The Entrepreneur Exchange: A Unique Event for Fledgling Businesses

* Country’s top entrepreneurs volunteer to share invaluable expertise with newer businesses
* Fergal Broder (LotusWorks), George Mullan (SIS), David Walsh (Netwatch), Liam Griffin (Monart) all on board

schedule-graphic-2014Are you an entrepreneur with an investor-ready business? Or is your business at the stage where you are ready to scale? Do you want advice from, and valuable face-to-face time with, some of the country’s most successful business leaders?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of the above questions, then The Entrepreneur Exchange – an exciting, fast-moving mentoring and networking opportunity – is for you.

This pioneering national initiative, which was launched today Wednesday, October 1, 2014, gives new entrepreneurs the invaluable experience of real exposure to trailblazers in their field. It features 24 of the top entrepreneurs in the country participating in tailored one-to-one mentoring sessions with 24 fledgling companies during an intense 24-hour period.

The event is an opportunity for businesses ready to take the next step to gain invaluable advice from some of the biggest names in business who will share their knowledge and experience of developing a business on a global stage.

Some of the entrepreneurs participating include: Fergal Broder, founder and CEO LotusWorks, George Mullan, owner SIS Group, Liam Griffin, Managing Director of the Griffin Hotel Group, David Walsh, Group CEO and co-founder Netwatch, Michael Dawson, founder and CEO of the GVS Group (One4all) and Tommy Higgins, founder of Ticketmaster Ireland. More will be announced closer to the event.

All of the entrepreneurs taking part are volunteering their time and expertise in order to ‘give back’ to small and medium-sized businesses who are following in their footsteps.

The Entrepreneur Exchange is being run by Sligo Chamber, The Western Development Commission (WDC) and The Enterprise Europe Network to stimulate entrepreneurship and business. It was developed last year for companies in the Sligo and North West region but has been expanded nationally this year – with the application process open to companies from all over the country.

Participants will also receive presentations on various topics including: preparing your business for a successful exit, managing business and family life and telling your business’ story. There will also be advice from banking institutions, venture capital investors and the Halo Business Angels Partnership. Invaluable networking opportunities will also be provided, including at a gala dinner.

“Sligo Chamber is delighted to lead out on this event for the second year. The rationale for this event is to support business to expand and grow, leading to increased employment opportunities for all,” said Paul Keyes, CEO of Sligo Chamber, speaking at the launch.

“We are particularly grateful to all of our leading entrepreneurs who are giving of their time and expertise voluntarily in order to support the next generation of business leaders,” said Keyes.

Fergal Broder, CEO LotusWorks said: “The Entrepreneur Exchange is a great opportunity to meet with new successful businesses and lend our help and support where needed. I’m happy to share my experiences especially if it can inform others and help them improve and grow.”

“The collective knowledge and experience a gathering like the Entrepreneur Exchange offers is invaluable. Hopefully we are helping sustain the growth of established companies and help new businesses make some good choices for the future,” said Broder.

Gillian Buckley, Investment Manager with the Western Development Commission, said the WDC was delighted to be associated with the Entrepreneur Exchange. “It is a great opportunity for ambitious entrepreneurs to access some of the best business minds in the country. A number of our Portfolio Companies participated in last year’s event and found it to be of tremendous benefit to their business and to themselves personally, as being an entrepreneur can be a lonely occupation,” said Buckley.

The Entrepreneur Exchange takes place at the Radisson Hotel, Sligo on November 27th and 28th, 2014. It costs €295 per person.

Companies wishing to apply can contact Sligo Chamber by emailing info@sligochamber.ie or calling 071 9161274. An application form can also be found online at www.theentrepreneurexchange.ie. Applications close on November 8th, 2014. Applicants to the process will be chosen on their suitability to the programme and, following shortlisting and/or an interview, 24 will be selected to participate.

Ends

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

1. The Entrepreneur Exchange is run by Sligo Chamber of Commerce, the Western Development Commission and the Enterprise Europe Network.
2. The event is geared mainly at businesses in the following sectors: Food & Beverage, Medical Device, Technology, CleanTech, Engineering – but any business seeking to scale is encouraged to apply.
3. It is being held at The Radisson Hotel, Ballincar, Rosses Point, Sligo over 24 hours, starting at lunchtime on Thursday, November 27th, 2014 until lunchtime Friday, November 28th. It will include a gala dinner on the Thursday night.
4. The package on offer is excellent value-for-money at €295 per person. This includes all mentoring, workshops and meetings, overnight accommodation on November 27 and the gala networking dinner on the same night. The price also includes lunch on both days.

For more information, contact Martha Kearns at StoryLab PR on martha@storylab.ie or call 087 2720212 or 071 9300942