Techspectations conference looks at social entrepreneurship

Former DCU student Daithí de Buitléir was among the speakers at Techspectations’ fourth annual GetStarted mini-conference in the Helix on Tuesday, February 18th.

The co-founder of RAG Ireland spoke about social entrepreneurship alongside co-founder of Foodcloud, Isuelt Ward, and CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, Sean Coughlan. The trio discussed the difficulties of getting funding for non-profit businesses, the importance of maintaining the identity of your company and the hardships of starting out.

Both De Buitléir and Ward, who are recent college graduates, talked about the disparity between college courses and the wealth of experience they have attained since beginning their start-ups.

Other speakers included Dr Eric Clinton of DCU Business School, who posed questions to a panel of five entrepreneurs, who discussed the early days of their businesses and the difficulties they encountered.

The panellists’ companies ranged in age from Sean Ahern’s, founded just over two years ago, to Lulu O’ Sullivan’s, founded in 1987.

Bobby Kerr, formerly of RTÉ’s Dragons’ Den and Chairman of Insomnia Coffee Company, was among three keynote speakers who closed the mini-conference.

Kerr, along with Bobby Healy, Chief Technology Officer of Cartrawler and Ciaran Mulligan, CEO of Blue Insurance, spoke about their experiences in trying to set up their own businesses and their varying degrees of success.

Techspectations is organised by Dr Theo Lynn, who is a senior lecturer in DCU Business School, and Sean Donnelly, who is a research assistant within DCU. The events are free of charge and open to the public.

Techspectations’ next mini-conference, GetDigital, will take place in the Helix on Tuesday, April 15th.

Bryan Grogan

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