Seeing an innovation ecosystem up close at Portershed

Robert O'Shaughnessy of Reverbeo and Nathan Houlihan.

Robert O'Shaughnessy of Reverbeo and Nathan Houlihan.

Last week I attended Portershed for a week of work experience where I fortunately got the opportunity to meet various entrepreneurs, start ups, growth companies and state agencies located in Portershed. Its goal is to create an innovation ecosystem, one that creates a synergistic relationship between people and companies that facilitates idea generation, open learning, collaboration and accelerates commercialisation.

While watching all the companies operate, one company in particular captivated my attention. That company is called Reverbeo. This company has created a cloud-based programme that creates a multilingual version of any website. The Reverbeo platform automatically pulls the content from the source and creates a synchronized version of the site in the language of choice. The co-founders of this company are Robert O’Shaughnessy and Brian Finnerty.

Having interviewed Robert O’Shaughnessy who happened to attend St. Endas as well, he described how this company is unique as it allows people to translate websites 90 per cent faster than any other existing software on the market.

Robert explained to me how he used to work in RTE where he was constantly translating content from English to Irish which he described as a “long painful process”. It was then that he came up with the idea to translate content automatically and instantly, and he became eager to develop his company.

Having encountered many challenges while establishing the company including team management, sales, understanding the customer, and learning how to market, they successfully overcame these issues over time. They decided to start up in Portershed having heard about it from friends and are now glad they did choose it.

They describe it as a great environment to network and they wanted to meet other entrepreneurs facing the same challenges. Both being from Galway, they decided to settle in the city as they believe it has great potential to be a tech hub in Ireland.

After reaching their aim to build a strong customer base, they sold the company successfully to a US multinational. As part of the terms of the sale, Robert continues to work for Reverbeo as Solutions Architect.

Portershed is located just behind Ceannt Station on Eyre Square and is the first step towards an innovation district in the heart of Galway City.

There have been over 50 events since Portershed opened its doors just over six months ago and many more in the schedule up to the end of the year.

For more information, see portershed.com/events or email [email protected].

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