Leading entrepreneurs to address GMIT Spirit of Entrepreneurship

Tuesday, September 08, 2015 Press Office
Press Release

John McGuire and Colm Lyons to address biggest enterprise event in the west (GMIT Mayo, 29 Sept)

Entrepreneurs and business people from the west region will gather at GMIT Mayo in Castlebar on Tuesday, 29 September, to participate in the ninth annual Spirit of Entrepreneurship Evening hosted by the Innovation Hub (iHub), formerly known as the Innovation in Business Centre (IiBC).

The event kicks off with a one-to-one mentoring (booking essential) from business experts which will run from 2pm to 4.30pm, funded by the Mayo Local Enterprise Office and Enterprise Ireland. The full event, which is open to the public, commences at 4.30pm and is sponsored by Lionbridge. Karen Coleman, journalist and broadcaster will be the MC for the evening, hosting discussions with two prominent Irish entrepreneurs, Colm Lyon and John McGuire.


Colm Lyon is founder and CEO of Fire Financial Services Ltd, and founder and former CEO of Realex Payments. John McGuire is founder of Active Mind Technology and creator of Game Golf. They will talk on the topic “Building & Scaling a Business’.


At 6pm, the PitchComp Challenge will take place with three early-stage companies making a pitch for investment. Each pitch will be four minutes with the best receiving €1,500 funding and mentoring from Westbic. The companies pitching are all participants on the New Frontier programme which is delivered in GMIT’s two iHubs at the Mayo and Galway campuses. 


A panel discussion on ‘Innovation, Investment and Finance’, will take place at 6.30pm, hosted again by Karen Coleman. On this panel are Pat Walsh, MD of Ballinrobe-based PanelDuct (Irish Times/Intertrade Ireland Most Innovative company 2015), Mark Ganly, Contego Sports, Orla Nolan, WxNW, new Western Angel Investment Syndicate (invests in start-ups in the west and north west region), and Sarah Nic Lochlainn, a serial entrepreneur, participant on RTE's Dragons' Den and founder of Aruna Sauces.


The event in St Mary’s Hall on campus will also feature a showcase of various iHub client companies and State Enterprise agencies such as the Patents Office, SME Online Tool, Revenue, Enterprise Ireland, Mayo LEO and other support organisations. Refreshments will be provided by local start-ups Bean West Coffee and Café Rua. The prize for the best stand on the evening will be sponsored by AIB.


Maria Staunton, Manager of the GMIT Mayo iHub, says: “The GMIT iHub Spirit of Entrepreneurship event has become one of the most important networking platform for business contacts in the west of Ireland. It’s a place to come and network with other start-ups and businesses and learn from people who are starting out or successfully sold their businesses. We are looking forward to our speakers and panel discussions this year. The event is free thanks to the sponsorship from local multinational company Lionbridge so I would encourage people to book as places are filling up.”


“This event will be of interest to anyone with a start-up idea and anyone looking to invest in start-ups in the west and north-west region. One of our very successful start-ups, John McGuire of Game Golf, will be sharing his personal experiences of staring and building a business. He is currently based in Silicon Valley and has an o office in the GMIT iHub in Galway”.


The evening will conclude with questions and answers with the audience panel at 7pm. For further information visit www.spiriteventwest.com, email innovationhubmayo@gmit.ie or call 094 9043198.