Over 170 people attended the “Spirit of Entrepreneurship” annual event hosted by the Innovation in Business Centre (IiBC ) at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT ) in Castlebar last week.
Welcoming the great turnout, Maria Staunton, Manager IiBC, said: “This annual event is growing in popularity, with this year’s event attracting the largest crowd. There were a wide variety of people in attendance, those with potential ideas and early stage start-ups, industry representatives, investment companies, enterprise support agencies and some political representatives.
“It is my hope that people recognise the value of the Innovation Centre for County Mayo. Two of our client companies went on to develop into two High Potential Start-Ups last year alone, out of three in the county in total. The event proved to be a very successful evening and I am thankful to the two speakers who gave up their time to talk to us. In the current difficult economic climate events like this are very important as they encourage more interest in the area of entrepreneurship in the county.”
This is the fourth year of the event, which was addressed by entrepreneurs Jonathan Ruane of Eventovate Ltd and Leonard Moran of Ovagen Ltd. Eventovate were listed in the 2010 Techcrunch Euro Top 100 - one of only three Irish companies, and the 2010 Irish Times Tech Top 50 companies. In May 2009, Eventovate was awarded the BOI Bright Ideas Challenge Award for New Business Start-ups.
Leonard Moran sold his former company BioLabs in 2002 to US Group Charles River Laboratories for €25 million plus a €3 million earn out. Prior to this he spent eight years with the British Medical Research Council (MRC ) where he focused on clinical research and, specifically, breeding pathogen-free animals. Ovagen have raised investment of €12m to date.
Both speakers relayed their experience of establishing and running a business and took questions from the floor.