities of the future.” At the end of this one day intensive learning experience, the students pitch their innovations to leading Irish investors and RTE ‘Dragons’ Barry O’Sullivan, Gavin Duffy,
Chanelle McCoy, Eleanor McEvoy, and Alison Cowzer. The winning ITLG Young Innovators team is awarded with an enviable ITLG Internship, which includes return flights to San Francisco sponsored by Aer Lingus, site visits to Silicon Valley’s fastest growing tech startups as well as innovation stalwarts like Google, Intel, Facebook & Dropbox. The winners meet ITLG investors and mentors and truly have an experience of a lifetime. Speaking at the launch of the 2018 ITLG Young Innovators Challenge, Chairman of Shannon Group, Rose Hynes said, “This is the third ITLG Young Innovators event to be hosted at Shannon Airport which is all about encouraging young people towards innovation and entrepreneurship. Seeing the talent, creativity and innovation culture at work at this event is always inspirational. We are proud
to be partners in this event and look forward to welcoming students from around Ireland, their mentors and the Dragon’s Den judges to the event.” Aer Lingus Communications Director, Declan Kearney, said he “is delighted to once again sponsor the ITLG Young Innovators competition. Ireland has a very strong and growing technology sector. Competitions like the ITLG Young Innovators are fantastic for nurturing young Irish talent and encouraging careers in this increasingly relevant field and help to reinforce the strong links between the tech industry in Ireland and the US, which is home to so many of the world’s leading tech companies. We’re looking forward to flying the winners over to Silicon Valley this year and wish each young innovator the very best of luck.” SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 49
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Talent Spotting Emer Magee, an Accounting and Business Studies teacher at St. Patrick’s takes considerable pride in the achievements of her students who won the Young Innovators Award in 2016. She talks to Silicon Valley Global about the experience and the passion for innovation which ‘Young Innovators’ has inspired in students
xactly fifty years on from the death of the man credited with introducing free second level education in Ireland, the 2018 ITLG Young Innovators event is set to showcase innovative ideas hatched by some of Ireland’s top secondary school students. In 1966, the innovative educationalist and former Irish Government Minister Donogh O’Malley produced an educational plan which was to have radical consequences for economic development, social mobility and cultural change in Ireland. It’s a matter of conjecture as to whether O’Malley’s forward-thinking led to the Celtic Tiger boom of the 1990s-2000s but what O’Malley’s derring-do achieved without doubt 50 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
“Firstly, we couldn’t believe it when they got through to the last six. All six teams had brilliant ideas. It was just incredible, all of these 15 and 16-year old students coming up with such innovative ideas.”
was the ground-breaking introduction of Comprehensive Schools around Ireland, the first of which was St. Patrick’s Comprehensive School, Shannon, County Limerick. In celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the school’s foundation in 1966, St. Patrick’s decided to enter the 2016 ITLG Young Innovators one-day competition. It was held just a hop, skip and a jump down the road from St. Pat’s at Shannon Airport. Over 600 students from schools drawn from around the country participated in the event. The entrants were charged with the task of imagining the world well into the future. Specifically, the students were asked to come up with an innovative idea relating to how people will be living, working, shopping, playing and traveling in 2066 – fifty years after
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the birth of free secondary education in Ireland and, of course, the establishment of St. Patrick’s Comprehensive itself! In truth, St. Pat’s was tailor-made for making a big impression at ITLG’s 2nd Young Innovators event for it is renowned locally, nationally and internationally as a center of excellence for learning and educational development. As luck, or fate, would have it, the idea from the team representing ‘Pat’s to implant a microchip at birth which would deliver predictive diagnostics for health issues blew the judges away; so much so that it earned the ‘magnificent seven’ students the top award, i.e., an exciting week long internship to Silicon Valley in California which afforded them the opportunity to visit world renowned technology companies such as Google and Intel, experience hands-on learning activities, and meet local entrepreneurs and innovators. Emer Magee, an Accounting and Business Studies teacher at St. Patrick’s, was delighted to accompany her school’s victorious team to the States. She says the school’s experience of having participated (and coming second) in the inaugural Young Innovators event in 2014 made its participation in 2016 something of a no-brainer: “The Young Innovators competition is very different from the rest of the competitions we would be familiar with and we were thrilled to take part once more,” Emer explains. “There are so many competitions where the parents do a huge amount of work or the teacher does a lot of the work. That’s not the case with the ITLG Young Innovators and that’s what makes it that more special. “Most projects we engage with sees the school having to work on it for months and months. It takes huge time and commitment on the part of quite a number of people, but the Young Innovators is a one-day event which is very refreshing. “The principal (of St. Pat’s) and I spoke about it and we agreed it would be nice for our team of students to leave the classroom for the day, do something different from what would be the norm during the year and enjoy the competition once again. “Normally, I would enter transition year, but I felt I had a nice group of accounting students. They were a strong academic group. “In total, we only had one or two conversations together in the classroom. I told 52 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
“That was the major thing I loved about the event, how the students on the day really got their teeth into it, using entirely their own mind set to develop their idea. On the day, the students were forced to think outside of the box.” the students to think about innovative ideas and talk with their parents. “Of course, taking part in the event was very convenient for us as we can walk to Shannon Airport which was an added plus.” On the day of the 2016 ITLG Young Innovators event - in partnership with LIT - Emer marveled at how the seven schoolchildren who represented the Shannon-based school of excellence in the 2016 Young Innovators event managed to unlock their potential to create and succeed: “That was the major thing I loved about the event, how the students on the day really got their teeth into it, using entirely their own mind set to develop their idea,” Emer enthused. On the day, the students were forced to think outside of the box? “That’s right, they didn’t have any background done. It was just what they could come up with on the day. They didn’t know what task they had to do, and they couldn’t do any prep work. “On the day, it was just about thinking outside the box and coming up with something that could be used in fifty years’ time. They used a plant to demonstrate their idea. I’d never have thought of that in a million years. “As I say, I told them to think of ideas
about innovation. That was it. On the day, it was just them. I wasn’t involved. It was the students who did the research and work on the day.” And to beat the best of the rest? “Firstly, we couldn’t believe it when they got through to the last six. All six teams had brilliant ideas. It was just incredible, all of these 15 and 16-year old students coming up with such innovative ideas.” “It was amazing. The students were on a stage and got the opportunity to present their ideas to very highly qualified people. “I remember our school was the last to present their project. The parents were all waiting outside and the next thing it was announced that we had won. Everyone was delighted. We never in our wildest dream thought that the top prize would come our way. “It was just sheer effort on the day. They worked well together. They’re all friends and their camaraderie shone through.” Since sweeping the boards at the 2016 ITLG Young Innovators Awards, the luminous spirit of innovation and ‘can-do’ ethos at St. Patrick’s Comprehensive School in Shannon has never enjoyed such a high profile. The success enjoyed by the Class of 2016 will undoubtedly inspire more teams of technology entrepreneurs to come forth and shine from their Shannon base. “Winning the Young Innovators overall award was such a thrill for everyone at the school but particularly for the students themselves of course. “They couldn’t believe it when they talked to interns at Intel and Google. The people they met in Silicon Valley were so good to them. It was amazing to discover that a lot of them had gone to UL. “Being in Silicon Valley gave the boys and girls a great opportunity to share their ideas with successful global entrepreneurs. We were all very proud of all the students and their interest in technology. “Winning the overall prize is invaluable to the students too in terms of their CVs but I’d have to say that they really enjoyed the trip and of all the trips I have taken part in myself, it was the most fun I have ever had. The students had a ball and it was something they will never forget.” Unforgettable? Well, for 50 years at least, we suggest!
‘Open for Businesses’ Bank of Ireland is embracing the new fintech revolution and investing significant resources to support talented new financial start-ups as it seeks innovative new ways to improve banking for customers.
he impact of Bank of Ireland in the fintech start-up space has been such that some financial commentators have even begun to weave the soubriquet ‘the start-up’s bank’ into their reporting of Bank of Ireland’s latter day activities. Indeed, the 230-year old blue chip banking institution is being credited with playing a significant part in fuelling the present day whirlwind of start-up activity. Bank of Ireland has elevated the ‘open for business’ clarion call to a whole new plateau thanks to its open door, transparent and multi-faceted strategy which is geared towards helping early stage businesses, innovators and fintech technologists to grow and develop their ideas. There is considerable excitement around the fintech space at present and David Tighe, 54 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
Bank of Ireland’s Head of Innovation, is really enthused about how actively his firm is embracing an industry with huge potential: “Whereas our Workbenches, StartLabs and student programmes boast a general, entrepreneur remit, our newest Dublin StartLab (Camden Street) is focussing on Fintech,” explains David who lectures in entrepreneurship and innovation in Trinity College. “It’s in our StartLabs that we leverage and partner with established companies in offering customers, firstly, proven solutions that can be implemented quickly and then, among other things, advice on understanding risk and how to protect themselves from it. “We expect our Fintech focus to provide insights into banking business models, show us where Fintech is heading and help us make sure that the tech solutions we are promoting will solve real customer problems.”
According to David, he is always getting asked the same question by his students in Trinity, i.e.: ‘If you could choose one area to pursue where there is massive opportunity, what would that be?’ “I always say Fintech. I think that will continue to grow and grow.” But Fintech needs the likes of BOI as much as BOI needs Fintech. As such the partnerships set up with the likes of Temonos’ MarketPlace and Sandbox are of mutual benefit. It’s a two-way process, of course, and it adds up to a win-win situation. Startups, scale-ups and even well established companies receive funding plus mentoring and collaborative work spaces courtesy of the BOI. And, in return, the bank’s co-operation and collaboration with its tech partners fuels its own growth strategy which is centred on its ability to provide innovative, value-added-
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Start-ups, scale-ups and even well established companies receive funding plus mentoring and collaborative work spaces courtesy of the BOI. And, in return, the bank’s co-operation and collaboration with its tech partners fuels its own growth strategy which is centred on its ability to provide innovative, valueadded-solutions to its customers. solutions to its customers. “With regard to our concept of open innovation, we decided to create an ecosystem that would allow us to work with lots of different tech partners,” David explains. “Our ecosystem is a truly symbiotic system that benefits everyone and, most importantly, our customers and the bigger and more dynamic the ecosystem, the better the environment for growth.” In engaging with the ecosystem, Bank of Ireland has been able to support business growth across all communities in Ireland. Three years ago, Tighe and co. built upon its open, innovation partnerships domestically by corresponding with 300 start-ups around the country. The result was the creation of an innovation model shaped by BOI employees who boast the experience of having built
BizWorld Students showcasing their products they created in their 2 day enterprise workshop
start-ups and worked on start-ups themselves. The result of BOI’s steely focus on providing an innovative edge to its customers hasn’t just seen its star rise in the home country. Just under a year ago, BOI expanded its open business ecosystem; going global with the establishment of a StartLab in New York dedicated to helping Irish tech companies break into the US market. BOI’s presence in the Big Apples mirrors the work of its sister operation in Eyre Square, Galway in helping tech entrepreneurs understand the fundamentals of a business, including market and customer validation, product fit, pitching for funding and pitching for customers. Most particularly, the New York set-up helps tech firms in Ireland that BOI work with to move more quickly on to the global stage. And the global stage is where the FDIs are at their most plentiful? “Absolutely, and a lot of FDI companies come and visit and ask about how they can access the start-up community. “Bank of Ireland has a fantastic corporate banking sector. In that arm - there is an FDI team. They engage phenomenally well with FDI and also the businesses that are landing. They create this landing pad and this runway for businesses coming into the country. “For example, we have incubated and provided a landing pad for a number of FDI businesses in our spaces.”
Bank of Ireland’s incubator programme also plays host to a string (six) of successful work benches (start-up zones) dotted around the country. Unlike the aforementioned StartLab which is accessed by invitation only, BOI Workbenches are open to all and foster an atmosphere of discussion and knowledge sharing. BOI’s most noteworthy Workbench is arguably the original of the species, at Grand Canal (Dublin) which first saw the light of day in 2015. Plynk, a social-media payments app, is a product of Grand Canal Street Workbench. Its founders met there, came up with the concept for the business, worked with Bank of Ireland’s community managers, received early-stage funding from the bank’s Delta Early Stage Capital fund, and were incubated in BOI’s Dublin offices. Just recently it closed a €25m fundraising round and announced 40 new jobs for Ireland. “Our Workbenches are basically entrepreneur spaces where there’s Wi-Fi, tea and coffee facilities and where, more importantly, we have our branch managers, business advisors and our customer advisors on hand to see how they can help and support entrepreneurs and innovators,” explains David who has been with Bank of Ireland for close on eight years now having joined after passing out from Trinity College’s grad programme. SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 55
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Rory Carty – Head of Youth Banking
BoI Ty Academy – The winners of TY Academy DCU receiving their prizes
Just under a year ago, BOI expanded its open business ecosystem; going global with the establishment of a StartLab in New York dedicated to helping Irish tech companies break into the US market. “We deliver loads of programmes; startup, boost and C Fintech programmes – you name it. “We don’t take equity and we don’t charge either. Similarly, we make scholarship desks available for start-ups and we pay for the desks. “The StartLabs and Workbenches are very much about us giving support to our existing customers and possible new customers. It’s all about bringing exciting new tech solutions to fruition and if that happens, then that’s great for the businesses and great for us.” The strength of its customer base is key to any organisation’s survival and prosperity and, as a firm that is strongly rooted in the community, the innovation team at Bank of Ireland is acutely aware of the danger of getting too concentrated on the tech start-up space to the detriment of the SME sector. 56 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
“This country is sustained by small businesses,” David notes. £I’m talking here about craft businesses, all sorts of local businesses who are doing the hard graft on a daily basis. We want to make sure we can provide all the support they need. I’m pleased to say that the events we run in our branches are not tech focused events and we know from interacting with our customers at these events that they want frictionless ways of doing banking; being able to check balances online, make a payment etc. “It’s important our online banking is strong and if we conclude that all businesses are going digital, we need to ask ourselves how we can continue to make sure we can deliver the best possible customer experience. “After all, if our customers are doing well, so are we.”
“Encouraging an entrepreneurial mind-set is core to everything we do in Bank of Ireland and it is also it a key element of the Youth Banking programme within Bank of Ireland. Youth Banking runs two programme solely focussed on encouraging a culture of entrepreneurship amongst young people. In the primary school segment we partner BizWorld to run start up workshops with 11 year olds. Teams of students are taught the basics of setting up their own business, develop their ideas, showcase the idea to the rest of their school and finally pitch to a panel of judges. This theme continues at secondary school with the Bank of Ireland TY Academy, which takes teams of 15/16 year olds and takes them through an intense three day start up boot camp covering everything from the Lean Canvas to Design Thinking and presentation skills. The students then pitch their idea to a panel of academics and business people. “Our ambition is to ensure that our Youth Banking entrepreneurship programmes continue to grow from strength to strength, enabling students of all ages to have the skills and confidence to start their own businesses.”
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The team beind the sociometer: Tiernan Haugh, Jamie Spratt and Campbell Scanlan,
Silicon Valley Global talks to Dublin born Tiernan Haugh, one of a team of three students who created the ‘Sociometer’, a device designed to measure the amount of time people spend on their phones in a traditional Scottish pub. The team recently won top spot in the Shenzhen Design Award for Young Talent, an international UNESCO competition. Tell us a little bit about the Sociometer and how it was conceived The Sociometer visually meters WiFi activity in a social environment. Designed for a traditional Scottish Bar, the Sociometer aims to reduce the distraction of our phones by highlighting the amount that we use them in a social setting. The graph paper reads from a scale of Social to Digital, indicating the device usage in its immediate surroundings. As more people use the network the pen plotter’s movement becomes more dramatic, drawing attention to people’s change in behavior. Having taken inspiration from centuries of scientific measuring equipment, the Sociometer monitors activity in the digital atmosphere. Similar to a seismograph, it translates bandwidth data into erratic pen movement onto scrolling graph paper. Within the traditional body is an array of 3D printed parts, microcontrollers, motors and belts. The Speedwell Bar was specifically chosen 58 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
as a location for the product because it had recently won Dundee’s “Best Community Bar” award. It opened in 1903 and has served as a meeting point in the community since. Research suggests that younger generations are becoming more content spending time on their phones rather than indulging in conversation. Fitting in with the bar’s Edwardian age interior, we contrasted dark wood with brass accents. The body was handcrafted with walnut from a traditional Scottish sawmill, using traditional joints and detailing. The three of you involved in the team which designed the sociometer are all studying at the University of Dundee. Was it a college-led project? Yes, we’re a team of three from the DJCAD, the University of Dundee’s art and design college. I study digital interaction design, while Campbell and Jamie study product design. The project was the coming together of two
disciplines to tackle what we figured was a growing problem with our generation. At DJCAD, the digital interaction design and product design courses work closely together under the umbrella of ‘Social Digital’. It was through one these shared modules that we started to develop the Sociometer. The brief simply asked us to design a meter, so we used its scope to play to our interests. The Sociometer was built to sit in the background of a traditional Scottish bar and provide a physical reading of the customers’ network activity. The idea was that the product would draw attention to the growing dependency on our devices in a social setting. Why were you particularly interested in looking at the issue of sociability and the inordinate amount of time people are spending on their smart phones? The wide scope of the brief allowed us to play to our interests. We saw it as an opportunity to
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playfully highlight an issue we’d seen time and time again. We grew up with this movement to smartphones and we’ve noticed first hand more people being glued to their phones in the pub. We’re guilty of it ourselves sometimes. We’re seeing people switch back to their old Nokias, which is very interesting. As design students, it seemed like a rich ground to cover. I think there’s a need for more mindful products that don’t demand and fragment our attention. In a way, that’s what the Sociometer is saying. Tell us about some of the critical design challenges in relation to the form and function of the meter? Our first problem was to figure out what we were measuring. We wanted the data to reflect the change in behavior as more people took to their smartphones. Obviously, this is a hard thing to meter. We found that bandwidth data getting transferred over the WiFi was the most accessible and accurate representation of this shift. Although it’s a contemporary meter, it was important that the product didn’t flaunt its technology. We looked at examples of traditional meters to inspire the data visualisation. We kept coming back to the seismograph, which has a certain playfulness in its language. The erratic pen movements brought an interesting connotation to excessive WiFi use, which was also good. The Sociometer’s walnut body and brass accents were directly influenced by the Edwardian interior of the Speedwell Bar. We then designed the graph paper to give it a more contemporary look and feel. We had a bit of fun with the graph’s scale. We were measuring was megabits per second, but this didn’t clearly reflect the issue we were highlighting. Instead, the scale read from ‘Social’ to ‘Digital’. If no one was using the Wifi, the plotter would remain still along the central ‘Social’ axis. As more people used the network the erratic pen movement would hit the outermost ‘Digital’ axis. How did you enjoy working within a multi-disciplined team and was it beneficial to the execution of the project? Yes, I think the success of the project was the way that our team came together. We each had our roles but moved freely between them. While Campbell took the lead with the woodwork, Jamie resolved how the WiFi router would communicate with
“I think the project’s quirkiness worked in its favour, as it stood out from the other entries. It was amazing to get recognition for the work we’d put in as a team. The prize included a trip to the awarding ceremony in Shenzhen, where we saw it on display in Shenzhen’s new contemporary art museum - which was quite surreal experience.” the microcontroller. My focus was on the Sociometer’s internals.
How did you come to get involved in the Shenzhen Design Award for Young Talents and what category did the Sociometer take first prize in? The Sociometer got nominated for the Shenzhen Design Award for Young Talents, which was open to entries from the Unesco Creative Cities Network. The council put us forward as a fitting project for competition’s theme of craftsmanship. We won the New Star award, which was the student category. I think the project’s quirkiness worked in its favour, as it stood out from the other entries. It was amazing to get recognition for the work we’d put in as a team. The prize included a trip to the awarding ceremony in Shenzhen, where we saw it on display in Shenzhen’s new contemporary art museum - which was quite surreal experience. What plans do you have in mind for the Sociometer going forward? The response that we’ve gotten off the back of the competition has been really positive. It’s quite a topical subject at the moment and everyone’s got their own opinion. We designed the device for a specific location, so it would be great to tackle it from a new perspective. For now, we’re each focusing our final year projects. Campbell, as a traditional musician, has turned his attention to creating a contemporary fiddle case. Jamie is designing a modular system to improve the storage and transport and use of outdoor pursuits equipment. For my project, I’m creating an e-ink news reader that gives lends the quality of print journalism to digital media. SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 59
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An AgTech Revolution Emily Breslin, SVG Partners reflects on how the City of Salinas has used its largest asset to kickstart an economic development strategy.
or the past three summers, Main Street in Salinas, California has become the gathering place for corporate executives, startup teams and academics looking to find the next
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agriculture technologies. Perhaps an unlikely venue for hype usually reserved for the Silicon Valley, Salinas has become the place to build and test seed and high growth agriculture technology startups. Its proximity both to growers in the surrounding
agriculture region and technology and VC cluster 40 miles north in the Silicon Valley give companies shaping the future of the agriculture a strategic advantage. AgTech was not always a buzz word synonymous with Salinas, however: for
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by focusing on where agriculture is going in terms of technology, we can train our workforce accordingly while propelling the industry that is so integral to who we are.”
little under a century, the city was a hub for agriculture production and processing, followed by the service sector. In 2013, the city took a major hit as the closure of one of its main employers, Capital One, meant that hundreds of residents were out of work and city hall was faced with the challenge of figuring out how to react. The City responded quickly, assembling a group of local leaders in government, business, and
education, and also bringing in experts from different fields, including John Hartnett (now CEO of SVG Partners). City staff then conducted an analysis of Salinas strengths and weaknesses, ultimately returning to agriculture as an invariable asset. Andy Myrick, economic development director in Salinas, describes how technology came to the fore at that point: “there was a collective recognition in 2011 that technology was proving to be this huge disruptive force across industries.” Looking back, Myrick recounts that disruption in agriculture had yet to be seen, “and that’s where we saw the opportunity”. Once defined, the emergence of Salinas AgTech ecosystem was be propelled by the industry players already established in the city. Taylor Farms, Mann Packing, JV Smith Farms and Western Growers Association all had a role to play in mentoring and guiding new startups and delegations interfacing with the city. Taylor Farms opened its brand new headquarters on Main Street that housed an incubator center on the ground floor, with Western Growers in charge of operating the new center. SVG Partners launched the THRIVE Accelerator, an 8-week business acceleration program attracting businesses around the world to locate and deploy their technologies in the Salinas region. “The accelerator became the city’s innovation pipeline,” said SVG Partners and THRIVE founder and CEO John Hartnett, “the result of which is nearly 40 startups that can be found in the innovation center today.” Those startups that locate in Salinas and work through THRIVE are able to get meetings despite the industry’s “handshake-based” exclusivity. Myrick says, “In addition to providing new companies with mentorship and investment, THRIVE
works as an introduction to a lot of C-level executives in the region.” Startups in the center can also work through the Western Growers Association to access farmers to test and refine their products with intended customers. While bringing new AgTech business into the city has been a key lever of the city’s economic strategy, Myrick does not fail to elaborate on the city’s equal commitment to including the Salinas population, a third of which are under 18 and many of which have skills for manual labor, in the development. Together with THRIVE, the city launched the Kauffman program to help local entrepreneurs and students develop their ideas into businesses. After two successful years that worked 50 local residents through the program, the city expanded to youth age 8 to 17 to teach coding skills. In early April of this year, the city welcomed Digital Nest, a program that prepares youth by teaching them both technical skills like coding and soft skills useful in successfully managing and growing a business. The city’s most recent step has been to work with Hartnell college to establish a workforce program bringing together the city’s various programs and partners to provide career pathways in agriculture and technology to the city’s population. So how come the city was able to realize its aim to become a globally recognized AgTech hub in less than 4 years? Myrick attributes the success of Salinas’ economic development strategy to having figured out what they did really well, in this case agriculture. “In the end, we are an agricultural town and we have no intention of straying from this,” says Myrick, “and by focusing on where agriculture is going in terms of technology, we can train our workforce accordingly while propelling the industry that is so integral to who we are.” SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 61
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PASSION FOR EXCELLENCE INSPIRING EVENTS
We believe in creative thinking, ever challenging the status quo. We create and deliver exceptional experiences that inspire. Every meeting, conference, exhibition and event is tailored to fit needs and exceed your expectations. Experience The CCD, an iconic destination in the heart of Dublin.
LET US INSPIRE YOU Call us today to make a booking +353 1 856 0000, email email@example.com or visit www.theccd.ie. 62 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
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Convention City Dublin is increasingly seen as being among the world’s top ranked business and conferencing destinations. In recent years a number of prominent international conferences have been lured to the city and successive global surveys have confirmed the city’s status as a rising star in the sector.
ccording to the latest International Conference and Convention Association report, Dublin is ranked in 13th place in the international city rankings of the world’s top twenty destinations for conferences and conventions. Paris took the top spot followed by Vienna, Barcelona, Berlin and London. Fáilte Ireland’s Dublin Convention Bureau has confirmed that €64m of new business was won for Dublin up to December 1st last year. This revenue boost was a result of winning 150 new conferences for the city and county in the last quarter of 2017. This additional business is set to deliver almost 45,000 international delegates to Dublin in events to take place over the period 2018 – 2021. According to Sam Johnston, Manager of Fáilte Ireland’s Dublin Convention Bureau, 2017 was a very successful year for the capital in terms of winning international conferences and events and he also forecast a strong performance in 2018 – despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Johnston said that the business and events sector is a vital component of the overall tourism industry and generates above-average yields, outof-season visits and employment growth. “I am delighted that we hit our targets for last year and we worked extensively throughout the year to bring available international business to Dublin,” he said. “Indeed, looking ahead we are forecasting strong growth for 2018 and in fact we are currently targeting business as far out as 2026. Dublin is and will continue to be a competitive and attractive
place to hold international events.” Among the notable conference wins confirmed recently for Dublin are Velo City 2019, the European Cyclists’ Federation convention taking place next year and expected to deliver 2,000 delegates with a value of €3.2 million. The World Science Fiction Convention will also take place in 2019 and is expected to attract 5,000 delegates and a spend of €8m. A number of other prime conferences have been booked for the following year, including the International & European Congress on Obesity (ECO / ICO) which is expected to deliver 2,300 delegates with a value of approx. €3.7m. The European Federation of Periodontology’s 3rd Master Clinic will bring 800 delegates to Dublin in 2020 with a value of approx. €1.3m Meanwhile the prestigious World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology Conference has been confirmed for Dublin in 2021 and will attract 1,000 people and a spend of over €1.5 million. According to Fáilte Ireland, business travel from overseas was worth €700 million to the Irish economy in 2016 and is estimated to have exceeded €735m last year. The sector which supports approximately 21,000 jobs grew by 7% in 2015 and 2016. Business tourists or international delegates are valued at two to three times that of a leisure tourist and on average each delegate will extend their stay to nearly three days on top of their business commitments. Ireland’s increasingly competitive ranking in the international arena has driven an increase in yields from the sector and the value of each business tourism delegate was €1,643 in 2016, up from €1,500 in 2015 and €1,400 the previous year.
Why Ireland, for Conferences & Events? • Ireland is named as the best country in the world to do business- Forbes • Ireland has a vat rate of 9% on hotels & food- the lowest in Europe • Ireland is recognized in the Top 20 globally for the quality of our scientific research- Thomson Reuters, Essential Science Indicators • #1 Globally for the adaptability of our workforce - IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2013 • Ireland has the youngest workforce in the EU - Eurostat • 1033 overseas companies chose Ireland as their business base • 8 of the world’s top 10 global information, communications & technology firms are based in Ireland • 9 of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical firms are based in Ireland • 13 of the world’s top 15 medical technology companies are based in Ireland • Get 23% vat back on personal purchases, on departure, if you are not an EU resident • Professional friendly people • Ireland is one of the best choices as a destination for meetings, conferences, corporate events and incentive travel in the world • Over 18,000 hotel bedrooms in Dublin • The country’s temperate climate • High standard of meetings & conferences facilities • It’s safe • Wonderful selection of leisure and after-hours activities
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Meet in Ireland Situated at the edge of the Atlantic and at the gateway to Europe, Ireland’s captivating open landscape inspires everything that is possible.
ou couldn’t ask for a better destination for your next meeting - the compact, casual and can-do nature of many of Ireland’s cities and towns will exceed your expectations every time, while the warmth of Ireland’s professional industry ensures a warm welcome for every one of your international delegates from across the globe. But don’t just take our word for it. Ireland secured conferences and meetings worth in excess of €192 million in 2017, which will welcome over 139,000 international delegates to our shores up to the year 2024.Amongst the business recently won for Ireland are: • Summit EMEA 2018, coming to Dublin in April with 2,000 international delegates expected to attend. • European Orthopaedic Research Society Meeting which will bring in over 500 international delegates to Galway in 2018. • ICF Global Leaders Forum which will take
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place in Dublin 2019. The Forum is expected to attract over 1,300 delegates to the city; • Wind Energy Science Conference which will come to Cork in 2019 brining 800 delegates from all over the world Now is the time to come to Ireland and experience the unique atmosphere by hosting your international meeting in one of Ireland’s historic buildings or ultra-modern purposebuilt, state of the art convention centres.
Tailored Support The Meet in Ireland Conference Supports Programme is available to anyone considering bidding for and/or hosting their next international meeting in Ireland. In fact, there has never been a better time to consider Ireland for your next conference. Support starts long before your actual event, with the Meet in Ireland team on hand help you get your plans off the ground
with local expertise and advice, and what’s more, they will support your site inspection and connect you with the right members of industry to get it up and running. The team will also provide eligible conferences with funding for bid presentations and bid travel, so you can share your vision for an amazing conference in Ireland with all your potential attendees. Once your conference or meeting is committed for Ireland, Meet in Ireland offers funding that can either help you promote your event to attract even more international delegates, or to enhance your programme, supporting activities such as welcome receptions, gala dinners, and entertainment. All of which drives a successful and even more memorable event for you and your delegates. A full range of practical and financial supports will equip you with everything you need to ‘Meet in Ireland’ — a hub of innovation, excellence and opportunity.
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Conference Ambassadors If you need an Irish or local member (other than yourself!) to submit a bid to host your international conference, no problem! As a nation with hospitality in our DNA it’s not unusual for Irish people to want to get involved in hosting international meetings. Local conference ambassadors, or local hosts are passionate about inviting their international colleagues to Ireland. It provides them with an opportunity to showcase the strength of your local community, to network, share knowledge and expertise, but also importantly to extend that Céad Míle Fáilte or 100 thousand welcomes that we are most famous for.
Team Effort The Meet in Ireland team provides significant support to you before and during the event to ensure delegates meeting experience in Ireland is exceptional and that they return home recognizing Ireland as a business destination that delivers on every level. They will introduce you to the local experts with hands on knowledge of venues, accommodation, transport and social programme options so that you get the right balance for your conference and ensure the running of your meeting exceeds all expectations.
Great Connections Over 189 US flights, 1,368 EU flights and 1,159 UK flights arrive into Ireland every week, with Dublin, Shannon, Cork, Kerry and Belfast Airports always ready to cater for international visitors. As the only country in Europe to offer US Customs and Immigration pre-clearance prior to departure, traveling back across the Atlantic from Ireland couldn’t be more convenient. Ireland offers a huge range of meeting venues from luxurious historical castles to state-of-the-art purpose-built conference centers. Ireland can cater for every event, from the small and intimate meetings set in unique surroundings, to capacities of up to 8,000 delegates for larger conferences. Wi Fi is widely available and free-of-charge throughout Ireland’s venue and accommodation options. When it comes to costs, our small island
is hard to beat — as an added incentive for those meeting in Ireland; we offer a special 9% Value-Added Tax (VAT) rate for the tourism and hospitality sector. That includes conference delegates, who can reclaim VAT on accommodation. Ireland can also claim the lowest tax on meeting spaces in hotels in Europe. If you are a person of influence use it, and talk to one of the Meet in Ireland team from the outset. They will provide you with practical and financial support and advice to secure your international meeting for Ireland. You may simply wish to ‘don on the green jersey’ and do it for the good of the country you love. But don’t forget, inviting your international colleagues to meet in Ireland can make you and your organization look good! 95% of business delegates interviewed on departure say that they were very satisfied with their experience in Ireland. Get in touch with your local Meet in Ireland representative, who will be on hand to assist you with support and advice every step of the way. Meet in Ireland is the official MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) brand for the island of Ireland. It comprises of three tourism authorities: Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland, who work in partnership to promote Ireland as a leading global conference and meeting destination.
Marie McKown Azeta Seery Meet in Ireland US Tel: 847 842 1448 Email: mmckown@ tourismireland.com
Meet in Ireland Conference Officer Tel: 353 1 8847180 Email: Azeta.seery@ failteireland.ie
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Host a Great Conferenceâ€¦ What Makes a Great Conference Venue? Niamh Burns, International Corporate Account Manager at The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) discusses the key requirements for a winning conference. 66 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
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hat people want from a conference venue, their demands and their needs are changing, and it’s important that venues recognize this and rise to it. What is most important will depend on the client. For some it will be location, for others access to high-end technology or food and beverage. Location and accessibility is very important to clients. The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) is only 15 minutes from Dublin Airport in the heart of the city. Dublin, too, is so well connected to EMEA and North America and, from June this year it becomes even closer to the rest of the world, with new direct flights from Dublin Airport to Hong Kong. The city plays such a key role in clients’ decisions in choosing a venue. Flexibility is another factor that’s important to organizers. The CCD is a purpose-built venue and has many spaces that can be transformed to meet the clients’ needs, from custom-made coffee bars, business lounges and cocktail bars on the foyers, even to a bar on the stage in the Auditorium. We all know how fast-moving technology is, and with the rise of the mobile workforce, that need to be ‘always on’ or connected on the move, we have seen that the technology requirements for events and meetings has certainly evolved. Some clients are removing all paper from their events and want reliable, high quality Wi-Fi and more digital signage to support their paperless agenda. The CCD continuously invests in facilities and 2017 was no different, with technological investments including upgrading digital signage, and technical equipment to enhance the experience for the conference delegates. Reputation and a good brand is extremely important to both the venue and the client. Clients want to know that the venue and team have a proven track record and consistently deliver to a high standard. Since it was opened in September 2010, The Convention Centre Dublin has been going from strength to strength, having hosted over 1,500 events, welcomed in excess of 2.1 million delegates days and won 38 industry awards, including ‘World’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre 2017’. This
is all testament to the venue’s reputation and brand internationally. A combination of these elements adds to a great venue, and while each of these factors holds importance on their own, Niamh Burns, International Corporate Account Manager at The CCD believes there is one thing that makes a real difference, “Feedback from our own customers suggests that what really makes a difference is the service they receive, from research and planning stage right through to post–event follow up.” Niamh adds that when an organizer books an event at The CCD, they assign a core team to that client - an Event Manager, Technical Production Manager, Hospitality Manager, supported by a full range of inhouse services. “Doing this allows us to stay close to them and their needs and to ensure that the client’s experience is at the heart of our approach,” she says. In December of last year, The CCD received the ultimate tribute when it was awarded ‘World’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre 2017’ at the World Travel Awards. “These are the leading travel awards in the world, so it was a fantastic endorsement of The CCD, and also of Dublin itself,” says Niamh. “It’s a tribute not just to the venue, but to the team who make the venue what it is. To win out of such a strong field positions The CCD, and Dublin even more so, as the destination for international conferences and conventions.” SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 67
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Reimagining Made Perfect An act of reimagination frequently uncover all kinds of possibilities. This was certainly the case at Croke Park Meetings & Events following significant investment in the redesign of their key event spaces and the complete upgrade of their digital and network infrastructure.
his re-imagination featured the launch of Ireland’s first high density WiFi deployment with the network operating across the meeting and events spaces for visitors and organisers. This ultra-fast, high-density WiFi infrastructure can support more than 27,000 people or 40,000 devices simultaneously with 400 Mb per second bandwidth. It is a first for an Irish venue and gives Croke Park a definite competitive edge. Croke Park can now deliver with confidence unrivalled, high density, premium quality connectivity to events with large delegate numbers or bandwidth-hungry streaming media. Even the most tech-intensive event can be hosted at Croke Park with the 68 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
assurance of a high-performance internal backbone to guarantee reliability. An iconic Dublin landmark, Croke Park is located in the heart of Dublin city, a 15 minute drive from top transatlantic hub Dublin Airport and 5 minutes from the city centre. The venue is easily accessible from the M50 and the Port Tunnel and offers 600 free car parking spaces. Croke Park offers meeting and event planners a total event solution in a sustainable venue that includes catering, AV, entertainment, eventtech, unique time out activities and 4-star hotel accommodation. With 110 meeting and event spaces, the venue can cater for a board meeting for 10 or a reception for 2,000 and the campus combines more unique attractions, tour and time out
options than any other venue. The Ericsson Skyline offers a 17 storey roof top walkway with breath taking views around the capital and for adrenaline junkies, the Skyline abseil takes you from the roof right down into the stadium bowl below. The campus features the GAA Museum and Stadium Tours, dressing room pep talks and healthy pursuits such as the Stadium Steps Challenge – all in a day’s work! Croke Park is a recognised trail blazer in sustainability best practice. It was the first stadium to obtain certification to the international Environmental Standard ISO 14001:2015 and the ISO 20121 for Sustainable Event Management Systems and has maintained 0% waste to landfill for the last
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This ultra-fast, high-density WiFi infrastructure can support more than 27,000 people or 40,000 devices simultaneously with 400 Mb per second bandwidth. It is a first for an Irish venue and gives Croke Park a clear competitive edge. four consecutive years. The venue has award winning operations and events teams and were recently recognised as Facilities Management Team of the year at the Facilities Management Awards 2018. They took the Best In-house Events Team at the Event Management Awards for two consecutive years in 2016 and 2017 and the Best Purpose Built Venue Award at the same awards in 2017. No two events are alike at Croke Park and the flexible spaces features over 5,000 square metres of event space including a range of meeting rooms right up to the All Star Suites. The Hogan Suite is the flagship event space accommodating up to 2,000 for a reception or 800 for a theatre style conference. It is brimming with high tech features including motorised trussing and dramatic LED lighting with natural daylight pouring through its
6m floor to ceiling windows. Its luxury foyer overlooks the hallowed playing ground below and bespoke pieces of Irish art evoke the history of the stadium making the foyer a dramatic settling for receptions, registration, exhibitions or refreshment breaks. Catering is an important part of the offering and menus are designed to complement every occasion and accommodate an expanding range of diets. They feature emerging superfoods, healthy indulgences and genuine farm to fork practices. Popular menus include their Working Lunch menu and new concepts include Stadium Street Food and Healthy Options which include nutritional information. Join the Croke Park Events Conversation @CrokeParkEvents or visit: crokepark.ie/meetings-
King of the Hill • Ireland’s first high density WiFi deployment & superior connectivity • Provides a multi-award winning total events solution • An iconic Dublin landmark • Easily accessible • Cutting Edge Technology • Features the 17 storey Ericsson Skyline roof top walkway • Leader in sustainability best practice the flexible spaces • Over 5,000 sq. m. of flexible event space • Superior catering
events for further information
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CHAMPIONS OF CONNECTIVITY TO HAVE OUR TEAM GET YOUR EVENT CONNECTED CONTACT: +353 1 819 2300 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Real-time data is vital in precision agriculture applications to permit informed decision making. At Tyndall, for example, we are developing fielddeployable nanosensor systems to permit in-field disease diagnostics in cattle, such as BVD and IBR, that will allow veterinarians to implement correct therapeutic interventions.
High Flying Research Alan Oâ€™Riordan is an accomplished research Fellow at Tyndall National Institute in Cork. He talks to Silicon Valley about his research which focuses on fabrication and characterization of novel nanostructures and their potential applications to the growing Agtech sector. Can you tell us a little about your background, your qualifications in analytical chemistry and your experience and how it has equipped you with the skills and expertise to lead research projects into new technologies being developed for smart-farming applications? My primary Bachelors degree is in Analytical Chemistry. On graduation, I moved to, and travelled, around the UK for three years working in various posts as a lab analyst focused on analytical method development and chemical analysis. On return to Ireland, I became interested in the then emerging field
of nanotechnology; particularly the interface between chemistry and microelectronics and secured a position at Tyndall National Institute. Working in the Nanotechnology Goup at Tyndall, I have had the opportunity to develop new nanotechnology enabled techniques for silicon chip fabrication and chemical modification, whilst also undertaking a PhD part-time in nanotechnology. The next step was to bring those two experiential strands together and I refocused my research to develop nanotechnology enabled devices suitable for analytical science. Initial work focused on chemical analysis where I
developed and patented a new silicon chip based nanosensor suitable for electrochemical analysis. The performance improvements exhibited by these devices, compared to the commercial state of the art, indicate that these devices could also be suitable for biochemical analysis particularly applications where high sensitivity is required. How did you become interested in Agtech and what lead you to apply your expertise to this field? About 5-6 years ago I was coordinating a transnational EU funded project aimed at SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 71
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developing new nanotechnology based optical sensors for pancreatic cancer detection. During that project it became apparent that the barriers to entry to bringing new sensors to market in the clinical space were huge and as a result a lot of emerging technologies were left on the laboratory shelf. At this point I started to look for other applications where our technologies could be deployed. During this discovery phase I met colleagues in “Teagasc” the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority. Having talked with vets in Teagasc, I discovered that they were faced with similar problems to clinicians in that they urgently needed sensor devices that could permit disease detection rapidly on-farm that would allow them to make an informed therapeutic decision. I also discovered that the barriers to entry in terms of clinical trial requirements were lower potentially opening the door for translating our research to the marketplace. To this end, and in collaboration with colleagues in Georgia Tech, Atlanta and Queens University Belfast, we wrote a project proposal (reviewed by the National Science Foundation through the US-Ireland research agreement) to develop an electronic sensor prototype device suitable for on-farm disease detection in bovines. This was disruptive and was funded on its first submission (which I believe is unusual). Other national; (Irish) projects have been funded since and we have expanded the research into plant pathology. The main driver to enter the Ag field though was our introduction to the researchers in Teagasc. They work closely with Irish farmers and are fully aware of the day to day problems experienced in modern agriculture. They were able to provide us validated problem statements for which we could begin to develop technology solutions that would ultimately be fit for that purpose. Is the application of disruptive technology in the agri-food sector a relatively recent trend and how significantly have technology-lead solutions impacted on traditional processes and established norms in the sector to date? Yes, it is a recent trend. It’s hard to pinpoint when it started but probably within the last 10 years or so with the advent of robotics for 72 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
impacted/compounded by desertification & climate change, the land required for building houses & infrastructure, and the depletion of biodiversity and natural resources caused mostly through modern agricultural processes. Going forward therefore there is a need to produce more food from scarcer and scarcer resources. Optimization of processes, regardless of what they are requires real-time and accurate information. Development of sensor systems to digitize the process is the only way to garner this information and what is ultimately required going forward.
replacement of on-farm labor and inclusion of GPS controlled/informed farm equipment. In the last 3-4 years it has really garnered interest driven by the hype of the internet of things. The transition of smart cities to smart agriculture occurred quickly with many industry and academic organizations seeing new applications for their sensor technologies. However, at the moment it is mostly technology push rather than technology pull. People are now prophesizing that in the near future, sensors will be distributed ubiquitously across the entire farm with everything talking to everything else but in reality, this is probably not the case. Key problems to be addressed remain (i) who will own the data and (ii) how does one monetize the data. Where an impact has been made is in the area of robotic milking machines and heavy GPS controlled farm equipment.
Which counties are among the leading nations in terms of their commitment and expertise in Agtech and where does Ireland rank in this regard? Hard to call this at the moment. Although there has been a lot of venture capital investment globally, a return on investment has yet to be realized. Within a European context, Ireland is leading in some aspects particularly driven by collaborations between different research institutes and Teagasc. Ireland has a number of advantages in this regard as we are still very much an agriculture-based economy but also have a highly educated workforce most of which is to 3rd level. Ireland is a major ICT hub with multiple multinationals with R&D and manufacturing sites here. In addition, as a nation, Ireland is small enough to allow most of the actors in this space to know each other but large enough to have a critical mass. In this regard Ireland is perfectly place to function as a test bed for the new technologies to be developed in this exciting nascent area.
What are the key challenges facing global agriculture and food production and do new technological innovations represent the best opportunity for addressing some of these critical challenges such as the need to increase output to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding global population? The main challenge facing the entire Agri-food industry is “sustainability” or lack thereof, whether this is in food production or food processing. There is the project population growth issue and the transition of the BRIC countries to a more westernized diet driving the need to produce more food. This problem is further
As an agriculture and food dependent economy, is the development of a vibrant and innovative Agtech sector of particular importance to Ireland? In a word, yes. The government has recognized that the convergence between ICT and Agri-food will yield tremendous opportunity particularly for Ireland. One area in particular is in the Dairy sector where Ireland already has a global green image and currently produces 15% of the global infant formula market. With the abolition of the European milk quota systems, producers in Ireland are reaping up production to increase this market share. To this end, through Science Foundation Ireland, the government has announced funding
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Researcher, Mariusz Wilk, monitoring soil parameters in real-time
~â‚Ź35M for a major new distributed research Centre â€œFutureMilkâ€?. This was called out as a specific line in the National budget speech Are there visible signs of an Agtech ecosystem emerging and are the necessary supports available for new innovation and start-ups? Yes as per above. A number of SFI research centers are now tuned to smart AGri-food. Future milk is the first directly funded smart Agtech Centre. The Centre consist of four major RPOs and 45 industry partners who are contributed ~15% direct cash investment into the Centre as well as significant benefit in kind contributions. Can you tell us about what is taking place at the Tyndall National Institute to support and drive Agtech innovation. Tydnall has over 10 active research projects working in the smart Agtech area. Of different monitory sizes these projects are nationally and internationally funded. Tyndall has signed a MOU with Teagasc and undertakes joint research where Tydnall is tasked to provide the
Tech solutions to the Ag problems identified by Teagasc. Tyndall members sit on various national policy working groups, have regular contact with the Irish Department of the Agriculture and are also working on the European stage pushing the Agtech agenda meeting the EU Agriculture commissioner and delegates in Brussels. We are also forging links with leading Agriculture universities such as Wageningen. Tyndall is also working with Irish and European industry partners to develop solutions for them in the smart Agrifood and the environment sector. What kind of groups engage with the Tyndall Institute in terms of the research activities carried out and do you engage closely with industry? We work with all sectors. As discussed above we have a very strong relationship with Teagasc and operate within the research agenda with them as partners. We work on direct research with multinationals and SMEs. We have recently made a direct hire into our business development team to expand our industry work.
What is the key focus of your research at present and can you provide an outline of some of the high-potential projects on which you are currently working? Our research focus is to develop smart sensor systems for the Agtech sector. It is important to note that we are a technology Centre not an Ag Centre and that shall remain. We do however wish to develop our existing systems and create technologies that are fit-for-purpose for this sector. As an example we are developing disease diagnostic sensors for rapid disease detection on farm. These sensor systems enable accurate detection of bovine virus in about 10 minutes. We are now pushing this technology into the horticulture space Have you had success in commercializing any of your innovations to date and what is the typical route to market pursued by the Tyndall Institute? We have applied for commercialization funding for the above technology and, if successful, should have a pre-commercial prototype available within the next few years. SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 73
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“Vex was the adventure of a lifetime and I will treasure it always. I made lifelong friends and will never forget the feeling of representing my country while doing what I love.”
An Education in Robotics The path to bringing Vex Robotics to Ireland by Martin O’Flaherty, Dell Technologies 74 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
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s an employee of Dell Technologies, I am very fortunate to work in a company that actively seeks to address the low number of students taking up STEM subjects in schools and colleges. In 2012 I had been working with the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) to find a way to use some of our excess test equipment to help with science labs in underprivileged schools. While working on that idea, the opportunity to kick off the VEX Robotics Competition in Ireland came along and, frankly, it was a much better, more fun and ready-made solution to support STEM education in schools. The VEX Robotics Competition is a worldwide programme organised by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation (RECF), of which Dell is a global sponsor. VEX Robotics is a fun exciting program where kids learn about STEM and much more without realizing it as they design, build, program and drive their own robot in a spectacular competition. Continuing to work with the CIT we reached out and recruited eight underprivileged secondary schools to take a leap of faith with us as we started on our VEX
“The skill set I left school with was definitely bolstered by my participation in the competition, and it also gave me the confidence to apply myself in situations at third level that I could not imagine being a part of otherwise.”
Robotics journey. These eight schools were part of the DEIS action plan (Developing Equality of Opportunity in Schools). The competition was a huge success with overwhelmingly positive feedback from students, teachers and mentors alike. On the back of this success we were able to acquire more funding internally to introduce the competition to primary schools and grow year on year to the 100 schools participating in 2018. Collaboration was key to nurturing the program in the early years – not just with CIT, but with Lifetime Lab, Science Foundation Ireland, Cork City Hall and organisations like the Bishopstown Rotary Club. Those bodies helped kick start a program that to date has engaged more than 5000 students directly in robotics teams.
It takes a community Being solely an industry or company initiative was never in the plans. We knew that we (industry) alone could not make a program like VEX Robotics a success. We therefore worked closely with CIT from the outset to connect with schools, in particular DEIS schools. As the program grew however, the need to connect into the educational system to a greater extent became clear. Lifetime Lab came on board to help us with getting our primary school program off the ground and over the past 12 months we’ve linked with Mary Immaculate College in Limerick. Mary I now support both their student teachers and existing teachers through course modules and summer courses, building on existing VEX Robotics curriculum. They also sponsored kits for a number of schools in the Mid-West region. In addition, for the first time, the Educational Support Centres successfully piloted teacher training/support classes to help create a community of teachers competent and confident with VEX Robotics in their schools. Furthering the connections with the education system to make this an enriching and easy program to bring to schools will be critical to success in the future. Holding a regional competition outside of Cork Institute of Technology SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 75
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in the Dell plant in Limerick was a major milestone for the program this year. Science Foundation Ireland have also been a wonderful source of support for the program, not only with funding but with connections to help it become a stronger, more viable, long term success. Finally, this program could not happen without the support of all of the employees at Dell who volunteer their time and their talent. We thank them for making a difference in the lives of so many students. It was clear from the very beginning that this program touched a nerve in a lot of employees – people got something from it – be it a chance to be involved with their own kid’s school, give their own kids the chance 76 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
to participate in the program, connect back with their own alma mater, sharing their love of science with students, or simply taking joy in the smiles and reactions of the students as they have fun learning and engaging in STEM.
Which schools participate in the program? The program began with secondary schools and was then introduced to primary schools. We have observed that the continuation of the program from primary to secondary level is critical and we have focused on creating a feeder system so that students have the option to continue their robotics exposure
throughout their entire time at school. We started out with underprivileged schools and their inclusion will remain a core element of what we do. Currently we have 100 teams in seven counties. With the support of SFI our goal is have over 300 teams nationwide by 2020. Close collaboration between Dell, CIT, Mary I and other third level institutes and organisations/companies will be key to manage the growth successfully. Female participation has been important to us from the beginning. As a parent, I wanted to create something that would be of interest to my own daughter, or at least give her the opportunity to learn a little more about STEM. So far we’ve had 50%
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“I have spoken about my history in VEX Robotics to representatives of companies during work interviews and I believe that this was key to securing work placement for my degree.” participation from girls at primary level and that has remained steady each year. Participation at second level was 20-25% every year but this took a significant jump this year and increased to 46%. We are thrilled with this progress.
Why VEX Robotics? In a world where there are many STEM programs to consider, VEX Robotics stands out because it offers the following benefits: It captivates children at a very young age – we have kids as young as 9 or 10 years old designing robots It involves large teams – typically full classes at primary level, so engages everyone. This is really key to building that pipeline of talent that the technology industry needs to thrive Teamwork is a key element of the program if you want to be successful, a really important life skill. It’s not exclusively a school based activity. Several Coderdojo clubs are involved, realising the benefits of seeing a real-life output from the coding skills they acquire. Other clubs/ societies are also welcome. It provides a wealth of opportunities for people to get involved within the community, from those who want to
help mentor their local school, to individuals who volunteer at an event as a referee, judge, inspector or more As a sponsor it is a great opportunity to connect with the local community, creates networking and team building opportunities as well as being a showcase for employees to demonstrate their project management capabilities STEM is at the core of the program but the Arts are an important element, which really comes to the fore when the children present their research project results. This is done in various forms – poetry, dance song, acting, video, power-point presentations and more It is also highly PR friendly, so the children who participate have a chance to see themselves covered in local or national media. Media profile also helps for gaining and maintaining financial support!
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An introduction to VEX Robotics The VEX Robotics Competition is a worldwide programme organised by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation (RECF), a US-based non-profit with a mission of promoting interest in Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) through robotics. More than 18,000 teams from 40 countries competed this year in the largest and fastest growing programme of its kind in the world. Students build and program a robot of their own design to compete in an exciting competition, picking up valuable engineering skills while having fun, but also gaining life skills such as teamwork, perseverance, communication, collaboration, project management, and critical thinking. The technical challenge of the competition facing the students refreshes each year, so last year’s robot is disassembled and a new design begins. Students representing Ireland were among 15000 others who helped set a Guinness World Record in April 2016 as the largest studentled robotics competition ever. The program has 3 platforms: VEX IQ for primary schools, VEX EDR for secondary and VEX U for third level. To date, both primary and secondary level platforms have been successfully launched in Ireland.
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“I’d love to go into IT mgmt or programming - I had no interest in IT before…”
What we have learned As the program has grown there have been many learnings. We listen to feedback from teachers, students and volunteers, and adapt and try new things. We don’t always get it right but, just as we encourage the students to experiment with their robots, so we have to try different
things to improve and bring the program to more students. Listening and gaining insights to improve what we do will remain a core activity. It’s been great fun and rewarding work building a great team in Cork initially to bring VEX Robotics to Ireland. It’s been inspiring to see the work that our teachers do to help expose our kids to the opportunities
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that an interest in STEM may yield. But ultimately it’s the reaction of the children, their sense of achievement, the energy they bring to the events and the work that goes in beforehand, their feedback and that of their teachers and parents that drives us forward. We would like to see every school in the country have the opportunity to participate in the Vex Robotics program. We won’t be able to bring it to everyone by ourselves and would love for you to join us!
So, if you are interested... We’ve created a simple portal to help navigate you through the basics of getting involved in Ireland. Contact us through that website at www.RoboticsEducationIreland. com. We’d love to hear from organisations that might be willing to get involved in supporting or sponsoring schools in their locale, or from schools themselves that are interested in participating.
Martin O’Flaherty is a senior advisor in Dell Global Operations. Based in Ovens, Co. Cork, Martin is with responsible for the company’s manufacturing innovation program. Based in Ovens, Co. Cork, Martin is with responsible for company’s manufacturing innovation program. A graduate of GMIT, NUIG and the Tyndall Institute, he joined EMC in 1998 as a failure analysis engineer. In his spare time he is the lead of an incredible team of volunteers driving VEX Robotics in Ireland since its introduction to Cork in 2012, to achieving the 100 team milestone in 2018 and looking forward to an anticipated 300+ teams nationwide by 2019/20.
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Get Smart Smart Futures is a joint government and industry program aimed at promoting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers to secondary school students in Ireland 80 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
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mart Futures is a collaborative government-industry-education program that provides second level school students (typically between 12-18 years of age) in Ireland with information about careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It was set up in 2013 and is coordinated and managed by Ireland’s national funding body, Science Foundation Ireland, and is now supported by 200+ organizations from research and industry as well as representative bodies like Engineers Ireland, BioPharma Ireland, the Royal Society of Chemistry, ICT Ireland, the Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA), the Institute of Physics, the American Chamber of Commerce, IDA Ireland and other stakeholder groups. For students and their parents, choosing third level study options, be it in university or one of Ireland’s National Institutes of Technology, is never easy – there are a vast number of options to explore and many find themselves confused when it comes to STEM related courses. The Smart futures program’s main aim is to encourage the take up of STEM subjects among second level students and offer them access to free online resources that will allow them to delve deeper into the range of STEM careers available to them and what these careers entail in the areas of science, technology and math available for all students. A Science Foundation Ireland survey found 51% of college students said their parents influenced their decision making, and that they had advised their child to pursue something they (as a parent) thought would suit their personality. Unfortunately, if a parent holds any stereotypes when it comes to science or math (it’s too hard or it’s not really for girls) this can influence a student’s decision. Here at Smart Futures we want to break down the barriers and stereotypes that hold many students back from exploring their options in STEM careers. The website www.SmartFutures.ie provides an online resource for second level school students and their influencers, such as parents, guidance counselors and subject teachers. It facilitates exploration of STEM role model career experiences and acts as a direction post to supplement college and career information. There are diverse career areas open to students with STEM qualifications – from designing video games or medical devices, to
improving food science and sport, and even saving lives through cancer research. STEM graduates are in high demand across the globe. Smart Futures provides students and parents with valuable insights and practical examples of STEM career paths, helping them to make more informed subject choices and higher education course decisions. Dr. Ruth Freeman, Director of Strategy and Communications at Science Foundation Ireland; highlights the benefits of choosing a STEM career: “Studying a course in a STEM-related area can equip students with problem-solving skills and develop their ability to think creatively and innovatively. Logical thinking and literacy in technology are now essential skills for the workplace. It can be hard for parents to know where to start to find out more, and they should be mindful not to unconsciously pass on their own potential stereotypes about studying or working in STEM. Unfortunately, many people still believe, for example, that these career paths are typically not for females, or are only for students excelling in math, but these perceptions are simply untrue. I would encourage parents, teachers and students alike to visit SmartFutures.ie ahead of the higher education course selection deadline to help them find out more and to better navigate this important decision-making process.” As well as the supporting website, Smart Futures works with and supports many partner organizations. These volunteer based groups facilitate school visits and organize programs for schools nationwide. Contact details for
these partners can be found on our website. Smart Futures also has a presence at many career events throughout the year and gives the students involved an opportunity to meet and listen to some of our incredible volunteers explain their own personal experience as well as offer student’s advice and tips for studying/ working in the STEM field. Smart Futures STEM careers roadshows will be taking place at many of the Institutes of Technology during SciFest in 2018! SciFest is an all-inclusive, all-island science competition where second-level students showcase STEM projects at a series of one day science fairs held regionally. These events present the perfect venue for our roadshows offering facetime for teachers and students with STEM role models across the country.
www.SmartFutures.ie Visit www.SmartFutures.ie to read 200+ STEM career stories, watch videos, access free downloadable career infographics and help students learn more about the many exciting and diverse STEM career opportunities in Ireland. Keep an eye on the Smart futures website to get the latest news on STEM events nationwide for all ages. Make sure to follow Smart Futures on twitter @ smartfutureIE and like our Facebook page for more info.
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It’s all about Talent. Collaborating for Engineering Talent: - Increasing the quantity and quality of engineers, technicians and apprentices in Ireland’s Mid-West region. 82 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
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he Mid-West region of Ireland has long been a center of excellence for engineering and manufacturing companies across a range of sectors. Today, when a new or expanding operation considers an investment, they will weigh up the merits of the Mid-West region and it is the availability of talented people that will be the dealmaker. The key contributor to the success of established companies in the region has been the availability of engineering graduates from the regional education and training institutions including the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT), University of Limerick (UL), and the Limerick Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB). Additionally, a strong collaboration between industry and academia has facilitated the development of new courses to meet the future skills demand. The recent significant success in delivering jobs to the region means that never before has there been such a wide range of new and exciting careers available in engineering. These careers are in different disciplines and at many different levels and specialisms such as apprenticeships, technician roles, engineering, as well as research and development. The question then arises as to how to make the job growth sustainable. To address this need, an industry led initiative, Limerick for Engineering, was formed in February 2015. Limerick for Engineering is a consortium of more than 30 manufacturing and service companies, both foreign direct investors and indigenous investors, who have come together with the education and training providers in the Mid-West region of Ireland for a single purpose – to increase the quality and quantity of engineering talent, at every level, in the region. Among its membership are some of the best manufacturing facilities in the MidWest region including Analog Devices, Cook Medical, Regeneron, Stryker, Roadbridge, Intel, Molex, General Electric, SL Controls, Johnson and Johnson Vision Care, Dell, Modular Automation and Zimmer. Membership also extends to the Irish Development Authority (IDA), Enterprise Ireland (EI), Regional Skills Forum, Action Plan for Jobs and Engineers Ireland. Limerick for Engineering aims to address
Paschal Meehan Paschal is the Dean of Work Based Learning and Vice President International Engagement at the Limerick Institute of Technology. He has 35 years of experience in higher education as a lecturer, researcher and at an executive level in academic management. Particular areas of expertise are in automation and robotic technology. He has also specialized in conducting training and education needs analyses for industry and in developing implementation plans to address gaps. He currently chairs the Limerick for Engineering group and is very active in industry engagement.
both current and future skill shortages. The professional body for engineers and engineering in Ireland, Engineers Ireland, has signaled an acute shortage of engineers in the future and an “urgent need to promote careers in engineering amongst students entering third-level courses as demand outstrips supply.” There are 23,200 employed within the engineering sector in the region with an expected growth rate of 4,700 engineering jobs nationally through to 2020. The engineering profession has the second highest occupation growth rate according to the latest labor market bulletin. Limerick for Engineering is committed to sustaining growth for the engineering and manufacturing industry and to share expertise and resources to ensure that graduate skills are relevant to career opportunities locally.
The aim is to promote the huge diversity of engineering careers and the various paths to getting a career whether it be as an apprentice, technician or engineer. The mechanics of Limerick for Engineering are as follows. A plenary meeting takes place five times a year. Attendance averages 40 people and includes representatives from all the members and invited guests depending on the agenda. Those attending the meeting are senior executives and decision makers in their organization – they do not have to leave the room to consult before making a commitment. More importantly, they are all champions who have personally bought in to the ambitions of Limerick for Engineering. The plenary meeting will set the strategy and agree the activities for the group. The real work gets done in the three working groups who report in to the plenary meeting: the Showcase group, the Promotions and Identity group, and the Talent group. The annual Showcase event is the focal point for Limerick for Engineering and second level students, their parents, guidance counselors, and engineering and technology teachers attend this event. The Showcase demonstrates what engineering is, how it has evolved, the different types of engineering, the different types of jobs engineers do, the rewards and opportunities and how to start to build a career. The Showcase working group organizes the 30 participating companies to ensure there are interactive stands manned by enthusiastic young female and male engineers. The young engineers provide information about their own chosen fields and demonstrate what it is they do and the interesting technology they work with. Those attending the Showcase also have the opportunity to meet current students, recent graduates, academics and senior professional engineers from the region. The Showcase is about careers but the education and training providers will be present to explain the pathways available for a career in engineering. The 2018 Showcase was to be held on March 1st at Shannon Airport, preceded by the ITLG Young Innovators event. Unfortunately due to the bad weather - both events were cancelled. Future dates for these events will be confirmed shortly.The SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 83
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Signing the industry-education STEM alliance Paschal Meehan LFE and LIT, Emer Brophy Regional Skills Forum and LCETB, John Gleeson Limerick for IT and General Motors, George O’Callaghan CEO LCETB, Barry O’Sullivan Action Plan for Jobs and Johnson and Johnson
Promotions and Identity group has a remit to drive engagement at second level both with students and parents by having a Limerick For Engineering presence in the schools in the region as well as attending high profile career events. The group also develops and implements the Showcase marketing communications plan. The Promotions and Identity group led a joint initiative in December 2017 to create a new partnership, the first industryeducation STEM alliance in Ireland, with 19 post-primary schools under the patronage of the Limerick and Clare Education Training Board and Limerick for Engineering, thus demonstrating the strength of innovation and collaboration in the Mid-West. Limerick for Engineering collaborates to provide career paths for people already employed in engineering fields. The Talent Group identifies and facilitates the 84 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
“We see ongoing expansion of both Irish and foreign owned companies in the Mid-West, these firms will provide tremendous career opportunities for qualified people going forward” Barry O’Sullivan, Johnson & Johnson Vision, and Mid-West Chair, American Chamber of Commerce.
development and implementation of new apprenticeship disciplines, short-term specialist modules and supplementary diplomas and degrees. It is in this space that some of the most practical and rewarding benefits have accrued. The growth and success of Limerick for Engineering has been phenomenal. This is an exemplar organization and is recognized as such by government agencies nationally. Can it be repeated in another region? The building blocks of Limerick for Engineering are in every region – the companies, the education providers, the state agencies and more. What you may not have is the secret ingredient – the glue that holds everything together. That secret ingredient is the people involved– their enthusiasm, commitment, energy and their willingness to share and work together in a collegiate way. You have that and you have a winner.
A dedicated STEM Careers website to inspire the next generation Online resource providing valuable insights into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers. SmartFutures.ie supports students, teachers and guidance counsellors with practical information about working in STEM. The website showcases how all kinds of people work in STEM; from designing video games to medical devices, food science to sport, helping to save lives through cancer research and battling climate change.
Keep up-to-date on upcoming: TY Career Talks Parent Evenings Science Week College Awareness Week
Visit www.SmartFutures.ie to read interviews with STEM professionals working in industry and academia, how they got started, their typical day, what motivates them and their career progression insights. Use this online resource to inspire students to think differently about school subjects, life after school and to look beyond stereotypes.
Teachers, guidance counsellors, TY coordinators, parents can access: Video interviews with STEM professionals Free downloadable career infographics Posters for the classroom Smart Futures STEM careers roadshows will be taking place at many venues during Science Week and SciFest.
Contact Smart Futures on (01)6073271 or email@example.com if you require any additional help.
Engineers Week Maths Week Tech Week
Smart Futures is a government / industry programme that provides secondary school students in Ireland with FREE access to role models working in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
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The Mysteries of the Microbiota Founded in 2003, the APC Microbiome Ireland (APC) at University College Cork is engaged in a mission to link Irish science with industry and society through excellence in research, education and outreach in gastrointestinal health. Dr Sally Cudmore, General Manager, APC Microbiome Ireland talks to Silicon Valley Global about the important work being carried out at the research center.
reating a lively transdisciplinary environment with clinicians, clinician-scientists and basic scientists from diverse backgrounds working in teams, sharing ideas and resources, it has become a world leader in microbiome science, as well as an agent of change in the Irish research environment, delivering on its mission with excellence and impact. Itâ€™s about people working together across the boundaries of traditional research sectors.
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Although focused upon the magic and mysteries of the gastrointestinal microbial community - the microbiota - the scale and scope of the work has become one on the fastest moving areas of biology and is of relevance to all branches of medicine and veterinary science, and of growing importance to the economic welfare of society. The microbiota is not only a target for treatment and prevention of disease, it is a repository for functional food ingredients and even new drugs and is a source of novel
biomarkers of disease risk. Primarily funded by competitive grants from Science Foundation Ireland, APC brings in almost half of its research funding from industry collaborations. Its aims are to investigate the means by which intestinal microbiota influence health and disease and to position Ireland at the forefront of this exciting research area; to develop new therapies for debilitating conditions such as inflammatory conditions of the gut, gastrointestinal infections, metabolic disorder, and mental health conditions and
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to explore commercial opportunities in the pharma, food, diagnostics and veterinary sectors to develop economic benefit for Ireland and societal benefit for patients and consumers. APC Microbiome Ireland is actively involved in training and developing the scientific leaders of tomorrow in microbiome science, and actively promotes communication with government, Irish and international industry and the public - in particular schools and young people, on issues such as the importance of the microbiome, gastrointestinal disorders, probiotics and functional foods as well as keeping the public abreast of new research developments. Dr Sally Cudmore, General Manager at APC Microbiome Ireland, explains the background to the establishment of the research center. “The APC was founded by a number of researchers based in UCC, Teagasc and Cork University Hospital who had already been collaborating on the microbiome. It was a response to a call for a proposal from the Science Foundation of Ireland to set up large research centres. We are linking Irish research with industry and society and our research is on anything related to the microbiome, and how this affects host health.” She says the most important “medicine” we take into our body is food - our daily diet - because in addition to nourishing the human body, it also provides nutrients for the microbiome living in our gastrointestinal tract, particularly in the large intestine. The microbiome is comprised of approximately 30-50 trillion cells, outnumbering the number of human cells by a factor of approx. 1.3, and carries out essential functions such as helping to digest food, educating our immune and digestive systems, producing nutrients that the human body needs (e.g. vitamin K, short chain fatty acids), and making antimicrobials that can help to prevent infections. The study of microbes is not a new area as there is evidence in ancient Chinese medical texts of patients being given a “yellow soup” to treat infections. “There is a resurgence in the interest of microbiota, particularly in the area of health. It has really started to explode in medical literature,” says Sally. She explains the APC is interested in any potential project that is affected by or may affect the microbiota. “One of the big global challenges at the moment is the rapidly rising levels of antimicrobial resistance, due to overuse
Sally Cudmore, General Manager at APC
and misuse of antibiotics. We are not just interested in humans, we are also interested in the microbiomes of animals. One of the things we are exploring is how to reduce antibiotic use in the food chain, by developing alternative strategies such as new types of anti-microbials and probiotics,” she says. In some countries antibiotics are given to animals to help them gain weight faster and prevent them from getting sick. The widespread use of antibiotics, particularly broad spectrum antibiotics, contributes to AMR and antibiotic residues can then end up in the food chain. “This,” she says, “is leading to a huge overexposure to antibiotics which in turn leads to antimicrobial resistance.” One new anti-microbial approach is the development of bacteriophage - viruses that only infect bacterial cells. They don’t infect animal or human cells. “One problem with many of the antibiotics is they kill off a broad range of bacteria. So if you give someone an oral antibiotic for an infection, it gets into their digestive system, where it will kill off a large number of the healthy microbes in the gut. That can make the patient more susceptible to other types of pathogen, such as C. difficile, because the normal resident bacteria which can help prevent infections may not be present,” she says, explaining that what is optimal is a narrow spectrum antibiotic that only kills the bug you are treating. Other research done at the APC is to develop psychobiotics, bacterial strains and prebiotics that are thought to have a mental health benefit. The Brain-gut-microbiota group in the APC has shown that if you transfer the microbiota from a depressed
human patient and put it into a mouse model in which microbiota has been significantly depleted with antibiotics, that the mice started to display depressive symptoms,” she explains. “We are trying to find a bacterial strain that could help relieve, for example, exam stress. If you took the probiotic for a few weeks before an exam it may dampen down the stress response,” she says, adding that the research is still in its infancy. She said they are trying to understand how the normal resident bacteria are assisting the immune system when things get a little out of balance. “That is a big area of interest,” she says. “A lot of our work is on the immune and inflammatory systems. This is when the body’s own system gets out of balance and causes the body to become inflamed and we want to discover if there is a role for the microbiome in that.” Another area of interest is diagnostics whether you can use the presence or absence of particular strains in the gut as a biomarker of health, or indeed disease, status. The APC has ongoing research to establish if microbial markers may be used as a biomarker for colon cancer. APC Microbiome Ireland has also had three start-up companies in the last few years - Atlantia Food Clinical Trials is a clinical trial company that specifically explores the health benefits of food ingredients. Atlantia employs 25 people in Cork carrying out clinical trials for international food and supplements companies that want to establish if particular ingredients have a specific health benefit and can reduce biomarkers that inducate risk of disease, such as cholesterol. “These are different types of trials to a typical pharma trial because you are doing this in a healthy population,” she says, adding the food effect is typically smaller than the drug effect, and harder to detect. The second start-up company is Artugen Therapeutics which focuses on trying to find narrow spectrum antimicrobials, while the third start-up company was acquired by 4D Pharma and is now called 4D Pharma Cork. “They are looking at the microbiome for diagnostic type methods for human health,” she explains. Dr Cudmore emphasises that “the APC is an academic research institute. We do not take products to the market ourselves. When we get to a certain stage, we partner companies that will take this to the next level.” SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 87
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50 The Silicon Valley 50
highlights the top 50 Irish or Irish American executives making a significant impact in the world of technology.
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ALISON DARCY Woebot Alison Darcy, PhD, is the CEO and Founder of Woebot Labs Inc. a company that aims to make the best psychological tools radically accessible for everyone. She created Woebot, a friendly AI-powered catbot that delivers cognitive behavior therapy at scale. Woebot has been featured by Wired, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Forbes, the BBC, The Times (London); and the Washington Post. A clinical research psychologist, Alison was Faculty in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford School of Medicine for a decade where she developed digital health interventions for young people. With both a technical and scientific background, Alison works at the intersection of mental health and technology.
ANDREW WRIGHT WaterBit Andrew Wright is the CEO of WaterBit, a Precision Ag startup that is disrupting field electronics and data based irrigation. He has a bachelors degree from Trinity College Dublin and spent 19yrs at Cypress Semiconductor. At Cypress he served as Corporate VP of Design 2009-2012 and as EVP of New Product Development from 2012-2016. During that time he drove initiatives that reduced design cost by more than 5X. Andrew holds 15 Patents.
ANGELA MCKENNA Salesforce Angela McKenna is the Sr. Vice President of Global Talent Development at Salesforce. The span of her work ranges from Management Capability, Talent programmes and Executive Development. Prior to this role, Angela spent 2.5 years as the Director of Talent Development in EMEA, and 5 years as Head of Talent EMEA at CA Technologies in the UK. Angela is a transplant to San Francisco from the UK, where she lives with her husband and daughter. In her free time she likes to be in the outdoors as much as possible which is one of the major reasons her family moved from the rainy UK to sunny California!
ANNE-MARIE FARRELL Google Anne-Marie wants to know you, your users and your product and wants to help make those the best in world. As the head of Small Business Marketing at Google, AnneMarie spends every day helping millions of businesses all over the world to grow their businesses. With a strong focus on delivering data rich, innovative and creative marketing programs aimed at helping small businesses connect with their customers online. From 2013 to 2015, Anne-Marie led the Irrational Lab team, a behavioural economics lab at Google, focused on designing experiences to strengthen Googleâ€™s marketing and product strategy. Starting in Google Dublin in 2006, Anne-Marie has worked across multiple areas, including strategy, business analytics and finance having started her career in Accenture as a management consultant. AnneMarie also developed and runs StartupOnomics, an annual Dublin-based conference for start-ups with the worldâ€™s leading thinkers on human behaviour.
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ANITA M. SANDS Symantec Dr. Anita Sands is a Board Director Symantec, a global technology and business leader, public speaker and advocate for the advancement of women. She currently serves on the board of three Silicon Valley public companies -Symantec Corporation, Service Now, and Pure Storage, and is a board director at private companies, ThoughtWorks and AppBus. She is also an active advisory board member at Docusign, Accompany and Box. Anita earned both her Ph.D. in Atomic and Molecular Physics and bachelor’s degree in Physics & Applied Math from Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland and a Masters in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon
BARBARA MURPHY WekaIO Barbara Murphy brings over 20 years of marketing leadership for storage systems to her role as Vice President of Marketing for WekaIO. Prior to joining the company, she was VP of Marketing for the Converged Infrastructure business unit at HGST where she led the marketing efforts for HGST’s emerging cloud infrastructure products. Prior to that she was Chief Marketing Officer for Panasas, a leading provider of high performance scale-out storage systems targeting media and entertainment, life sciences and computer aided engineering. Ms. Murphy was part of the 3ware team who pioneered Serial ATA in enterprise storage. After the successful acquisition by AMCC, Ms. Murphy served as Senior Vice President for its Storage Division. Murphy holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Limerick, Ireland, an MBA from Santa Clara University and a Masters in International Relations from Victoria University, New Zealand.
University in Pittsburgh where she was a Fulbright Scholar. Prior to her latest career pivot into technology, Anita spent a decade in the financial services sector, specializing in enterprise transformation and technology led innovation. She was the youngest ever Senior Vice President at the Royal Bank of Canada where she served as the Head of Innovation and Process Design. At the age of 33, she was appointed as Chief Operating Officer, and subsequently as Head of Change Leadership, for UBS Wealth Management Americas, responsible for technology, operations and corporate services. Anita has been honored on many occasions for her contribution to technology leadership and the advancement of women. She holds a diploma in piano from the London
BRIAN DESMOND Guidewire Software Brian Desmond serves as Chief Marketing Officer at Guidewire Software. Guidewire is a software company that serves the property/ casualty (P/C) insurance industry. Its mission is to provide the platform that P/C Insurers need to adapt and succeed at a time of unprecedented change. Brian grew up in Cork City, Ireland and emigrated to the U.S. in 1992. In his CMO role at Guidewire, he is responsible for the development and execution of global marketing efforts, including demand creation, positioning, branding, and communications. Brian joined Guidewire in 2006. During his 12 year tenure, the company has become an industry-leading brand, growing revenue tenfold, and expanding its customer base from 20+ to 330+ insurers. Brian is passionate about leading a team that sets a new bar for B2B marketing. He has a track record for B2B marketing innovation, examples of which include designing a value-based consulting to generate demand; account-specific outreach;
School of Music, and has travelled to all seven continents, including on an expedition to Antarctica. Anita is a former all-Ireland public speaking champion and a frequent commentator on digital transformation and women’s leadership.
and self-publishing of thought leadership narratives leveraging multimedia. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the high-tech industry. Prior to joining Guidewire, he served as VP Marketing for PeopleSoft’s Supply Chain solutions and held a variety of marketing leadership and product marketing roles at Ketera, Ariba, and Tradex Technologies. Brian began his career at Accenture. He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Economics and Marketing from University College of Cork, Ireland.
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CARMEL GALVIN Autodesk Carmel Galvin recently joined Autodesk as the company’s Chief Human Resources Officer. In this role, Carmel heads all of Autodesk’s global human resources functions including strategy, learning and organizational development, talent acquisition and employee relations. In addition, she is responsible for overseeing Autodesk’s Corporate Real Estate, Travel, Safety
CIARAN LEE Intercom Ciaran is Co-Founder and CTO of Intercom which he set up in 2011 with Eoghan McCabe, Des Traynor and David Barrett. Today more than 25,000 businesses use Intercom to connect with a billion people worldwide. Intercom has raised $116M in venture funding, and has 350+ employees across its San Francisco headquarters, Dublin R&D office, and recently opened Chicago office. Ciaran designs and runs Intercom’s
scalable architecture, capable of withstanding many billions of requests per month. He built the first version of the Intercom backend, and since has run the infrastructure side of the engineering org, which keeps Intercom available, secure, and performant. His primary expertise is with the Ruby on Rails framework, with which he has developed several large systems. He was previously lead engineer and CTO of Exceptional. Ciaran has a degree in Computer Engineering from Trinity College, Dublin.
DAN KIELY Voxpro (Now Voxpro – powered by TELUS International) Dan Kiely is co-founder of Voxpro, a premium provider of beautiful customer experience, technical support and sales operations solutions to the technology market. As CEO and co-founder, Dan takes overall responsibility for the strategic vision and direction of Voxpro, including defining business strategy and goals, partner engagement, culture and brand sustainment, and key leadership talent acquisition. Using his entrepreneurial passion and creativity, he dreams big and encourages innovation in all aspects of the company. His vision for Voxpro has always been to create something
unique and unforgettable. Voxpro’s 3,000+ strong team members across Ireland, North America, Europe and the Philippines supports the customer experience needs of top global brands in over 35 languages. Voxpro’s growing partner list includes some of the most powerful and innovative technology companies. These client partners are a source of inspiration and continue to propel the company forward on what is an exciting and successful journey. View Dan’s LinkedIn profilehttps://www.linkedin. com/in/kielydan/
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and Security. Carmel brings 25 years of human resources experience at global companies including Deloitte, Advent Software and MSCI Barra Inc. Most recently, Carmel served as chief human resources officer at Glassdoor. A native of Ireland, Carmel received her bachelor’s degree in political science and business from Trinity College Dublin and a master’s degree in Business Studies at the University College Dublin’s Smurfit School of Business.
COLIN RYAN Global Technology M&A After graduating from University College Dublin, Colin joined Goldman Sachs in their London office where he focused on M&A transactions for large European corporates. In 2005, he moved to the San Francisco office to build out the firm’s Technology M&A practice which has ranked as #1 Technology M&A Advisor in each of the last 5 years. Since moving to San Francisco, Colin has advised clients on over $300bn of M&A transactions, including advising Amazon on its $14 billion acquisition of Whole Foods, Qualcomm on its $47 billion acquisition of NXP and HP on its spin off of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
DR. CORMAC S.G CONROY Intel Dr. Cormac S. G. Conroy is corporate vice president and general manager of the Communication and Devices Group at Intel Corporation. He leads Intel’s efforts to deliver world-class intellectual property, technology and solutions for wireless communications. Conroy oversees business strategy, technology and product development, and profit and loss for multiple communications products and platforms, including 4G and 5G cellular modems, radio frequency (RF) solutions, Wi-Fi, 60 GHz, Bluetooth, and GPS and global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). An expert in wireless technology innovation, Conroy joined Intel in 2017 with two decades of experience in running businesses and leading engineering teams. Most recently, he spent 11 years at Qualcomm Inc., culminating in his role as vice president of product management. He was
COLUM SLEVIN Oculus VR Colum Slevin leads the experiences group at Oculus VR, overseeing a portfolio of third party developers producing groundbreaking narrative, and real-time virtual reality experiences. His early background in production for animated TV and features led him to Industrial Light + Magic, where he was Director of Computer Graphics, and later Vice President/Head of Studio Operations at Lucasfilm, where he was responsible for the animation divisions in California and Singapore. Colum joined Oculus in 2015 from Telltale Games, where he was Studio General Manager. He lives in San Rafael, California with his wife Marie, is mildly over-obsessed with movies and wants to help people make amazing things.
responsible for the company’s local area connectivity business for mobile and computing platforms, with a focus on Wi-Fi, 60 GHz, Bluetooth and FM technologies, as well as Qualcomm’s location technology portfolio, including GPS and GNSS.Before joining Qualcomm, Conroy served as CEO, vice president and senior vice president at Berkäna Wireless Inc., a startup he co-founded in 2001 to develop highly integrated RF CMOS cellular transceivers for mobile phones. Berkäna was acquired by Qualcomm in 2006, and its technology was widely deployed across Qualcomm’s mobile phone platforms. Conroy started his career at IBM Corp.’s storage systems division and subsequently at DataPath Systems Inc., where he led teams developing ADSL analog front-end integrated circuits spanning multiple product generations.Conroy holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in
microelectronics, both from University College Cork in Ireland. He also earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. A prolific inventor, he has been granted more than 30 U.S. patents, with many additional patents pending. He is also the author or co-author of more than 20 articles published in technical journals and at industry conferences.
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DANNY WALLACE Pricewater houseCoopers Danny Wallace has over 34 years of experience with PwC and has been the engagement leader on over 20 public technology companies and over 100 emerging, venture-backed private companies. Because he works alongside his clients as they grow and scale their businesses, he understands and can anticipate the unique challenges faced by clients. For many of his clients’ IPOs, he has worked with companies from their first ever audit to post-IPO 10-K filing. He is the co-leader of PwC’s US Emerging Companies Services group.
DAVID DOYLE HEIDENHAIN Corporation David Doyle is the President and Managing Director of HEIDENHAIN CORPORATION, a subsidiary of Dr. Johannes HEIDENHAIN GmbH, a global leader in high performance motion control solutions, headquartered in Traunreut, Germany. David is spearheading the organization and business development activities for HEIDENHAIN in North America within the electronics, automation and machine tool capital equipment markets. HEIDENHAIN also enables advanced systems capabilities in the robotics, automotive, energy, agriculture, medical and life science industries. With over 25 years in technical, product management and senior leadership roles, he has worked with GEC Plessey Semiconductors, KLA-Tencor, Machine Vision Technologies (acquired by Agilent), Orbotech, Accent Optical Technologies (acquired by Nanometrics) and Nanometrics Inc. Throughout his career, David has been instrumental in expanding applications for the innovative technologies his companies have developed and creating market leading
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DAVE BURKE Google Inc. Dave Burke is Vice President of Engineering at Google Inc where he runs engineering for Android. Android is the most popular OS and ecosystem in the world, powering the majority of the planet’s smartphones as well as other categories including wearables, auto, TV, and IOT. Dave joined Google UK in 2007, becoming the engineering site lead and later moving to California in 2011. Prior to Google, Dave co-founded and ran an internet/ telecoms start-up. Dave holds a BE, MEngSc, and PhD in Electronic Engineering from University College Dublin, Ireland.
positions. The metrology technology innovations and products he promoted while with Nanometrics have enabled advanced process control solutions for FinFET logic, 3D NAND, DRAM and compound semiconductor devices which support advanced computation, cloud based analytics, machine learning, communications and emerging artificial intelligence applications. Born in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, David attended St Pauls College, Dublin and Maynooth University (National University of Ireland), earning a double honors degree in chemistry and experimental physics. He has also attended Stanford University for professional development programs. David, his wife Patricia and their three sons support the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (www.UMDF.org) and the Mitochondrial Research Guild at Seattle Children’s Hospital (www.nwmitoresearch.org) and have been ambassadors for mitochondrial disease support groups since 2001. David met his wife, Patricia, during their school years in Dublin. They have three boys who are attending the University of Oregon, De Paul University, Chicago
and University of Texas at Austin. They recently established a full time residence in Los Gatos, CA, having lived in Bend, Oregon during their children’s school years. His early sporting interests includes international swimming representation for Ireland as a junior and rugby exploits with St. Paul’s College, Clontarf RFC and Lansdowne RFC. David is a keen golfer, learning the game growing up in Dublin at St Ann’s Golf Club and is currently a member of Awbrey Glen Golf Club in Bend, Oregon.
DENISE TORMEY PlanNet21 Throughout her executive career, Denise has held leadership positions with PlanNet21 Communications, Videnda, 3play Plus, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). As President and co-founder of PlanNet21, she has been responsible for leading global expansions into Europe and USA, establishing strategic international partnerships, building the high performance team and delivering agile and intelligent technology solutions to enterprises ever-challenged with the speed of technological change. She is an accomplished Leader and Entrepreneur with more than 20 years of success spanning information technology, finance, life science, and manufacturing sectors. Often described as a whirlwind, extremely innovative and creative in her thinking and approach as well as an excellent communicator and
strategic thinker, she is action-oriented and a problem solver. She consistently exceeds company goals and drives customer satisfaction statistics through strategic direction, passion, sustainable growth, and innovative technology solutions. Denise bootstrapped her company to a hugely successful global technology which enables businesses transform their IT. She has spearheaded diversifications into other businesses in Cyber Security, Cloud & Data Centre, Machine learning, Collaboration and media platforms. She was an International EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2015, is a current member of YPO (Young President’s Organisation), NorCal Chapter and is also currently serving on the Exec Board of Irish Network Bay Area. Denise attained her degree with honors in Business Studies & IT from the University of Limerick and is a Chartered Accountant. Denise holds non-profit board positions with
DOMHAILL HERNON Nokia Bell Labs Domhnaill Hernon is Head of Innovation Incubation & Experiments in Arts and Technology (E.A.T.) at Nokia Bell Labs. He graduated with a B.Eng in Aeronautical Engineering, a Ph.D in fundamental fluid mechanics from the University of Limerick and an Executive M.B.A. from Dublin City University, Ireland. Domhnaill is currently based in New Jersey at the headquarters of Bell Labs research. He is passionate about turning research/ideas into reality and exploring the bounds of creativity to push the limits of technology. Domhnaill is responsible for turning Bell Labs disruptive research assets into proto-solutions that can be tested reliably at scale. In this role he has designed a framework to overcome the – innovation valley of death – and move a research asset from low technology readiness to high technology readiness. He is also responsible for Bell Labs global activities in E.A.T. where he collaborates with the artistic/creative community to push the limits of technology to solve the greatest human need problems.
Young Leader of the American Ireland Fund, Cork/San Francisco Sister City, Cork IT - Project TARA, and AYSO-Youth Soccer. She loves hiking, volleyball, soccer and having adventures and travelling with her family.
ELAINE LAIRD Logitech Elaine Laird is Vice President of Global Supply Chain for Logitech. Her responsibilities includedemand and supply planning, process optimization, product and trade compliance, logistics operations, customer fulfilment, network optimization, and supply chain performance management for all Logitech businesses and brands. In her role, Elaine oversees a team of 230 supply chain professionals in 12 countries all focused on supporting corporate growth objectives while optimizing resources and risk for Logitech. Elaine began her career at Logitech over 15 years ago spending time in a variety of positions across supply chain and now leading all Global Supply Chain. Elaine has held eight different positions at Logitech and has lived and worked in three countries including the United States, Netherlands and Ireland during her tenure at Logitech. Elaine is originally from Cork, Ireland and holds a BComm degree from University College Cork, and a Masters degree in Supply Chain Management from Dublin Institute of Technology.
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GERARD DWYER Waymo Ger is the CFO for Waymo, where he is responsible for leading all finance related activities for the company, including interactions with parent company Alphabet, in addition to overseeing Waymo’s business systems agenda. Joining Google in 2006, Ger built and led the global business intelligence function for Google’s Finance organization
GRÁINNE BARRON Viddyad Gráinne Barron is CEO and Founder of Viddyad and is responsible for commercial product development internationally. She is a recognized expert in video advertising technology and has been featured on WSJ, Bloomberg TV, TechCrunch,USA Today and other leading news outlets. Gráinne has been listed as one of the most influential business leaders in technology in Ireland, has won the PWC Most Innovative Startup award, Richard Branson’s Extreme Tech Challenge Advertising Category at CES 2017 as well as WEB SUMMIT Spark of Genius award for Best European Technology Innovator. She is a founding member of Startup Ireland, a mentor with The Founder Institute, a member of IBEC’s CEO Forum and part of Techpreneurs Founding Team. Gráinne was a Judge at Web Summit which Viddyad previously won. Gráinne was awarded the L’Oreal Women in Digital Award 2016 in NYC. The Huffington Post Business also published an article about her as a Trailblazing Woman. Gráinne also recently received The International MBA Entrepreneur of the Year Award in London for her achievements in the Innovation and Technology Sector. Winner: Extreme Tech Challenge (Richard Branson Award) for Advertising CES 2017 Winner: L’Oreal Women in Digital Award 2016, NYC Winner: MBA Global Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 Winner: PWC Most Innovative Start Up Founder.
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before going on to lead finance for Google’s Technical Infrastructure (data centers, machines, networking and IT) and G&A functions. Prior to that Ger worked for more than fifteen years in the telecommunication industry in a range of finance, analytics and IT roles with operators in Europe and Africa. He holds Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Business Studies (MIS) degrees from University College, Dublin.
JAMES HART MainStreaming After receiving his B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine and his M.A. in Politics from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., James has spent over 17 years in executive management in the global Content Delivery Network (CDN) industry in which he has been able to successfully develop relationships with many of the world’s leading broadcasters and news media organizations, which include some of Ireland’s largest companies. Founded in Milan, Italy in 2015, James was instrumental in opening MainStreaming’s U.S. headquarters in San Francisco in 2017 and he brings a wealth of experience in sales leadership which includes building highly effective sales organizations, a deep knowledge of client acquisition and retention, revenue generation and profit and loss reporting (P&L). James is tasked with introducing MainStreaming’s patent-pending HyperNode technology and complete suite of streaming media solutions into the worldwide markets. The company’s next-generation͟ delivery network and capabilities entail Live/VOD Streaming, Encoding, Transcoding, Recording, Analytics and a fully comprehensive Online Video Platform. James resides in Tustin, CA with his wife Tracey and their four children Aidan, Kathleen, Reagan and Finn.
JOHN ABEL Ellie Mae John Abel joined Ellie Mae in 2017, as senior vice president, Chief Information Officer. In this role he is responsible for all aspects of the company’s internal information technology and systems and partners with business units for the planning and implementation of enterprise IT systems to align with Ellie Mae’s technology vision and business strategy in support of business operations. Abel has over
JOHN DENNISTON Shared-X John is the Chairman of the Board of Shared-X, an agriculture impact company. Shared-X aims to both generate investor returns and lift vast numbers of smallholder farmers out of poverty. At its core, Shared-X collapses the agricultural “Yield Gap”-which is the astonishing difference between developed and emerging country farm productivity–by deploying advanced, sustainable farming techniques. Many leading impact and agriculture funds have invested in Shared-X. John is a frequent speaker at impact conferences, including the Vatican Impact Conference, the Impact Capitalism Summit, Harvard University, Yale University, Gratitude Railroad and
20 years in the IT industry. Prior to joining the company, Abel was Senior Vice President of IT at Hitachi Data Systems where he helped drive the transformation from a hardware-selling company to enable growth in cloudbased software and solutions. Before Hitachi Data Systems, Abel held roles at Symantec, JDS Uniphase, KPMG Consulting and British Nuclear Fuels plc. Abel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems from Staffordshire University in England.
others. John was previously a Senior Partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where he co-founded and co-ran the firm’s $1 billion Green Growth Fund. KPCB’s Green Growth Fund invests in sustainability companies in their growth stage. Prior to Kleiner Perkins, John was a Managing Director and Head of Technology Investment Banking for the Western United States at Salomon Smith Barney. He also served on the Investment Committees for Salomon’s venture capital/private equity direct investment fund, as well as CitiGroup’s venture capital fund-of funds. Earlier in his career, John was a Partner with a large law firm, where he was Head of the firm’s Venture Capital practice, and Co-Head of its Information Technology practice group.
JOHN HUGHES TubeMogul John Hughes co-founded TubeMogul, an enterprise software company for brand advertising. John originally conceived of TubeMogul with his co-founder Brett Wilson while both were enrolled as MBA students at the University of California’s Haas School of Business. In 2007, the TubeMogul team led by Wilson and Hughes won the Haas Business Plan Competition, which provided seed money enabling the development and launch of the product. John has led Product Development since the company’s inception. In 2016, TubeMogul was acquired by Adobe.
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JOHN MALLOY BlueRun Ventures John Malloy is a General Partner and co-founder of BlueRun Ventures. He focuses on mobile software and services opportunities across both consumer and enterprise businesses. John has been an integral part of the explosive growth phases of major services and brands such as Friends & Family, NOKIA, PAYPAL and WAZE. As a VC, John was the first venture investor in PayPal (IPO 2002 & eBay), Waze (GOOG), Topsy (AAPL), Slide (GOOG), Bitfone (HP), Chomp (AAPL) and others. Some of his current investments include Banjo, HumanAPI, Kitman, and Airobotics. Prior to starting BlueRun Ventures, John held executive and operating roles at NOKIA, MCI and co-founded Go Communications. He holds a J.D. from George Mason University and a B.A. from Boston College.
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JOHN WALL Cadence Design Systems Inc. John Wall is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Cadence Design Systems Inc., a global leader in the software industry. Formerly Corporate Controller and VP of Finance and Operations for the EMEA Region, at Cadence, John is a dynamic finance executive with >20 years of experience in a broad range of global leadership roles for Cadence. John serves on the Board of 35 Cadence subsidiaries, chairing 4 of those Boards. He has extensive international experience in Finance, Operations, Investor Relations, Revenue Accounting, Sales Support, Tax & Treasury Management and M&A. Known for leadership, integrity, innovation, intelligence and energy, John has a proven track record for business transformation and building strong, commercially aware teams, and working collaboratively across functions, focusing on accountability to deliver results. John grew up in Kerry in Ireland and now lives and works in San Jose, California, with his partner Paula Delaney and their five girls, aged 4 to 17. John is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and holds an NCBS from the Institute of Technology, Tralee.
JOHN WRENN Flex John Wrenn leads IT Enterprise Solutions at Flex, fostering innovation using cloud technology delivering supply chain insight and real time analytics. Flex is the Sketch to Scale solutions provider that designs and builds Intelligent Products for a Connected World. John has held leadership positions in IT at Flex in European Operations and Global Business Segments when based in Cork, Ireland, before moving to Silicon Valley in 2012 to lead Enterprise Solutions.
KEVIN MCCARTHY Microsoft Kevin McCarthy is CFO for Microsoft’s Consumer & Devices Sales Group, (CDS). CDS is responsible for Microsoft’s OEM Business and also for selling Microsoft’s products to Consumers thru various retail, distribution and OEM partners. Key products include Windows, Xbox, Surface, Office 365 and Server. In this capacity, Kevin is responsible for managing the Consumer Groups P&L, co-ordinating the business rhythm and driving execution of the fiscal year plan. Before taking this role, McCarthy served as the CFO of Xbox business unit. McCarthy joined Microsoft in 2000 and has spent his entire tenure in Consumer businesses supporting a number of product groups and field organizations including Hardware, Encarta, Xbox LIVE and WW Retail Sales & Services. McCarthy holds an MBS from University College Dublin and is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants. He enjoys golfing, snowboarding and travelling with his wife and daughter.
LAURA FAY TSIA Laura Fay is Head of Research, Product Management Practice TSIA, with over 25 years’ experience driving business growth. Hired straight out of Trinity College Dublin to California, Laura started her career as a software developer and progressively moved into increasingly impactful Engineering, Product Management and Executive leadership roles. Laura has held influential roles in large well-established enterprises and a number of early stage high growth companies, including Good Technology (acquired by Blackberry), Sendia (acquired by Salesforce), Scalix (Founding Exec), ShareData (acquired by E*TRADE), cc:Mail (acquired by Lotus Development & then IBM) and Retix (co-founder. IPO).Laura holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science (Hons.) from Trinity College Dublin and an MBA from Santa Clara University, California. When not actively contributing to the technology industry, Laura loves to spend her time alpine hiking, cycling, reading historic novels and cooking with friends.
LIAM MADDEN Xilinx Senior Vice President of Engineering at Xilinx Liam Madden leads a world-wide organization of R&D professionals, including teams in Dublin and Cork. Mr Madden has spent more than 30 years in the US semiconductor industry where he has contributed to a range of industry leading products and technologies. Based in Silicon Valley, he has worked with established companies and start-ups, including a leadership role in a successful IPO. Mr Madden is a regular speaker at university and industry events worldwide. He holds five patents in semiconductor technology. He is a Fellow of Engineers Ireland and in June 2013 was appointed an Adjunct Professor of Electrical, Electronic and Communication Engineering at UCD.
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MÁIRE SOGABE PG&E Máire is a principal at Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E),one of the largest natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States, where she manages strategic initiatives to protect PG&E’s critical infrastructure, information assets, and business operations for the Chief Security Officer. She has extensive experience implementing complex technology solutions in utilities and financial services, such as managing one of the largest GIS implementations in North America. She is a two-time hackathon winner and organized PG&E’s first company-wide hackathon in 2017. She is the founder of the PG&E Employee Innovation group and is a member of the PG&E Blockchain evangelist group. Máire sits on PG&E’s Diversity and Inclusion Board and is a champion for diversity and inclusion frequently organizing and supporting
events. Máire is also a member of HiPower, a tribe of women leaders laser-focused on accelerating one another’s success. She also regularly speaks at The Expat Woman conferences and other diversity events. Máire has been active in community organizations throughout her career. In Ireland, she volunteered for the Youth Services, Co-Operation North, and the Campaign for Democratic Politics. In Japan, she served on the organizing committee for the Emerald Ball Tokyo and sat on the board of Tokyo Fàilte an expat support group. In San Francisco, she held security workshops for the Democracy Labs and local non-profits. Currently, she is the Vice President of the Irish Network Bay Area, an organization that promotes the development of relationships between people and companies with Irish ties in the Bay Area and beyond. Máire holds a B.A. from the National University Ireland, Maynooth, a
LINDA KIELY Voxpro Linda Keily CoFounder of Voxpro, is a strategic, award-winning business woman with considerable talent and reckoning. Queen of reinvention, Linda’s astute commercial sense recognizes potential, in both people and opportunities. Her adaptability and diversity turns this potential into certain success. Linda has fostered a Chameleon like culture within Voxpro and it is this culture that has forged long lasting partnerships with the world’s greatest brands. In Voxpro, they have found their home. At the heart of Linda’s formidable entrepreneurialism is her fundamental belief in the art of Customer Service. Driving Voxpro upwards from 6 to 2500 people, the value placed in delighting customers has remained a fixed focus. Measured, creative & intuitive, Linda’s strategic directorship advances Voxpro toward new transformations with firm-centric values.
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M.A. in Community Development from the National University of Ireland Galway, and a M.Sc. in Computer Information Systems from Golden Gate University. She is currently pursuing a Certificate of Business Excellence from the Haas School of Business at the University of California. Máire is originally from the Dingle Peninsula in Co. Kerry, Ireland. She lives in San Francisco and loves spending time with her husband and two children.
MARTIN DEVENNEY Nanosys Dr. Devenney is the Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Chief Operating Officer at Nanosys. He leads manufacturing and scale-up activities for Nanosys state-ofthe-art Quantum Dot materials and components used in television displays. Dr. Devenney has extensive experience bringing new technologies from the lab to commercial scale. Prior to Nanosys, Dr. Devenney drove the research, development and operations activities at Symyx Technologies and more recently Calera where he led development and scale-up of a process for conversion of CO2 from power plants to valuable materials. Dr. Devenney received his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from Queen’s University Belfast. He has over 35 granted patents and more than 20 scientific publications.
MATTHEW BRADLEY Oracle Matthew Bradley is the senior vice president, product development, responsible for Oracle’s enterprise performance management products (EPM) and cloud services. Bradley joined Hyperion in 2000, helping to introduce Hyperion Planning to the marketplace. He led several initiatives to move from a point product strategy to one focused on a “system” strategy, establishing a 500+ multi-shore development presence and a centralized QE organization. Following Oracle’s acquisition of Hyperion, Bradley eventually took on the position of leading the strategy and Oracle’s transition of this business to a fully based SaaS model. Bradley
began his career at Oracle in the United Kingdom. After graduating from Queen’s University Belfast, he started working for Oracle Consulting Services in the healthcare vertical and was involved in some very early E-Business Suite deployments. As Oracle moved towards establishing a presence within applications, he helped introduce OEMs into the UK marketplace, ultimately leaving Oracle to join a small start-up in US in the early 1990’s. Following several acquisitions and divestments, Bradly became a business manager with National Data Corporation, providing packaged applications and transactional systems for the international healthcare market. He also worked for Quadramed as a vice president of development,
NOEL KENEHAN Ericsson Noel Kenehan, VP and CTO Emerging Business, at Ericsson, is designing new and innovative business models at the intersection of cellular connectivity, edgecompute, media, analytics and IOT. In this role he is driving adoption of the lean startup approach across 14 innovation centers globally transforming both process and culture. Noel has more than 15 years of software expertise with extensive background in R&D and product development. In the past decade he has been the technical force behind sales and business development that contributed to multi-billion dollars in revenues. Noel has lived and worked in Ireland, Sweden and US. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Engineering from University of Limerick, grew up in Tipperary and is currently based in Palo Alto, California with his wife and son.
managing a very geographically dispersed team of 150 engineers in the electronic medical records space.
OISÍN HANRAHAN Handy Oisín Hanrahan is the CEO and co-founder of Handy, the leading ondemand home services platform. Oisín’s idea is changing the way people receive and provide home services. Prior to founding Handy, Oisín founded MiCandidate, a service that provided real time political content to media companies in 25 European countries. He also founded Clearwater Group, a real estate development business in Budapest, Hungary. In 2009, Oisín co-founded The Undergraduate Awards, a foundation that supports and celebrates outstanding undergraduate students globally.From day one, Oisín aimed for Handy to revolutionize the way people receive, provide and think about home services, an $400 billion market. Since it launched, millions of bookings have been made, and the Handy platform has served over 600,000 customers and activated over 80,000 independent professionals. This exceptional growth was made possible by a laser focus on the most innovative technology and service, resulting in Handy expanding nationwide.
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PAT PHELAN TransUnion Pat Phelan is SVP, Identity at TransUnion, and the founder of Trustev, which TransUnion acquired in December 2015. A serial entrepreneur, he has built and sold a number of companies in the telecoms and software space. Pat is widely recognized as one of Europe’s most influential software innovators, and is an investor in and advisor to a number of companies, as well as a regular speaker at major industry events like TechCrunch Disrupt, WIRED Money and the Web Summit. From Cork, Ireland, he is currently based in New York City.
PEGGY JOHNSON Microsoft As executive vice president of business development, Peggy Johnson is responsible for driving strategic partnerships and transactions to accelerate growth for Microsoft and its customers. Johnson works with external partners around the world, ranging from start-ups to large-scale enterprises, to identify areas of collaboration, drive innovation and unlock shared value. In this capacity, she also manages Microsoft’s relationship with the venture capital community and oversees strategic investments through
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PEARSE LYONS AllTech With his experience in brewing and his specialist knowledge of yeast fermentation, Dr. Pearse Lyons saw an opportunity to improve agriculture around the world when he moved to the U.S. with his young family in the 1970s. In 1980, he founded Alltech with just $10,000 and a vision: to discover new ways to sustain our planet and all living things on it. Dr. Lyons is widely recognized as an innovative entrepreneur. His scientific expertise, combined with an acute business sense, helped revolutionize the animal feed industry through the introduction of natural ingredients to feed. He received his bachelor’s degree from University College Dublin, Ireland, and received his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Birmingham, England. He later worked as a biochemist for Irish Distillers before founding Alltech. Since then, he has authored more than 20 books, including “The Alcohol Textbook,” which became a key source for the beverage, fuel and industrial alcohol industries, and numerous research papers in scientific journals. Acknowledged as leading one of the top 100 fastest-growing high-tech companies by World Trade Magazine, Dr. Lyons has also been recognized for his contributions to science and industry
the company’s corporate venture fund, Microsoft Ventures. Prior to this role, Johnson spent 24 years at Qualcomm, where she served as a member of Qualcomm’s Executive Committee. Johnson earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from San Diego State University. She serves on the board of directors for Live Nation Entertainment, Inc and the international non-profit PATH. She has been recognized by multiple organizations, cluding Business Insider (“#1 Most Powerful Female Engineer in 2017”), Silicon Republic (“40 Powerful Women Leading Tech Around the
and has been awarded honorary doctorates from many colleges and universities around the world. He has been named Business Person of the Year by Business & Finance magazine and received the prestigious Ireland-U.S. Council Award for Outstanding Achievement. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny recognized him with the St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal for being the first Irish scientist to create a global business based on scientific research. He was also selected to receive the Commander’s Award for Public Service, a rarely presented ofcial U.S. Army medal, and has been honored with the prestigious Henry Clay Medallion for Distinguished Service, past recipients of which include Sandra Day O’Connor, Ted Turner and Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein. Dr. Lyons spearheaded Alltech’s commitment to international equestrian sport by sponsoring the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky, which led to his receipt of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s first-ever Legacy Award in 2011.
World”), Connected World Magazine (“2014 Women of M2M List”), Women in Technology International (“2013 Hall of Fame Award”) and STEM (“100 women Leaders in STEM, 2012.
PETER REAL Analog Devices Peter Real is Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Analog Devices. In this role, Mr. Real works closely with ADI’s business units to provide a long term technology vision for the company which drives ADI’s competitive advantage. He is responsible for the exploration, selection, and incubation, of new business and research opportunities while also being responsible for the development of foundation capabilities in support of current and future needs. Previously, Mr. Real held the positions of Vice President of the High Speed Products and Technology Group, Vice President of the Linear and Radio Frequency Products and Technology Group, and various IC design and engineering leadership roles. He is the holder of a number of patents and has presented at many international technical conferences. Mr. Real holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Systems from the University of Limerick and a Master of Science degree in Electronic Engineering from Northeastern University.
PHELIM O’DOHERTY Oracle Phelim O’Doherty is Vice President at Oracle a global provider of enterprise cloud computing. Phelim is the visionary behind Oracle’s Communications cloud based in San Francisco. Phelim leads the product strategy, engineering and operations of various Cloud products driving the digital transformation of the modern enterprise. Prior to joining Oracle, Phelim held various positions at BEA Systems, Sun Microsystems and Aepona. Phelim attended the University of Ulster in Ireland and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computers and Information Systems.
RORY CAMERON Callidus Cloud Rory Cameron is the EVP of Litmos and Corporate Development at CallidusCloud (NASDAQ:CALD), an innovative cloud company in the sales, learning, marketing and customer experience domains. In 2012 Rory became the youngest executive in CallidusCloud’s history and today leads the rapidly growing Litmos learning business in addition to corporate development. In the past 7 years, Rory has acquired over 17 companies and has been a member of the executive team that has increased the valuation tenfold in the same time period. Prior to joining CallidusCloud, Rory ran divisions for a
RAY SMITH Datahug Ray Smith is the co-founder and CEO of Datahug, a sales performance and forecasting solution that was acquired by CallidusCloud (CALD) in Nov 2016. Ray is now an SVP at CallidusCloud, a company that SAP are now in the process of acquiring. Ray is an engineer and data geek who loves to build innovative solutions and highperforming sales teams. His particular passion is applying data science and technology to disrupt the status quo, make people more efficient and solve real world business problems. Ray previously worked in Accenture for 7 years and sold his first business whilst at college. He is a Founder, serial entrepreneur, CTO, CEO, Chairman and Advisor.
range of technology companies including Datapac Ireland, Mallon Technology and Bytes Technology Group. Rory is a passionate angel investor and is also involved with a number of not for profits including the American Ireland Fund.
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RUTH COTTER AMD Ruth Cotter is the Chief Human Resources Officer and Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Investor Relations at AMD. In her role, Ruth Cotter oversees all aspects of these critical corporate functions, driving cross-functional alignment and integration to help the company achieve its aggressive business objectives. With 20+ years of experience, Ruth possesses deep business and strategic knowledge and has a proven track record of strong leadership rooted in the principle that thoughtful strategy and planning leads to disciplined executional excellence. Ruth is passionate about people and stakeholder
experiences and believes her unique role at AMD positively differentiates the company’s People, Strategy and Voice. Ruth believes that AMD’s inclusive, learning and innovative workplace culture set it apart from its competition. Prior to joining AMD, Ruth spent several years at Trintech Group plc and at CRH plc, one of the world’s largest building materials groups. Ruth currently serves on the Sister Cities International Board of Directors, an organization founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower that aims to promote peace through people-to-people relationships: Connect Globally. Thrive Locally. Ruth previously served on the National Investor Relations Institute’s (NIRI) Board of Directors and was nominated #1 Investor Relations
SEAMUS MCATEER AISense Seamus McAteer heads up commercial activity at AISense which is building technology to transform recorded voice conversations into usable data. As an independent board member and advisor he works with a number of leading edge companies in data analytics, mobile technology, and AI. He brings a wealth of experience from his track record as a repeat entrepreneur and successful operator. Seamus was co-founder and CEO at Datasnap.io an analytics platform that linked user physical world engagement to online behavior via micro-proximity technology. Datasnap.io was acquired by Neustar in Oct ‘16 where Seamus was VP New Ventures. Metaresolver a mobile ad platform that Seamus founded and led as CEO was acquired by Millennial Media where Seamus was SVP of Analytics and Insight. MMetrics, a company Seamus co-founded and led as Chief Product Architect and board member, delivered currency data used by companies in the mobile sector and was acquired by Comscore. As an independent board member he helped with the sale of Motally to Nokia, Zokem to Arbitron, and he was a member of the executive team at Majestic Research when it was acquired by ITG. Seamus is currently an independent director at Aviso Partners, a leading provider of alternative data to the buyside. Seamus lives in San Francisco and enjoys trail running on the Marin Headlands and in his neighborhood with his German Shepherd.
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professional for Semiconductor Companies as part of the All-American Executive team rankings by Institutional Investor. She was also nominated 2017 Diversity Leader and a Woman Worth Watching͟ by the Diversity Journal. Ruth holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and history from University College Cork, Ireland.
RAY O’FARRELL VMware Ray O’Farrell, is Executive vice president and Chief Technology Officer at infrastructure and Cloud giant, VMware. A 15-year veteran of VMware, Ray, reporting to the CEO is part of the senior leadership team of the $45B public company. Over his tenure at VMware, Ray’s responsibilities included running product development and building VMware’s worldwide R&D organizations before taking on the CTO role in 2016 Representing VMware, Ray has been a speaker at many industry conferences, presented to US congressional committees on IoT security and spends a great deal of time interacting with VMware’s most significant customers and partners. O’Farrell, from Templemore, Co. Tipperary is a graduate University of Limerick with degrees in Electronics Engineering and Computer Engineering. Ray and his Wife Marianne has lots of family in Ireland and are over there quite often.
STUART COULSON Stanford University Stuart Coulson is an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University’s d.school and a Lecturer at the Graduate School of Business, where he leads the Design for Extreme Affordability program. Student teams develop products and services to tackle poverty in the developing world. Projects and start-ups emerging from the program have affected the lives of more than 70 million people so far. Stuart is an investor and advisor to early stage technology and social impact organizations in Silicon Valley and Ireland. He is a member of the Trinity College Dublin Provost’s Council and sits on the board of Trinity’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub. He also grows old-vine Zinfandel grapes and enjoys regularly quality testing the resulting award winning wines. Stuart’s background is in software development, data communications and travel reservations systems. His previous roles include senior leadership in some of the world’s largest travel technology companies and several start-ups. He co-founded Gradient Solutions, a pioneer in webbased travel e-commerce, acquired by Sabre. Stuart holds a BA (Mod.) in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin, an MBA from the University of Geneva and an EMBA from the Tepper Business School, Carnegie Mellon University.
TADHG BURKE Netflix Tadhg sits on Netflix’s Global HR Leadership team where he has oversight for Employee Services, a broad group responsible for strategy, design and operations for Benefits, Mobility, Contingent, People Analytics, Compliance and Scaled support team for its global workforce. Netflix is enjoying tremendous international growth as it continues to deepen its service offering across 190 markets so scaling quickly while maintaining its unique culture is a fine balance. Before joining Netflix in November 2016, Tadhg spent almost a decade at Google as Head of HR Operations (Americas region) based out of its HQ in Mountain View, California after originally building out its the function for EMEA. His time with Google was punctuated by massive scale where he oversaw the EMEA regional expansion from 4 to 37 counties and from a relative start-up presence to 9000 employees. Prior to Google, Tadhg worked for IBM in Budapest Hungary where he held a variety of roles from leading its EMEA Compensation and Benefits team to leading its HR Operations team which supported >100k IBM employees across 40 European countries to developing its HR outsourcing business, eventually leading the service delivery for several of its outsourced clients. Tadhg attained his Bachelors in Economics from the University of Limerick and later graduated from Business School at the University College Dublin.
VINCENT ROCHE Analog Devices As President, Chief Executive Officer, and member of the Board of Directors, Mr. Roche sets Analog Devices’ strategic vision and oversees operational execution across the business. Since becoming ADI’s president in 2012 and CEO in 2013, Mr. Roche has been instrumental in growing the organization’s market leadership in the high-performance analog sector. Under his leadership, ADI has expanded the breadth of its product portfolio and added new technologies. Mr. Roche is only the third CEO to lead the company since its founding in 1965. He began his career at ADI in 1988, . Mr. Roche held senior positions for ADI in Ireland, Massachusetts, and California, and in 2001 was given responsibility for global sales and marketing as Vice President of Worldwide Sales. In 2009, Mr. Roche was named Vice President for the newly created Worldwide Sales and Strategic Market Segments Group, where he focused on integrating ADI technology into optimized solutions for industrial, automotive, and infrastructure customers. Mr. Roche was promoted to President of ADI in 2012, taking responsibility for all R&D, sales, marketing and business development and in May 2013, he was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Roche serves on the Board of Directors of Acacia Communications, Inc. Mr. Roche earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Limerick in Ireland.
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Research Pioneer Last November, Dr Alan Mathewson, Deputy Head of the Micro-Nano Systems Centre at Tyndall National Institute, received University College Cork‘s Career Achievement Research Award for ‘the most outstanding overall performance by a researcher’. He discusses his career highlights and his role in establishing Tyndall as a leading global center in microelectronics research and training.
n the last 35 years, Dr Mathewson played a leading role in establishing UCC and Tyndall as a global leader in microelectronics research excellence, training and education. His research output and his graduate students have had a major impact on the development of the microelectronics industry in Ireland and worldwide. The citation for Alan’s award commended his research which has been ‘characterized by scientific excellence with real technological impact.’ It continued: ‘Working in Ireland in the 1980s and 1990s, he established a major research activity (at a time when there was
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virtually no national research funding support) which made ground‐breaking contributions across a range of related microelectronics research problems. ‘At a technological level, in 1989 he demonstrated the first ever 3D integrated circuit (stepper motor controller) using electron beam recrystallization and zone melting recrystallization technologies to create the upper recrystallized layer, opening a research field that is of critical importance, and where his ongoing contributions continue to be highly regarded. ‘Over the years, his experimental work has been strongly underpinned by an excellent theoretical understanding. His
device modeling research has transformed the global microelectronics CAD and T‐CAD communities in the mid‐to late 1990s and has had a major influence on CAD platforms developed by key industry players including Silvaco and Cadence. ‘Most recently, he has extended his interests to the use of AlN‐based piezoelectric materials for energy harvesting. His team has achieved world‐leading figures‐of‐ merit for energy harvesting applications and the technology has been transferred to Analog Devices European Microsystems Fabrication Facility in Limerick, as well as being the subject of keynote speeches at two international conferences.
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Has there been a central theme and focus to the research activities you have pursued throughout your career? Yes, I am a silicon based technology person. I have always worked in technology development. As I progressed in my career I moved into device physics, characterization and modelling and that lead to developing an understanding of device reliability characterization and prediction based on calibrated reliability models. At many points in my career I have used the experience gained in working on different device architectures to develop innovative devices which are tailored to the required application. In recent years I have been working on systems level integration at wafer scale which is essentially an area where wafer scale device technology and circuit/system interconnection and packaging coalesce into a process for building functional systems. What qualifications did you achieve and what was the greatest motivating factor for the career path you have pursued? I undertook a course in Electronic Engineering (Physical Electronics) in Newcastle for my first degree and that included a one-year stage in the Plessey Semiconductor Research Institute (Caswell) where I worked on a number of different silicon technologies. I found that I was good at it and decided that I would like to pursue this as a career. Microelectronics was a very new industrial research area in the late 70’s/early 80’s and it provided very exciting potential for young and enthusiastic engineers. I worked in two industrial research companies before joining NMRC in 1982 and I joined NMRC because I had identified that I was never going to make much progress from a career perspective without a PhD. We had to build the lab before that opportunity arose and after that became available. I became involved in successfully writing and working on numerous EU projects where NMRC were providing technology solutions in many different areas including 3D Integration, advanced CMOS, non-volatile memory, smart power, BiCMOS and pure BiPolar devices as well as senor and sensor interface circuitry. Microelectronics is now a capability which can provide solutions to specific problems in different application domains. Having a background in these different technology platforms has enabled me to work with end
as a PI with a submission to SFI for the creation of a center which is devoted to the development of technologies for developing novel sensor systems for the dairy industry. In all of these activities I act as mentor for younger researchers and graduate students. I work on the development of ideas that are appropriate for European funding support and I have the responsibility of ensuring that the research group that I lead has sufficient funding and resources to be sustainable. Within my research group we work on advanced sensor system and energy harvesting technologies with the view towards making autonomous sensor systems that can be manufactured in high volumes and which work continuously and transmit information without significant direct interaction from the user. Dr Alan Mathewson, Deputy Head of the Micro-Nano Systems Centre at Tyndall National Institute
users to develop solutions to their problems. When I eventually got around to thinking about the PhD that I initially started working in NMRC to do, I had to define the subject and find resources to pay for it. My thesis subject was in the area of CMOS compatible Geiger Mode Avalanche photodiode arrays which could be used for very low light level imaging at the single photon counting level. Ultimately, we created a small company to exploit this technology and it is still going today and it is a very successful supplier of GM-APD technologies for the PET and Laser Ranging industries. Tell us a little about your role at Tyndall and the chief mission and purpose of your Department I am assistant Head of Centre for the newly formed Micro & Nano Systems Centre within Tyndall which is targeted at generating a strategic support and collaboration network for Tyndall researchers working on research areas from materials science and theory to circuits and integrated systems. I am also head of a research group who work on technologies for systems integration and advanced sensor systems. I am deputy head of the SFI Connect Centre where I am responsible for the ‘things’ aspects in the field of ‘internet of things’ research. I have also recently been successful
Which of your research projects have yielded the most significant dividends in terms of its practical application and making a positive impact on people’s lives My PhD was on the creation of GM APD devices (see above) and after a few more PhDs and a post-doctoral fellow working on the technology, we found a way to exploit it by licensing the patents we had created from UCC and creating a startup company. I am no longer involved in it but this company (SensL) has been in existence for more than ten years at this stage and it employs 20 high level scientific and engineering staff. The products SensL make are used in advanced medical diagnostics (e.g. PET and MRI scanners) as well as in ranging systems for automated driving applications. And your device modelling research has had a significant impact on the development of CAD platforms The understanding of device physics that arose in the development of the technologies I have worked on over my career has been quite extensive. The ability to use numerical simulation techniques to inspect different nodes in a device and see where the current was going was a very powerful aid to the understanding of device operation. However, at the time there was one device family which was not amenable to this kind of device simulation. When we started using these tools for modelling nonvolatile memories SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 107
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there is one node (a floating gate) that uses quantum mechanical tunneling to charge it up. The amount of charge that appears on the floating node alters the threshold voltage of the transistor and because it is surrounded in insulating layers, the charge does not go away when the power is removed from it. This is why it is called a nonvolatile memory. All other memory types lose their state once the power is turned off. The big challenge that we faced when working on these NVM devices was that it was impossible using conventional modelling techniques to model the floating node because there were no currents flowing on to or off it. We wrote a model that described the quantum mechanical (Fowler Nordheim) tunneling that occurs in the device and incorporated it into a deice simulation tool. Until this point there were no other ways to do this calculation other than by using monte carlo simulations which were very laborious, computer intensive and not very useful for device designers who just really want the answer. Our model advanced the capability of device simulation considerably and it was ultimately ported from a research simulation tool into a commercial device simulator (Silvaco ATLAS) which is still in use today. Can you tell us about the project you are currently involved in researching energy harvesting applications and the wider potential offered by this project? About eight years ago we got involved in a project to work on the development of technologies for the incorporation of electronics onto stents for monitoring the evolution of restenosis at the point of insertion in a collaboration, supported by The Enterprise Ireland CCAN Nano technology research initiative. It was a collaboration between Analog Devices, Medtroic and my team in Tyndall. This was a new direction to take and involved a lot of brainstorming on areas such as flexible electronics and techniques for monitoring blood flow inside the body. Clearly this was a long-term research programme, but if it had been successful it would have borne great rewards for the industrial partner in the project. However, the biggest challenge that we always faced was on how to power the device so that it would work when required or be autonomous without constantly having to have 108 | SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL
Dr Mathewson receiving the Career Achievement Research Award from University College Cork (UCC) President, Pat Oâ€™Shea, at the 2017 UCC Staff Recognition awards.
The understanding of device physics that arose in the development of the technologies I have worked on over my career has been quite extensive. The ability to use numerical simulation techniques to inspect different nodes in a device and see where the current was going was a very powerful aid to the understanding of device operation.
surgery to change batteries etc. We therefore started to look into ways of powering autonomous sensing systems which all have the same requirements. Having said that; the implantable device is, for sure, the most challenging. We identified that a mechanical MEMs resonator device which incorporates piezoelectric layer in it would be a good option for many cases of energy generation and we did extensive studies on which materials seem most useful and which were fabrication area compatible. Aluminum Nitride (AlN) was chosen as our Piezo electric layer and we have studied it extensively over the last few years. We have built cantilever based resonators which provide state of the art performance (> 65uW/cm3/g using a 0.5 um thick AlN film) and made tremendous strides in the development of technologies and device that utilize AlN such as MEMs filters, sensors and actuators. We have also developed our AlN material to be depositable onto flexible polymer substrates and we believe this will have a lot of applications in the future. We ultimately coordinated an EU project which attempted to use the vibrations of the heart to power a pacemaker device (FP7 Manpower). This was considered very successful by our project reviewers and the commission and we eventually managed to create an energy harvester which almost generated enough power (4uW) to drive the electronics and fit into a 0.6mm wide / 2 cm long tube. We believe that if the project had lasted another year that material improvements and better packaging technologies would enable the full device specification to be achieved. The big challenge in energy harvesting lies in the fact that the power that can be generated is simply a function of the device volume once the material is as good as it can be made. We have recently received support from SFI to buy a sputtering system and some other ancillary characterization and process equipment that would enable Tyndall to deposit industrial quality AlN films and devices. We are also becoming involved in a project within the SFI â€˜Connectâ€™ center to look at other piezoelectrics and improve the piezoelectric properties of the AlN material that we deposit by doping it with new materials such as scandium which can enhance the piezoelectric properties but its other effects need to be studied in more detail before it can be used in earnest.
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Building on Perfection Overcoming the logistical challenge of fitting out a fully operational office is all in a day’s work for leading fit out company Ardmac.
he company has been providing high quality spaces to fast moving and evolving markets such as the commercial, technology, financial services, hospitality, retail, industrial and manufacturing sectors for 40 years. They recently completed the fit out of state-of-the-art offices for the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) while the client continued to run fully operational offices. Refurbishment of the ground, first and third floors on Green Street included the strip out, and fit out of three floors to provide an exhibition space and auditorium, corporate meeting rooms, general open plan and cellular office space, storage rooms, hot desks, canteen and break out spaces, new bathrooms, showers and changing facilities along with all associated mechanical and electrical installation works. The building was fully operational throughout the refurbishment process. Works
were carried out on a phased basis to allow the ground and first floors to be completed in advance of the third floor. This enabled IHREC staff already in the building to decant to the newly finished floors, while the final phase of the project was completed. As part of the project disruptive works were scheduled to be completed before 9am and after 4:30pm (with some works taking place at lunchtime). Schedules were fully coordinated with IHREC staff and neighboring stakeholders. Throughout the process the Ardmac team ensured that all stakeholders were kept informed at all times of progress and any upcoming works on an ongoing basis. Logistical management (material, people and waste movements) was a major challenge of the works. The building is sited at the junction of Green Street and the busy N1 main arterial route into Dublin. Deliveries were therefore planned and coordinated with the Site Manager with large loads being broken down and
delivered in smaller batches while waste was generally disposed of in the early morning with all operatives in the building helping to get waste out as quickly as possible. Project Architect, Brian Gavigan of DMOD Architects was impressed by the way Ardmac delivered this project and overcame its complex logistical challenges while also respecting constraints that the client had set in place. “The programme for these works was very challenging,” he said. “Ardmac ensured that the works proceeded to a tightly managed programme. The team were very effective in managing communications with the client and affected stakeholders. They followed an onerous set of landlord procedures and maintained good relations with the landlord team which was of significant benefit to the project in the resolution of numerous building shell-related issues that arose through the works.” The completed project is a high quality fit out which exceeded the client’s expectations. SILICON VALLEY GLOBAL | 111
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Space for Tech
International tech companies continued to dominate the capital’s commercial office market in 2017 and are expected to do so again this year.
nalysis from the Lisney report, ‘Lisney 2018, Our View’ published recently highlights the impact these large and rapidly expanding companies are having on the market. Facebook and Google alone are on track to occupy 4% of all commercial office space in Dublin’s city center in 2018 with their total space amounting to 38,500 and 74,600 square meters respectively. The analysis also shows that the completion of new office buildings will increase marginally this year. An anticipated total of 189,000 square meters of new office stock will come on stream in 2018 with 37,000 square meters of this located outside the city center. However, of the city center space due to be completed during 2018, 68% is already pre-let or reserved. Looking ahead to 2019, the report highlights the urgent need for construction of commercial office space to ‘ramp up’ significantly in order to keep pace with predicted demand, although only 26,800 square meters is due to be completed in
Office Take-Up Commercial property consultants CBRE Ireland has released statistics on the volume of office take-up achieved in Dublin last year. According to Marie Hunt, Executive Director and Head of Research, CBRE Ireland, 2017 was a record year for the Dublin office market with take-up in 2017 exceeding all previous years. “In total, more than 331,000 sq. m. of office lettings were recorded in the capital during 2017 in 237 individual transactions – more than a third higher than the volume of takeup achieved in Dublin at the peak of the market in 2007. “Take up was boosted by considerable
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Dublin city center in 2019. To put this in context, the total 2019 city center completion estimate amounts to less than the space Facebook currently occupy in the market. With demand for office space at an all-time high, vacancy rates, which are a key benchmark of the health of the commercial property sector, are now running at a headline rate of 8.7% in Dublin (6.9% in City Centre). Vacancy rates this low have not been seen since 2000. Conclusions in the report indicate that the ferocious appetite from overseas occupiers coupled with the low level of completions is putting indigenous Irish businesses looking to rent space in the city under pressure. Speaking at the publication of the Lisney outlook for 2018, James Nugent, Chairman and Head of Offices at Lisney said: “With almost all new office space fully let by the time it is completed, competition remains intense. There is evidence of blue-chip international companies winning out over indigenous Irish companies. In reality indigenous businesses are struggling to match the rent paying ability of overseas occupiers expansion activity on behalf of technology companies and included a number of large pre-letting, some of which were Brexit related.” Highlights • Office take-up in Dublin during Q4 2017 reached a record 147,428m2 leading to total take-up of some 331,445m2 being achieved in 2017- the highest annual take-up ever recorded in the capital. • In total there were 69 office transactions signed in Dublin during Q4 bringing the total number of transactions completed in Dublin during 2017 to 237 • 11 of the 69 transactions signed in Q4 extended to more than 4,645 square meters (50,000 sq. ft.) in size with 4 of
these extending to more than 9,290 square meters (100,000 sq. ft.) • 25% of office take-up in Dublin in Q4 2017 occurred in suburban markets with the suburbs accounting for 29% of annual take-up in Dublin during 2017 • Lettings to computers/technology companies accounted for 54% of takeup in Dublin in Q4 and 44% of annual take-up in the capital in 2017 • The overall rate of vacancy at the end of Q4 was 6.08% vs 6.18% the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the Grade A vacancy rate in Dublin 2/4 at the end of Q4 was 2.96% • Prime headline rents reached €700 per square meter (€65 per sq. ft.) by yearend 2017
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