I love Galway, I love my job, my friends and the lifestyle here. But I’m biased and I know this. That’s why it’s just great when total outsiders reinforce my notion.
In startlab, we evaluated 200 companies to get to our final fantastic eight. I know that an incubator in a regional area may appear like those in it would be the local few. It’s not. Out of eight, startlab has three companies that moved to Galway specifically for the startup supports this whole city has to provide.
Maria Phillips, founder of Couture-Intel, moved from Dublin to Galway. She most recently won the JCI Galway Outstanding Person of The Year in the entrepreneurship category. Her business has caught the eye of some excellent investors and customers (wish I could say more but they’re in beta! ).
Gerry Molloy, founder of Woofadvisor left his home in Dublin to move to Galway, again for the supports we can provide. The traction, the growth rate, the absolute passion of Woofadvisor’s users is something magical. He’s looking global, but found out that the west region has the most dog-friendly hotels in Ireland. A big thing for hotels, and a big thing for our tourism, and we know it because he moved here and studied the region.
Siobhan and Georgina along with their new hire (yeah for 1st hire milestone! ) Chris, moved here from Ennis. I won’t say anything more here, but they bring with them things like you’ll see in the Sunday Business Post this Sunday.
They are all a wonderful, supportive, knowledgeable and witty addition to Galway’s community and culture.
People consciously up and leave their own homes, communities, families and friends to move here totally new to Galway. We should really take a second to understand that. We are not just helping our own community, but attracting new members. The instigator may have been Bank of Ireland startlab, but after that they were propelled into the community through numerous events (Founder Friday, OMiG, Google Developers Group ) and the network with GTC, Superpixel, Blackstone, SCCUL, Westbic, NUIG TTO and more.
We may not have been expected to not only grow our own startups but attract new members…but if we did it, can’t we do more? If we can get three, can we get 103, 1,003? How do we do that?
The IDA do phenomenal work in this area. The promotion they do, the wide links they have, the work ethic, everything! But it’s not just up to them. We can do our part. We can also attract companies at idea stage and just on the brink stage.
If we want to keep talent, we need new, different, challenging and unique startups coming up through our community. Personally, I need it. How do you make a drone? What is FinTech about? Would I be interested in MedTech? Is gaming a thing I would be good in?. I need to be able to access all the knowledge I possibly could to be at my best. Yes, I know about the internet but I learn best from doing and people. It’s important to every startup that has ambitious staff here. New blood through a community has untold benefits. Let’s make a conscious decision to both understand what brings in these companies and then work on this more.
For me, I like doing. One of my actionable tasks is to add all of the coworking spaces we have to nomadlist.com A site that after just launching a few months ago has 200,000 monthly users all looking for places to travel to and work on their startup in. It’s also a place where we win at most of the filters that other cities can’t.
Anything you would like to do? Let me know, I’ll help!