The AIB Start-Up Academy visits Galway, the ‘City of the Tribes’

Seamus MacCathmhaoil from RI Na Mara , Tara Dalrymple from and Deirdre Ui Chathmhaoil from Ri Na Mara  pictured wiht Gary Quinn from the Irish Times at the Start Up Academy evening in Galway on Wednesday the 17th of June. Photo: Reg Gordon

The AIB Start-Up Academy, a joint venture between The Irish Times and AIB visited Galway, the ‘City of the Tribes’ last week. The event is the third in our Start-Up Academy series and took place in Monroe’s Live, Galway.

The AIB Start-Up Academy provides start-ups the chance to network with their peers and showcase their businesses. Start-ups can enter to win a place on the AIB Start-Up Academy training program which will take place early next year. Two runners-up and an overall winner will share in a prize fund worth over €250k. Applications are now open, apply here.

Speakers at the Galway event included Seamus and Deirdre Mac Cathmhaoil the co-founders of Ri Na Mara seaweed skincare, Tara Dalrymple of Feelsright, Paul Harmon from “cycling adventures” company Electric Escapes and Eamonn Roarke of tech company Device Smart.

Gary Quinn of the Irish Times hosted the event in Monroe’s Live (part of Monroe’s Tavern) and the main theme coming through on the night was putting both your brand and yourself out there is key to success. Entering competitions like the AIB Start-Up Academy, attending networking events, knowing what business grants, start-up funding and up skilling courses are available to you are vital to your start-up’s growth and overall business success.

Speaker Seamas Mac Cathmhaoil, who co-founded the Ri Na Mara brand of seaweed skincare products with his wife, Deirdre, spoke about up skilling and how you need to keep moving to start your business and grow your brand. Seamus mentioned "The fundamentals of business are hard work, learning and mentoring".

The Mac Cathmhaoils worked hard to gain international attention for their home-grown brand. Their products are now sold in the USA and Dubai and they are currently working on opening up their brand to the German market.

Speaker Tara Dalrymple of Feelsright, an employee reward and recognition platform about to launch in Galway, advised steps to start a business included "Do your homework and do your research before you pick companies to work with". Tara also placed strong emphasis on getting the business pitch right. "Pitching is all about practice, less text and more imagery”.

Eamonn Roarke pitched Device Smart, a tech company that enables customers to manage any device or system from anywhere in the world. Christened 'Doctor Dolittle' Eamonn spoke about the ‘Internet of Things’ and resisting the temptation to sell and create competitiveness in his industry. "Now is the right time for us to move internationally in the right markets".

Paul Harmon from Electric Escapes, a “cycling adventures” company in the west of Ireland that also does training, consultancy and bike sales said to make business successful you need to pay attention to "The small things and don't overlook the obvious."

View our recap video of our Galway event here. The start-up night in Galway is part of a series of networking events to connect entrepreneurs with the wider start-up community. These are taking place across the country until November. Our next stop is Limerick, taking place in Flannerys, Upper Denmark Street on Wednesday July 8th.

Don’t miss out! It’s free and places are limited. Sign up now by clicking here.

Find out more about the AIB Start-up Academy here.

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