31 Jan 2022

Atlantic Bridge Sponsors Scale Ireland’s Regional Start-up Summit

Atlantic Bridge Sponsors Scale Ireland’s Regional Start-up Summit

On 28th January 2022, Atlantic Bridge was delighted to partner with Scale Ireland to deliver the first Regional Start-up Summit in Cork.  The event,  launched by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin, focused on key issues facing start-ups around the country and the best policy conditions to foster and promote an optimal start-up ecosystem. He highlighted the importance of the event by saying:  “We need to make this debate more mainstream and centre stage in Irish society”

Simon Harris, Minister of Further and Higher Education, Innovation and Science, joined a lively panel discussion that was expertly chaired by Professor John Breslin from NUIG on supporting student entrepreneurs and start-ups at third level.   Minister Harris offered great support for this agenda item: "I'm going to encourage the third level sector as it continues to expand and develop and modernize and evolve to consider how to embed that entrepreneurial curriculum within all disciplines.”

Dr Helen McBreen, Partner Atlantic Bridge, spoke on a panel alongside President of University College Cork, Professor John O’Halloran who emphasised the importance of a diverse approach to supporting entrepreneurship and innovation.  Peter Smyth Commercial Director of Tyndall National Institute encouraged start-ups to access resources available at centres of excellence. The wider panel discussed the critical role of supporting student entrepreneurs at third level which included insightful contributions from Professor Maggie Cusack President of Munster TU, Dr Kevin Marshall Heald of Education at Microsoft Ireland, and Conor Lyden CEO at Trustap. In this discussion, Helen McBreen spoke about the importance of investing in R&D and the importance of attracting talent from overseas. She further outlined the critical importance of early-stage investment funds such as the Atlantic Bridge University Fund in fostering the growth of Irish start-ups.

Also, in attendance was Michael McGrath, Minister of Public Expenditure & Reform, who spoke passionately about the vitality and creativity at the heart of start-ups and how innovation unlocks better ways of doing things.

Finally, alongside many start-ups, Atlantic Bridge portfolio companies were well represented at the event. Parsa Ghaffari, CEO at Aylien and Dr. Fiona Edwards Murphy CEO and co-founder at ApisProtect took part in a discussion on supporting diverse and impactful entrepreneurship. They highlighted the value that a diverse workforce can add to a business by providing different perspectives and ideas.

Well done to Martina Fitzgerald and all the team at Scale Ireland.