Google has a special projects task force that keep their eyes and ears open for new projects to watch and develop. Last week, three of the GSP (Google Special Projects ) team flew into Galway to to meet some local startups, like Colmac Robotics, in Startlab in Eyre Square. They loved the energy and innovation they found.
What made us stand out, you ask? I mean, we’re hardly ‘the valley’, you mutter.
But that’s exactly the point we’re smaller, nimbler, hungrier. We solve a problem, Kevin at GSP identified: we don’t do group think, we don’t fawn. We’re Galway, we just do!
We’re shouting this from the rooftops from Ros Muc to Rahoon, from Gort to Glenamaddy.
Google came to visit and they liked what they saw. This Startup community is alive and kicking and winning.
And we need to keep winning, one Google visit does not a new economy build. We need new life to stand beside the existing successes.
ExerWise is a great example. Nicola O’Sullivan is a Dub and she got the Galway bug in NUI Galway. She’s here to stay, co-founding ExerWise with Ciaran Walsh and Laura Hanlon. Their company is hardware based and they need to start building product. They’ve taken the leap turned down job offers in Dell and Intel. They have no funding, just their wits, their persistence, and their belief. Now, the community needs to step up to support them with a network of skills and knowledge.
We’re helping to facilitate that by attracting other startups to the region. Mint-Tek Circuits co-founded by Siobhán ni Chofaigh and Georgina Kearney is a great win for the community. Mint Tek make it easier, faster, and cheaper for device developers to make hardware prototypes – do you see the link? Exactly what ExerWise and other great startups need right now.
But more than that. Siobhán’s company is already generating sales in big name research labs and institutes. Mint Tek are ready to start hiring and building a real base.
In Siobhán’s own words, ‘Galway is an obvious choice for us. We need a location that attracts those crazy, innovative people that will help us keep ahead of the competition and create new developments to wow our customer base. We’ve already met a potential CTO. Startups need energetic and risk friendly people. I dare anyone to find a better spot in Ireland and maybe further afield. The BOI Startup team have helped us meet people and also recognised that us elder lemons have a few sage word to pass on too. Business with beocht, sin Gaillimh.’
Many successful business have come to Galway over the years in medical, engineering, and in software. From the earliest days of DEC to recent developments with Altocloud. Galway has never shirked its responsibility nor lost its way. Fed by great institutes such as NUIG and GMIT it has created great artists, business people, engineers and thinkers. Have a listen around the pubs on a quiet Wednesday night and you’ll find great intellects solving problems and dreaming of greater things.
It’s time though, for Galway to emulate its success in the arts and theatre, in the world of business. Imagine the bells of the Nasdaq ringing for the IPO of a Galway Startup. Imagine the creation of hundreds, maybe thousands of jobs made and kept here in Galway. Why not? All we need is to dream it, talk about it and some day maybe that device will have a label ‘Invented in Galway’ on it.
Startups can apply at http://startlabhq.com by November 27.