Two leading Irish entrepreneurs, Niall Harbison of Simply Zesty and Seamus McCann of Astec Global, are to address the annual GMIT Spirit of Entrepreneurship seminar in the GMIT Mayo campus on Monday September 16, as part of Mayo Ideas Week.
Both entrepreneurs will share their start-up experiences and the many trials and tribulations along the road to success. Niall Harbison started out his career as a chef working for some of the world’s most elite and celebrated restaurants and now heads up a social media and online marketing agency with co-founder Lauren Fisher. Seamus McCann is co-founder and director of ASTEC Global Consultancy, a small private firm which now specialises in ICT, international business strategy, and finance in more than 100 countries across many sectors.
The event will be formally opened by Jim Fennell, head of the GMIT Mayo campus, at 5.30pm in St Mary’s Hall where client companies in GMIT’s Innovation in Business Centres (Mayo and Galway ) will display their products and services.
Mr Fennell’s opening address will be followed by the launch of a unique product by a GMIT Innovation Centre client company called Visual Brand Communications, whose product called VBC Hologuide is aimed at the retail industry.
A special feature of the evening will be ‘The PitchComp’, a Dragon's Den-style competition where three new entrepreneurs will pitch their business idea to a panel of four judges and the audience in St Mary’s Hall.
The four judges of this year’s PitchComp are Gerry Mackey, WestBIC Business Angel Partnership; Barry Egan, Director Enterprise Ireland (West Region ); Gerry Barry, founder of Fintrax; and Laura Hill, business consultant, Connaught Telegraph columnist, and owner of the Castlebar O’Brien’s franchise.
WestBIC is sponsoring the competition with a €1,500 prize, along with €1,000 in cash and €500 worth of mentoring. The overall sponsor of the Spirit event is McHale Engineering.
Helena Deane, acting manager of the GMIT Innovation in Business Centre, says: “We expect the event will attract over 300 people. It will be a one stop shop offering information on all supports and funding available to people in business and those starting out.”