23 May Leadership & Entrepreneurship in Ireland – Day 9

We made our way to Derry, and were met with a splendid reception at the University of Ulster, and sponsored by the Derry City Council.  We met with and heard presentations from the following individuals from Derry:

  1. Matt Peachey, Investment & Enterprise Officer, Derry City Council – Looking to grow jobs and increase the focus on the development of entrepreneurs.
  2. Eddie Friel, Head of Business Liaison and Academic Enterprise, University of Ulster – Encouraging the engagement of businesses.
  3. Professor Deirdre Heenan, Dean of Academic Development – Magee, Institute for Research in Social Sciences, University of Ulster
  4. Mark Nagurski, Digital Champion at Digital Derry – Looking at TechStars as example for future efforts.
  5. Peter Devine, Business Development Manager, School of Computing and Intelligent Systems, University of Ulster – Working diligently in the field of AI with regards to medicine and technology.  Fascinating!
  6. Dr. Lisa Bradley, Head of Department of International Business, Department of International Business, University of Ulster – Interested in collaboration efforts with US entities.
  7. Caroline McGoran, Technology Commercialisation Executive, Office of Innovation, University of Ulster
  8. Connor Doherty, Online Community Manager, SEEDUPS

We also had a meeting to recap the trip so far, and what we’ve learned about leadership, entrepreneurship, the Republic of Ireland, the Celtic Tiger implications, and now Northern Ireland.  I think the students have been surprised at how involved the public sector is in business here.  We learned that 32% of the people in Derry are involved in public sector work.  We all believe strongly that the US, the UK, and Ireland could do more to encourage students to become entrepreneurs, which means more training in business, leadership, and innovation while creating incentives for appropriate risk taking.  It will take a collaborative approach from business, academia, trade associations, and certain governmental bodies.

Great evening overall, and we’re excited for the people we’ll meet in Northern Ireland over the next two days!

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