Dice goes Digital

The Get Digital DICE Conference 

Bill Gates and Collins Hemingway claimed that,

“Business is going to change more in the next ten years than in the last fifty”(Gates and Hemingway, 2000). 

The three DICE conferences I attended gave me an insight into how business is rapidly changing and to adapt to this we must GET STARTED, GET SOCIAL, GET DIGITAL. On the 11th of April, I attended our last DICE event GET DIGITAL CONFERENCE. In the current business environment, the word DIGITAL is on everyone’s agenda as evidenced by a recent survey of 1,160 managers, executives and board members in companies that revealed they engaged in digital initiatives. Dr.Johnny Walker, David Erixon, and Alistair Croll informed me how with the right vision, effective leadership and a supportive culture, any sector can transition and succeed in this Digital epoch.


This graph illustrates how the Digital world is slowly taking over.

The future of health = DIGITAL

hse (1)

the HSE- our health-care provider in Ireland.

Growing into a family of doctors, the inefficiency and incompetence of the Irish health-care system were a constant subject of debate at the dinner table.In a recent OECD report, Mark Pearson reiterates my parent’s complaints by contrasting the Irish health care with others around the world. Mortality rates are below the OECD average due to a lack of resources and funding, which lead to Pearson declaring it an “inequitable and inefficient healthcare system”(Pearson, 2017). Thus based on my knowledge of the weaknesses prevalent in our health care, I was interested to hear how the Australian-born Johnny Walker proposed to improve the health system by digital innovations.


Dr. Johnny Walker- the CEO of Health Founders and Jinga Life.

Dr. Johnny Walker, an intervention radiologist and nuclear physician began with the prediction that the future of health is

“not going to be a revolution but an evolution which is digitally driven”.

Health care in the past 

His account of the evolution first began with the story of his  ‘Magical Journey’ in the medical world.  The defining moment of his career was when he was trapped in Fitzroy during the year 1995. His first five patients were aboriginal women that his daughter remarked: “all went to the same hairdresser”.While in Fitzroy, he discovered the glaring injustice prevalent in Western Australia. I could see the humanitarian side of Walker when he declared there was “a compelling need to care for people in the area”. Walker went on to reveal that complications regarding pregnant diabetic women were a major issue at the time. The solution was “when in doubt, fly it out”12714632_G

 Take a look at this ABC Australia  video which illustrates startling gap between indigenous and non indigenous health (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bc6gj8gPfpk).

Dr.Johnny Walker’s first step in the transition to digital was a telegraphy practice, where a 3k telephone wire was used with a mobile ultra-sound at the back of his car. This developed into global diagnostics which delivers care to three and a half thousand patients around the clock through a secure web-based portal.


How can the health care system in Ireland go Digital? 

Johnny pinpointed the blatant problem in the Irish health care system is it’s doctor focused and although some may see them as superheroes, doctors are just like every other human in existence, “they make mistakes”. In his view, the solution to the chaotic, unsustainable and inefficient health-care calamity is to keep patients within the community. How can this be achieved? A paradigm shift from the doctor to the home. Which resulted in Johnny creating his company Jinga Life.  The Jinga Life website defines the company as a

” Platform where a personal Electronic Health Record (EHR) for each member of the family, maintained and managed by the true curator of care within a family, the Jinga” (jinga-life, 2017). 

So the question to ask is what’s the Jinga? Jinga was a 16th Century African Queen – the great defender and fierce protector of her people. Jinga represents women as based on evidence in “ninety-two percent of cases the gender of the carer is female”.  Johnny believes the contemporary Jinga (woman) shares many of these attributes and is central to health outcomes.

Photo of Queen Nzinga of Angola

The Jinga Queen= symbol for the primary carers = women 

Disruption in health

At the Get Social Conference in February, Eric Weaver of Xerox defined disruption as “uncontrollable forces affecting businesses”. Dr. Johnny Walker coined the term regarding the health system as

“a tSunami of consumer driven disruption”

This refers to how in today’s exacting society, everyone wants everything rapidly which the health sector must respond too. Well-known examples of responses to the internet-of-things include webdoctor.Ie, Babylon Health and teleconsultations.

He also revealed the staggering fact that by 2020, there will be 50 billion connected devices to track your health. So who will own these devices? The Jinga ‘mother figure’ can monitor their kids once they’re born. He advised for teenagers to be the custodians of their own personal data and not to forget, as many do, the ‘silver surfers’ i.e the ageing population with the greatest disposable income and interest in their health.


The future of the pharmacy industry

Can pharmacy’s adapt is the question he posed? I’ve never considered pharmacy’s central to health-care but Walker believes if they disrupt their industry successfully and become digital kiosks.

Final question : What’s the major issue in the move to digital health-care?

According to Walker, An over-saturation of data is a real challenge that pharmacy’s and the health sector must tackle. I personally hate being bombarded with data and through software we kind find brain scans, blood pressure, temperature… but what do we do it with it all?b26279b0f84f115e6666a2b84608108b

Another question are we ready for it? Digital designs such as the cyber-knife and 3D printing of brain tumours are astounding but they evaporate the personal-quality of health-care. My doctor and I, have a personal relationship and he holds the information on my health that I want and need. Whereas with new apps that provide you with any form of data regarding your health, an unhealthy obsession could be fostered and for a hypochondriac like myself, do I really want to know what my cholesterol levels are at every hour? I also want to speak and ask for guidance from my doctor, something one of those apps could never give me.

The lasting message the insightful Dr.Johnny Walker gave us was,

“Look, Listen, Design, Disrupt, Transform”.

That quote seems to encapsulate everything I’ve learned over the past year as a DICE student.

The Future of banking = DIGITAL 


David Erixon


The second speech of the evening was based on another fundamental in our society, Money. The smooth-talking Swede, David Erixon (the Head of Digital and Customer Innovation at Ulster Bank) provided us with his expert perspectives on how the digital world is invoking massive changes in banking.

My experience of working in a shop last summer led me to the realisation that money is a commodity seldom used. Card and contact-less payments have become ubiquitous. David Erixon highlighted this where he pointed to Sweden, a country where there’s “less than two percent of transactions with physical money”. This has led the Swedish Central Bank to create a ‘digital only currency’.


Sweden, first country to go from cash to digital, signalling a future without money.


Digital Banking = more control for the customer

In the past, people were ignorant about their finances and allowed banks full control over everything. Recently, due to innovations in digital banking, banks have less control and customers have more.  API’s coupled with more progressive legislation and cloud technology has given customers access to information about their finances. Erixon provided us with an example of 22 seven, a budgeting and investing apps, powered by customers. This empowers customers to make the right decisions about their finances by equipping them with information and advice on how to best spend their money.


Will more control lead to the extinction of banks? 

The economist Jonathan McMillan wrote in “The ending of banking”, that ;

“Information technology offers new possibilities that make banking redundant” ,(McMillan, 2015). 

UB_Hackathon_TV_Screen_1-01He argues that because of apps such as 22seven, banks are losing control, customers are gaining control and knowledge and no longer need to avail of the services of banks. On the basis of the speech by David Erixon, the future of banking is not that dire. Although new digital technologies have disrupted the banking sector, they’ve also acted as a form of creative destruction by fuelling new possibilities and innovations in banking. Erixon illustrated how Ulster Bank have used these disruptions to their advantage by incentives like ‘Hack make the bank’.  David Erixon left us with the concluding statement,

“We come to a point with technology that if we can think it, we can make it”

The secret behind discontinuities 

The last speaker of the conference was Alistair Croll, boasting an impressive career as an entrepreneur, author and public speaker for over 20 years I was excited to hear his opinion about going digital in business. His speech focused on discontinuities i.e changes or the upturn of the normal. He pointed how discontinuities have affected the evolution of society such as the advent of the smartphone. In the past (some might say simpler times), ‘back in time for dinner’ would not be texted and people would  not see friends for months and not be able to know exactly what they’re doing every moment of the day. With the smartphones, we now have a ‘prosthetic leg’ that ’30 percent of people have to check before they go to bed’. smartphone = prosthetic leg

When considering discontinuities, Croll pointed to three major facts,

1.) Big changes sneak up on us


This point was illustrated by the ‘Great Horse Manure Crisis’ in New York, where with 100,000 horses, 2.5 million pounds of horse manure was covering the streets of New York a day. This was a completely unexpected crisis that snook up on the New York council until they had to take action.

2.) Optimize current view instead of existing ones 


The example of the obsoletience of the well known movie-renting Blockbuster is evidence of how waiting for the future instead of making the future happen is never the way to go. Croll explained how “Broadband thought it was in the video store management business. Netflix realised it was in the entertainment delivery business’. Netflix created a different frame, blockbuster kept their old one. Who’s the billion dollar business now? Netflix.


3) Necessary pieces aren’t obvious

The story of the how Joseph Preistly’s atomiser created the first efficient fuel engine definitely displays how not everything in life is axiomatic.  I’m currently watching the Netflix original show GirlBoss about the life of Sophia Amorouso. Sophia founded the  vintage clothes company NastyGal completely unexpectedly when she realised the demand for vintage clothes was extremely high.


How should we think about the future?

According to Croll, we should look the future on an economical perspective in terms of Abundance and scarcity and how supply creates demand. Abundance refers to how in this ‘attention economy’ information is abundant and technology is the main tool that creates this plethora of information. However, this computing technology that used to be precious has become a resource we scarcely know to bill for. With all this technology, there’s increased efficiency, less consumption, lower costs and demand has created supplyScarcity-v-Abundance-Creative-Commons








Concluding DICE 

The last DICE conference provided me with a comprehensive view on how the business world is transforming into a digital empire. Over the past year, DICE has equipped me with the knowledge of how to take risks and get started, to market effectively and get social and finally how to change with the future and get digital. On a lasting note, the Senior Vice President of retail at Apple Inc, Angela Ahrendts sums up exactly what I’ve learned from where the future of business is going

“I grew up in a physical world and I speak English. The next generation is growing up in a digital world and they speak social”( Glaser, 2012).



Gates, B. and Hemingway, C. (2000). Business @ the speed of thought. 1st ed. London: Penguin.

Glaser, J. (2012). 42 rules for creating WE. 1st ed. Cupertino, CA: Superstar Press.

Jinga Life. (2017). [online] Available at: http://www. Jinga Life.com [Accessed 24 Apr. 2017].

McMillan, J. (2015). End of Banking. 1st ed. BookBaby.

Images- Google images.

How has technology changed the world of marketing?

“Marketing is the company”

(French, la Berge and Magill,2011)

Marketing is  an integral part of business success. Many of us have preconceived notions about what marketing entails but……

 What really is Marketing?


Don Draper- an accurate depiction of a marketing boss  in the 1960s

My previous knowledge of marketing came from the television king of marketing- Don Draper. Although Mad Men is one of greatest shows ever created, the world of marketing has changed  drastically from the suave, sophisticated and manipulative world of the 60s. How has it changed? I learned from the speakers at the Get Social Conference how marketing has evolved…

What Mad Men taught me
What I learned from the GET SOCIAL CONFERENCE




New Year, New DICE Conference. The Get Social Conference focusing on how to a market a product in the social media age.  Prior to the conference, I was excited not because it acted as a distraction from my once again loveless Valentine’s Day #foreveralone but for the reason that I’ve always had an interest in marketing. The first speaker and MC for the night was the witty Paul Hayes, followed by Matthew Weil, Anne Marie Boylan, Aisling Tobin, Paul McCordis, Hugh Curran and Eric Weaver.







An insight into how successful PR affects marketing  

“Beachhut works with innovative and driven people in the venture­ backed tech startup sector. Our aim is to deliver the best branding, marketing and communications to clients with the ambition to compete in a global marketplace” (Beachhut PR, 2017). 

So how does  Paul Hayes, the CEO of Beachhut achieve this vision statement ? He explained that successful marketing can be achieved by

  1. Making the story about more than you
  2. Using the press to your advantage
  3. Be ahead of the game



According to Paul Hayes what you’re supposed to be is product-centred. This may be an utter anomaly for the thousands of students who’s lives revolves around one word ‘me‘. but Paul Hayes explained how entrepreneurs have to realise the sad and brutal truth their not that interesting but ……..their product could be.  In an equation

Me= Product= Successful Business (who knew business was so simple?)

Donald Trump’s refusal to attend the White House Correspondents Association dinner has led to the questioning of media’s potency in shaping public opinion. In the business world, Paul Hayes ( backed by over 30 years experience in PR) explained how a company can use the media to their advantage. “You get your name in the headlines once make the most of it”…. seems simple but it’s a harder task than we thought. Major companies such as Shell Oil, Nike and Facebook have been the subject of media scrutiny. Hayes believes this can be avoided by creating relationships with journalists and  involving yourself or business in projects such as helping local businesses, raising money for charity, partaking in a sponsored run/ cycle.


Paul Hayes- raising money for the Irish Youth Foundation in a sponsored cycle…. what’s better publicity than that?!

Lastly, Hayes mentioned how you need to be ahead of the game and knowing how and where things are going. Based on the conference, it seems when looking at the future of business, technology is the word that springs to mind. Thus, when I’m making my billions from using technology to create some absurd product (that’s much more interesting than me), I’ve Paul Hayes to thank.youve-got-to-stay-ahead-of-the-game-to-be-able-to-stay-in-it-quote-1

How to use social media in marketing 

Matthew Weil, the founder of Voicesage Holdings Ltd was the second speaker to grace the stage. According to their website (Voicesage, 2017) , Voicesage provide interactive messaging solutions using video, chat, e-mail. As a tech savvy individual,  Matthew Weil informed us of the various forms of media particularly social media that exist .


Matthew Weil- CEO of Voicesage

In his speech, the three main social media platforms Matthew focused on were Facebook, Twitter and Sina Weibo in what he coined as our ‘conversational economy’. As a regular Facebook and Twitter user, I’ve been subject to numerous advertisements popping up on my computer screen. However, I had no idea what Sina Weibo was and with its funky name, I was intrigued to find out. For those of you Chinese illiterates like myself, Sina Weibo is a microblogging cite, an amalgamation of Facebook and twitter for Chinese social media users. If that brief explanation didn’t satisfy your curiosity, more information can be found on this link Click here




 Matthew explained how due to the large amount of social media outlets in existence, it’s much harder to grab the attention of customers. People scroll their eyes through media content without really engaging with it. Another negative aspect of social media was brought to light by Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haelain in “Users of the World Unite” where they highlighted how firms have been regulated to the sidelines by their inability to alter public comments made on Facebook, twitter and other social media networks( Kaplan and Haelain, 2010). For companies, social media has provided them with many new opportunities to advertise but the issue remains, is it easier to ignore advertisements online and how has media transformed the reputation of firms?


The number of social media users is staggering, do we engage with advertisements online though?

Create, Collaborate, Curate- the 3 Cs to success

Anne Marie Boyhan, a DCU graduate is the head of Social at Bank of Ireland. Before the Conference, I was really intrigued to hear her voice as  the recent ‘FOMO'( fear of missing out) campaign by BOI stood out for me as innovative and effective marketing directed towards students. Anne Marie Boyhan’s speech began with her reducing effective marketing down to three Cs:

  • Create
  • Collaborate
  • Curate

Anne Marie explained how BOI show creativity by using snapchat and virtual reality to connect to young people. Bank of Ireland are the only bank in the country to use snapchat as a social media platform to attract and foster loyalty amongst young adults. Matthew Weil emphasised the importance of choosing a suitable social media that people won’t ignore and Bank of Ireland seem to have achieved this perfectly. When I receive a snap, I’d be less inclined to ignore it then adds on Facebook or twitter.  The usage of snapchat is an excellent example of how a business can accurately analyse and reach their target market. As Anne Marie Boyhan remarked “Over 84% of young people in Ireland use snapchat daily” so their message must be reaching hordes of young people.


BOI on snapchat

As regards to collaboration, BOI use influencers that have a large cohort of social media followers to give them ‘shout outs’ and promote their business. Boyhan mentioned how James Kavanagh and Rosie O’Carroll are prominent snappers that praise Bank of Ireland to their followers. Here’s a link to an interesting article in the Irish times that displays how influencers advocate BOI Click here .

Target Marketing 

All eyes lit up when Aisling  Tobin,  Jameson’s Senior Brand Manager walked on the stage. University life in Ireland is synonymous with the word ‘alcohol’ so as you can guess I was keen to see how alcohol brands entice us. In addition, with so many cheaper brands now available ( i.e the tesco vodka i force down myself every monday), I wondered how a high class and expensive brand like Jameson differentiate themselves. The new marketing campaign ‘Sine Metu'(without fear was unique as the video clip brought to life the urban,city, hipster feel that’s pervasive in our society. My mind began to associate drinking Jameson with being free, creative and releasing your inner emotions.

I’ve learned from studying marketing for five weeks that target marketing is a crucial element of marketing. Market to the wrong people and your product could be a flop. Aisling Tobin provided us with an example of target marketing in action. As regards to Jameson, they mainly target LADS (laid-back,appreciative, down-to-earth, sociables). Analysing, the pictures of ‘LADS;  these seem to be young working adults in contrast to penny pinching students like myself.   They  to enjoy Jameson in a relaxed setting ie at pubs, watching games, dinner parties with friends. This target market is reached by social media and attending events  ‘LADS’ would frequent.


LADS casually drinking Jameson with Sine Metu ( no fear)


Why content should no longer be ignored

“84% of people expect brands to produce content in some form but 60% of the content is getting no engagement from the consumer and is useless”.  



Hugh Curran

If you could take one word from Hugh Curran’s speech, it would be content. Hugh is an online Digital Transformation Consultant,if your English vocabulary is as limited as mine, a Digital Transformation Consultant assesses  the online presence of a  business and how to improve it. In Hugh’s expert opinion, excellent content must be

  • planned
  • original
  • entails videos

Being an over-caffeinated student, suffocated with assignments I’ve realised the benefit of planning. Hugh Curran emphasised how in marketing   research is invaluable. Best example, who has ever drank cherry coke?Click here to read how coke lost millions on the poorly researched cherry coke .


Life of a student with no planning skills = me

Originality is something I most definitely struggle with ( I called my dog who is a Pug… Pug). However, Hugh Curran illustrated by contrasting images of sandwiches that an advertisement that grabs your attention is one made with your own individual flair and personality. Finally, we live in an age where videos seem to crop up all over our facebook news feed (great procrastination tools really), so Hugh advocates for firms to utilise videos.


My Pug called Pug.. so original

The Connected Individual- Paul Berney 

When two of my friends thought I was kidnapped/dead because I was offline for 2 days, I came to two tough conclusions:

  1. I use facebook too much ( technology has taken over my life)
  2. My friends have no faith in me ( probably shouldn’t drink so much)

Paul Berney, the Co-Founder at the Connected Marketer Institute reminded me of this startling fact. He believes, we can label our time as that of the connected individual, where a life without internet is inconceivable. Paul even went as far as predicting that by 2020, every household will have over 20 devices in their home. What does the age of the connected individual mean for marketing? In summary, Quoting Peter Drucker, Berney highlighted “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old”,  advertising online is the only way going forward. Similar to video killing the radio star, technology has killed newspapers….

In addition, Paul outlined how the 4 characteristics of a persuasive advertisement is it must be :

  • physical
  • digital
  •  sensorial
  •  emotional.

One of the best brands out there, in my coffee addicted opinion is Starbucks. Starbucks combine all these elements and maintaining a huge loyalty base amongst customers because of that.

My motto in life 

Disruption- is it a good thing or bad? 

In daily life, I’d think of disruption as traffic, annoying people and illnesses. Eric Weaver making us get off our chairs and twirl our hands around was a disruption during the conference… probably a positive one as it made my lethargic self liven up.  Eric Weaver the VP of Communication & Marketing Solutions for Xerox explained to us how disruption affects businesses . So you might be wondering what is disruption? Eric began by explaining disruption as uncontrollable forces that affect companies. Recent examples include Brexit, the election of Trump and the ongoing political instability permeating in Europe. Due to its precarious nature, companies wouldn’t be the biggest fans of disruption but it can be positive……. it can lead to companies become more competitive, producing better quality products at a cheaper price.


Eric Weaver

The major disruption today is technology. Technology is developing at a rapid pace which companies need to adapt to. Although, I found the creation of drones incredible it does beg the question are we ready for this? Is the world ready for drones to swirl around while we drive on the m50? To deal with the ever evolving technology based world of business, “we must encourage not force” according to Weaver. Whether we like it or not, technology is provoking massive changes in business and for a business to survive, they must encourage and foster an attitude where technology is welcomed.

The speakers at the Get Social Conference educated me on how to market in the rapidly evolving world of 2017. The lessons I learned from my years of drooling over Don Draper are now replaced by the guidance of the six speakers. Consolidating all the advice , its time to use social media with planned, original and creative content whilst tackling disruptions i.e. technology and its predominance in our society.


It may be sad to see but this is the progress marketeers must adapt to.



Beachhut PR. (2017). [online] Available at: (http://www.beachhutpr.com/about-us/)- [Accessed 1 Mar. 2017].

French, T., LaBerge, L. and Magill, P. (2011). Were all marketeers now. McKinsley Quarterly.

Kaplan, A. and Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons, 53(1), pp.59-68.

Voicesage. (2017). [online] Available at: (http://www.voicesage.com/index.php/our-story/) [Accessed 2 Mar. 2017].

Images- google images


What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail? #getstarted

Conference 1: Get started and take risks, who knows you might not fail?


The eager wait for the GET STARTED Conference 2016

Personally, I was left pondering this question during the Get Started Conference 2016. The conference was attended by over 200 of our DICE class, where we were given a great insight by successful Entrepreneurs into what it takes to succeed in the big, bad, scary world of business. Before the conference began, being an absolute swot that I am, I tried to do some much needed research on Entrepreneurship. The most suitable quote I could find was by scholars Simon Heinrichs and Sasha Walter claiming an Entrepreneur is “an individual independently owning and managing their own business”. After reading this, immediately, I knew I could never be an Entrepreneur, sure I can hardly look after my own life without frantically calling my mom every minute panicking. Risk and failure are the two words for me that dominate Entrepreneurship so for the wimp population that I’m part of, being an Entrepreneur seemed a world away. On the 8th of November, I sat in the Helix as the MC Andrew Keogh opened the conference, I thought ,this will never be me, I’ll listen and be in awe of their fascinating stories but I couldn’t ever picture myself being one of them. So what did these Entrepreneurs say that made my viewpoint change and led me to ask the question, what would I do without the constant nagging fear of failure? Here’s what I took from the conference and how I learned that being an Entrepreneur isn’t an impossible task limited to only the brave.

“Business is Science not art”


When Paddy Quinlan, the UStart Manager for the DCU Ryan Academy, classified business as science I was in utter shock. I always held the belief that entrepreneurship especially was a creative process and the innovative side outweighed the reasoning behind ideas. In the words of both Quinlan and his colleague from the Ryan Academy, Colman Farrell, this assumption is wrong. Quinlan and Farrell know their fair share of information about start up companies by the invaluable work they do in the Ryan Academy. The DCU Ryan Academy provides vital resources for hopeful start-ups such as mentors, networking and organising events. As Brian O’Kane , the author of ‘Starting a business in Ireland’ claims “resourcing is critical for start-ups since they have very limited resources”.I found the DCU Ryan Academy is a crucial organisation in Ireland that provides those necessary resources that O’Kane advocated would foster indigenous talent. In relation to their speech,  a key message I took was the paramountcy of research and reason when developing an idea. The idealistic days of the ‘garage entrepreneurs’ that achieved incredible success in a garage by utilising their extraordinary talents is gone. As my mother would say when I failed a maths test after spending arduous hours studying “intelligence will only get you so far in the real world”. Quinlan stressed how in the present day, a great idea can’t transform into a viable product without  hours of hard work and planning. In fairness, their talk was incredibly comforting for an unimaginative soul like myself as it shows that hard work and planning will win over those lazy, unambitious bright people that everyone despises when they come up with winning ideas and make millions.

Differentiation, Differentiation, Differentiation


Differentiation is the bane of my life at the moment in maths lectures, why will I never understand it? Thankfully, Philippe Brodeur, the Chief Executive Officer of Overcast HQ meant it in a different sense. As Brodeur walked on the stage, my attention was sparked when Andrew Keogh confidently stated, “Overcast will be one of 40 companies in Ireland to change the world”. This was further backed up by Brodeur’s impressive credentials of working as a producer on BBC, Ireland AM and a founder of TV3. When he claimed difference was the key to achieving success in business, I was intrigued. “Originality is embedded in entrepreneurship” is what Jon Haver wrote in a captivating article I recently read, so I was wondering in what sense did Brodeur mean? Undoubtedly, Overcast is a unique company as they manage online videos for professionals, something I’ve never heard of before. In addition, their slogan is very effective at showcasing their difference, “”let us take care of the tech- you work on growing your business”, in this busy, market-driven world, I feel this slogan marks how they stand out by unburdening the tech issues faced by businesses. In relation to students Brodeur highlighted how differentiation affects us by using an anecdote of his son. He recounted how his son chose to study french to distinguish himself amongst hordes of business students. This made me wonder, what can I do to segregate myself amongst the masses? In entrepreneurship, Brodeur’s speech showed me how having a unique skill set and an authentic idea can contribute hugely.



Philippe Brodeur, the CEO of Overcast

Belief and Timing are everything.


The Longford Trio that saved the day in the recent bus strikes

Timing, for a girl who’s always 5 minutes away but really 30 minutes (my friends have stopped believing anything I say), it’s something I’d definitely take for granted. However, Brian O’Rourke and Alan Farrelly, the founders of Cityswifter conveyed how pivotal this factor is for start-up businesses. Pandemonium broke out for commuters and the city in general last month during the bus strikes. Brian O’Rourke outlined how Cityswifter is a private bus company that  was developed”to empower commuters that have no option but to travel by private car to use a smarter, more sustainable shared transport solution which in turn should reduce congestion on a daily basis at peak times”.Thus, the bus strikes were incredibly advantageous for their business. They skyrocketed due to timing but also because of how organised and efficient they’ve become. People around Ireland noticed this with The Longford Leader lauding the three local boys, http://www.longfordleader.ie/news/home/215819/longford-trio-keep-dublin-commuters-moving.html,  ( the Longford Leader article if you fancy a read). 


Belief  as Barbara Corcoran points out is vital in Entrepreneurship and this is something I really saw in the Cityswifters story. Another quote that comes to mind was Brian O’Kane claiming ,”passion is what separates successful businesses from the also-rans and failures”. Passion was very evident in O’Rourke, Farrelly and Byrne as they bounced back from a few setbacks. These setbacks included first time failed admittance to the Ryan Academy and when they tried to put their app online but it turned out to be an utter flop. They showed perseverance as they chose to make the business their life and put in gruelling hours of work to make it materialise. I find we live in a society of cynics and belittlers so it was refreshing to see the self-belief of the three entrepreneurs. Many people, including myself would be tempted to give up after any of the problems they faced but their perseverance was so impressive and it showed with the right belief system, anyone can be an Entrepreneur. I hope in the future that if I believed in an idea, I’d have the confidence and dedication like them to make it work.

Is being an Entrepreneur a self destined faith?  


Elva Carri, GirlCrew founder

“No”, was the answer of the Brilliant founder of GirlCrew, Elva Carri. Like myself, she never envisioned an entrepreneurial life but through her bubbly and free-spirited personality, she plunged into one. Every female student in the room was in awe as Elva Carri described how GirlCrew arose from a post on tinder she wrote directed at finding other single females looking to have a fun night out dancing. Her business has capitulated worldwide from then. Elva’s story was remarkable as she never set out to make a business or be an entrepreneur, it just landed on her feet. In addition, it’s so lovely to see how her business is different from many as it’s not based purely on money but about joining women around the world together. In the age of technology, the word ‘techie’ has become synonymous with entrepreneurship. I hate technology and would consider myself the polar opposite of a ‘techie’ so it was relief to see that Elva wasn’t a techie whatsoever but used people within the business for any technical issues she encountered.

A man with a plan 


The iCabbi Logo

A man with a plan is the perfect description for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year, 2016 Gavin Walsh. He showed the influence someone’s background can have when developing a career path. His father set up an Irish school of motoring which fuelled Gavin’s inspiration to set up iCabbi and become an entrepreneur. The company iCabbi is a global leader in dispatch technology. It first tracked taxis around Ireland but now has expanded to tracking trucks and lorries. What really drew me to Gavin Walsh’s story was how he set clear, objective goals and was driven towards achieving them. He showed how he went from Cork, Dublin, nationwide and now globally. I also thought it was noteworthy to mention how his vision changed. His first idea was to track taxis but as he delved into research, he realised there was a niche market for truck and lorry tracking. For me, I’ve always been captivated to see how certain niche’s in the market are spotted and how by deducing them, an entrepreneur can be extremely successful. In a few years to come, when Gavin Walsh is a multi-millionaire from iCabbi, I can boast how I heard his success story live.

“Ever tried, ever failed? No matter. Try again, fail again, fail better”.fq82hzab

What an inspiring Samuel Beckett quote repeated by Iseult Ward, the founder of FoodCloud. For me, this quote really encapsulates the roller-coaster ride of ups and downs that is entrepreneurship. Iseult Ward was an anomaly at the conference as unlike any of the other speakers, she set up a charitable organisation from her own initiative. She was a real favourite as she identified a global problem with food wastage and by establishing a social enterprise called FoodCloud she’s making an effort to reduce it. Foodcloud was the only business I had previous knowledge of as I’ve passed their posters while spending way too much money on sweets in Tesco and Aldi. It really was uplifting to see the beneficial side of business. As I contemplate business and entrepreneurship, the word profit is ubiquitous. However, Iseult gave me a real insight into the altruistic side of it. The story of FoodCloud was one that lingered in my mind and deeply affected me. As a result of Iseult and her story, I’m taking part in 100 minds, a business initiative tasked with raising €1,000 for Temple Street Children’s hospital.  https://www.100minds.org/ (A link with further information about it). Furthermore, I’m hopelessly trying to eat the vegetables I adventurously buy to reduce food wastage.

Am I willing to take the risk? 

riskWith everything I learned and heard during the Get Started Conference 2016, the question I’m left to answer, could I be a risk-taking entrepreneur? For the next few years, probably not but after the conference, setting up a business is a really attractive possibility. A vital revelation for me was that with passion, motivation, correct timing, differentiation and planning, the fear  of failure and risk is something entrepreneurs don’t even consider.


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Kane, B. (2005). Bank Of Ireland- A guide to starting your own business.


Haver, J. (2015). 10 Differences between a Entrepreneur and Manager.

Audia, P. and Rider, C. (2005). A Garage and an Idea: What More Does an Entrepreneur Need?. California Management Review