15th June 2012
Yesterday we at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Programme held our first big technology conference, “Ireland’s Tech Future”, in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, which ended up being a massive success with over 100 attendees travelling from North and South to hear our keynote speakers. The conference covered topics including future trends, current issues and opportunities for Ireland in the technology sector.
Two of our Entrepreneur Of The Year Alumni - Eamonn Fallon of Distilled Media, Daft.ie & TheJournal.ie and Dr. Johnny Walker of Global Diagnostics - spoke about their experience in the technology sector in Ireland and their opinions on the current environment. They provided invaluable insights, predictions of future trends in technology, as well as answering questions from the audience.
Hermann Sidhu, an Audit Partner in Ernst & Young who serves the Irish and European operations of some of our largest Global Fortune 100 technology and telecommunication clients, gave a talk around the business models and support structures needed for these new technology trends and businesses emerging.
The conference was organised in anticipation of the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) CEO Retreat which will be heading to Silicon Valley next week with over 100 of Ireland's top entrepreneurs in attendance. Given the relevance of the technology conference to all business people alike, we opened up the event to all interested business professionals and technology enthusiasts. Ireland is teeming with countless, vibrant tech start-ups at the moment and with many technology multinationals basing their European headquarters in Ireland, it’s clear that Ireland has a massive opportunity to define itself as a country at the forefront of technology and innovation. However, there are issues that must be addressed and overcome, such as the skills gap in Ireland at the moment due to a lack of qualified IT professionals.
Our conference included an exhibition space showcasing some of the top start-ups to come out of Ireland in recent years. We had 11 fast-growing, high-potential start-ups exhibiting and giving demos of their products and services. These companies included Soundwave, Scrazzl, Pharmapod, NewsWhip, GetHealth, redeem&get and many more. It offered attendees the opportunity to interact and view first-hand the talent that Ireland is producing.
We were also joined by a panel of key opinion leaders from the technology space who debated Ireland's biggest challenges and opportunities. The panel included: John Egan - CEO of Archipelago, Johnny Ryan - Chief Innovation Officer at The Irish Times, Hermann Sidhu - Ernst & Young and Gary Leyden - V Rising and Director of NDRC Launchpad.