Where are you from and how did you get here?
I was born in the UK but my family moved back to Ireland when I was quite young – so I consider myself 100% Irish. I started work when I was 18 having finished secondary school and only went back to third-level education in my 30s. I went on to complete a Masters in International Marketing in DCU. I joined Enterprise Ireland in 2001 and subsequently spent some time in the IDA before coming back to Enterprise Ireland in 2005. I recently took up the role of National Programme Manager for New Frontiers.
What is it about business and start-ups that so interests you?
Before joining EI I had a number of roles in both the public and private sector. One of those roles was in a US software company that set up in Ireland. Although not a start-up in the same sense as the companies participating in New Frontiers, the role did give me a taste of what it was like to persuade potential customers to go with a virtual unknown as opposed to one of the Big Four consulting firms. It was an exciting time to be part of a company that grew rapidly and instilled an interest in me for start-ups that has lasted to this day.
When did you become involved with New Frontiers and what appealed about the role?
I had been involved in New Frontiers predecessor (The Enterprise Platform Programme) when I first started in Enterprise Ireland in the early 2000s and was delighted when I got the opportunity to come back to the programme as National Programme Manager in July 2018. Having spent a number of years working closely with Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-up division (HPSU) in developing a number of new programmes for early-stage clients (SPRINT, HPSU Founders Forum, IGAP, Access Silicon Valley), I felt I could bring this experience and knowledge to bear in my new role.
What do you feel are the qualities you bring to the role?
A good understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing start-ups along with over 10 years of developing capability programmes for Enterprise Ireland clients across all stages of development. I also have a good network both within and outside Enterprise Ireland which I feel will help me in this role.