WDC sponsors Northwest Connects Conference

 WDC sponsors Northwest Connects Conference – a fresh approach to connecting local creativity and regional networks

The WDC has described the upcoming Northwest Connects Conference as an opportunity for start-up and existing businesses in the Western Region to establish networks of support and tap into the region’s expertise. The conference will also provide an opportunity for members of the public to learn about many new and innovative businesses in the region.

Northwest Connects will take place at the Innovation Centre in IT Sligo on Saturday 28th November and is open to entrepreneurs, innovators and members of the public. Admission is free.

“We are delighted to sponsor the event as it links very well with our LookWest.ie initiative, which promotes the benefits of living, working and doing business in the Western Region. LookWest.ie was launched in 2004 and since then almost 600,000 people have used the website. It is now regarded as the definitive online guide for counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Mayo, Galway and Clare“ said Joanne Grehan of the WDC.

“During the conference, a number of panel discussions and seminars will highlight the expertise and highly-skilled workforce available in the region, showcase the advantages of relocating or setting up a business here and outline enterprise supports and financial incentives available,” Ms Grehan added.

John Allen, Investment Executive at the WDC will give details of the Western Investment Fund (WIF), a seed and venture capital fund operated by the Western Development Commission. “The WIF was established by the government to address private sector market failure in the provision of risk capital in the western region. Investments are made on a commercial basis and they range from €100,000 to €1 million in return for a shareholding in the investee company,” said John. He added, “The WIF is interested in high-growth enterprises across a broad range of sectors. The WIF investment is complementary to supports available from mainstream enterprise development agencies and we co-invest with other venture capitalists, BES or Angel investors. I look forward to giving full details about the Fund at the conference on November 28th”.

“The WDC believes very strongly in creativity and that is why we have placed such an emphasis on it in our research and policy development programmes. We Irish are a highly creative people and our country attracts many other creative people from around the world. We have the capability, in particular with the Internet, of becoming a world creativity centre, bringing many thousands of sustainable jobs in its wake,” Ms Grehan said.

She concluded by noting that the conference is a great opportunity to highlight the creative and innovative work of companies and individuals in the North West Region.

Other sponsors include Sligo County Enterprise Board, Infacta, AIB and the IT Sligo Innovation Centre. Key speakers include Drury Communications MD, Padraig McKeon; Robert Martin, CEO of local award-winning emarketing solutions company Infacta; Innovation and Social Media Consultant, Johnny Beirne; Surf Seeds MD, Tim Rooney; and Justin Knecht of the Centre of Design Innovation. The conference is free to attend and limited spaces are still available. Registration, which is essential, will close on November 22nd and can be done at www.northwestconnects.ie.


For further information please contact:
Joanne Grehan, Western Development Commission, 086 856 5802
Angela Bane 087 286 5217