Where are you from and how did you get here?
The first 20 years of my career were within an Irish-owned global food ingredients business, which gave me the opportunity to work and live in an international business domain. After which I operated as an independent business innovation agent, a role which brought me into contact with SME entrepreneurship and innovation support and policy initiatives.
What is it about business and start-ups that so interests you?
I have always had an interest in business, especially the entrepreneurial aspects. I believe this interest was nurtured while growing up on a family farm, where being entrepreneurial is a critical aspect of everyday activities. My career has always revolved around entrepreneurship, innovation and enterprise development, across a variety of industry sectors and organisational sizes. Change across business and society is inevitable, but can be difficult to engage with, I believe entrepreneurship and innovation – when managed efficiently – can ensure the change is positive rather than negative.
When did you become a New Frontiers PM and what inspired you to become one?
I took up my role in July 2016. As an independent innovation agent, I realised the need to be part of a more collaborative structure, collaborative structures are critical in converting innovative ideas into entrepreneurial products and services. It was with this in mind that I joined the Institute of Technology Carlow as Enterprise Development Manager, a role which encompasses the manager of the New Frontiers Programme.
What do you feel are the qualities you bring to the role?
My experience and interest in enterprise development, internationalisation, innovation management and entrepreneurship development (aligned with personal development).