Bill Liao Key Note
Bill Liao is a Chinese-Australian-Irish entrepreneur, investor, diplomat, business mentor, author, passionate leader and speaker, with a distinguished record in business development and community activism. Co-founder of the CoderDojo movement and of Weforest, his career in tech and business encompasses two unicorn companies and launching the world’s first bio-tech accelerator, RebelBio. He is a general partner of SOSV, a $750m venture capital fund and founder of the upcoming SOSV Momentum Pre-accelerator program.
Jenny Melia Speaker
Jenny Melia, Manager of High Potential Start ups in Enterprise Ireland (EI). Jenny joined EI after completing a BSc and PhD in Chemistry in UCD. Managed EI’s Research & Innovation programmes between Industry and 3rd level research institutes, and was the Irish liaison for EU nanotech and advanced materials funding programmes and appointed by the EU Commissioner to their High Level Advisory group. Spent a decade working closely with EI’s food & beverage clients – from start up to scaling to global players, and subsequently with SMEs across all sectors and regions across Ireland. Now leading Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start Up team, focusing on developing Ireland’s next generation of digital tech, life sciences and manufacturing companies, and making Ireland a great location to start and scale a business.
Charles Fred Key Note
Charles Fred is an American Entrepreneur and Researcher. He has inspired a movement to help entrepreneurs create conditions for a sustainable growth, and through this effort, to stimulate thousands of new jobs. In 2014, Charles Fred and his daughter, Jamee, co-founded TrueSpace, a firm that helps entrepreneurs move from the startup phase to the middle market. Over his nearly 40-year career, Charles has founded and led three companies into the middle market generating over $220 million in enterprise value. He is a long-time resident of Colorado, an elite masters distance runner, outdoor enthusiast and cancer survivor. He and Julie, his wife, dedicate much of their time with their family, mentoring young people and entrepreneurs, and giving back to the community.
Alan Coleman Key Note
Alan Coleman is co-founder and CEO of Sweepr, where he drives its vision for delivering digitally native service experiences. Sweepr has developed a contextually adaptive and highly personalised support platform giving consumers the ability to self-sufficiently resolve service issues and discover new product features. In the process, transforming the customer experience and building a digital first relationship with customers.
Sweepr continues Alan's journey of reinventing customer experiences that began with his previous start-up Brite:Bill (acquired by Amdocs). There he transformed the bill from a communications provider, dramatically reducing the associated operational costs and increasing customer happiness. At its time of its acquisition it was powering more than 200 million bills per month.
Prior roles include Accenture, Macalla Software and Morgan Stanley. Alan sits on a number of other startup boards and is an active angel investor.
Colin Mason Key Note
Colin Mason is Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow, Scotland. His research is in the area of entrepreneurship and regional development with specific research focus on entrepreneurial finance and entrepreneurial ecosystems. He has written extensively on business angel investing for nearly 30 years. His research has a strong policy and practitioner focus and he has engaged with numerous external organizations and government, including, HM Treasury Scottish Government, European Commission, Eurochambres, InterTrade Ireland, Growth Analysis (Sweden), OECD and the European Union’s Joint Research Centre. He was joint winner of the ESRC’s 2015 Outstanding Impact in Business award for his research (with Prof Richard Harrison) on business angels. He is the lead author of Canada’s National Angel Capital Association (NACO) annual report on angel investment activity.
Faye Walsh Drouillard Roundtable Leader
Faye Walsh Drouillard’s diverse work experience is driven by curiosity and mission to catalyse a more fair and inclusive economy. Unwilling to accept the status quo, she is an active donor, advisor, investor with hopes of impact becoming business as usual. Following work in a major law firm and a political campaign, she was a social entrepreneur and led The Freedom Writers Foundation through its expansion, book, curriculum and feature film release (Paramount Pictures: Freedom Writers 2007). Upon moving to Europe, she founded The Giving Circles of Amsterdam and Ireland, whose aim is to engage a new generation of donors.
Based on her work with start-ups, funds, social enterprises and the impact ecosystem, Faye founded WakeUp Capital, a venture impact fund based in Ireland. Faye is a member of HBAN (Ireland), Angel Academe (UK) a female angel network and Rising Tide Europe. She is a Board Observer for MagGrow, Board Director for Philanthropy Ireland, The Community Foundation for Ireland and ChangeX. She holds a B.A. (University of Washington), an MBA (UCLA Anderson School) and lives in Dublin.
Brian MacNamee Roundtable Leader
Dr. Brian Mac Name received a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Trinity College Dublin in 2004. Brian has 15 years experience of researching, applying and teaching machine learning both in academia and industry. After a period working in industry Brian joined the Dublin Institute of Technology School of Computing as a lecturer where he founded the Applied Intelligence Research Centre and was a founding co-principal investigator at the Enterprise Ireland CeADAR technology centre for applied data analytics research. In 2015 Brian joined the School of Computer Science at University College Dublin where he is an associate professor. Brian is Centre Director of the SFI Centre for Research Training in Machine Learning (www.ml-labs.ie). Brian is also a funded investigator at the SFI Insight centre for data analytics (www.insight-centre.org) and the SFI VistaMilk research centre (www.vistamilk.ie). The second edition of the successful textbook co-authored by Brian, “Fundamentals of Machine Learning for Predictive Data Analytics: Algorithms, Worked Examples and Case Studies”, published with MIT Press and available in 5 languages, was released in July 2020. Brian has published extensively in the area of machine learning, particularly in the areas of active learning, concept drift, human-in-the-loop machine learning, and deep learning. Brian also works on applications of machine learning in diverse fields including agriculture, space, medicine, and virtual reality. Brian is chair of the Artificial Intelligence Association of Ireland.
Ronan Quinlan Roundtable Leader
Ronan is a co-founder of Taoglas and has over 20 years’ experience in the electronics industry, between Asia and Europe. Ronan’s expertise in this area covers a broad spectrum, with a key focus on production, quality processes, and antenna and wireless product roadmap.
Ronan operates out of Taoglas headquarters in Ireland and serves as co-CEO of Taoglas Group. He has overall responsibility for the Taoglas EMEA region, and Taoglas Asia operations, where he spends a number of months each year.
Richard Watson Roundtable Leader
Richard is Managing Partner of DBIC Ventures, the venture arm of Dublin BIC, which recently launched its latest seed and early stage fund focused on B2B software and medtech start-ups. He has over 20 years’ experience in venture capital, R&D and operations. Richard was Investment Manager with the Dublin BIC co-managed AIB Seed Capital Fund from 2009 to 2017 and prior to this, he was Investment Manager with UK-based NorthStar Ventures.
Richard started out in the medical device industry in Sweden, as Development Engineer for a Swedish diagnostics company, which was acquired by Medtronic. Following this he was R&D Manager for a Stockholm-based drug delivery start-up, working on the design of inhalers and pen injectors for large global pharma companies. He went on to spend four years with Intel in operations & systems development and was closely involved in the scale-up of Fab 24, one of Intel’s main global fabs.
Richard has a 1st class honours degree in Electronic Engineering from Trinity College Dublin, a Research M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from Trinity College Dublin and a 1st class MBA from Durham University.
John Phelan HBAN All-Island Director
John is commercially driven to identify, create and scale new business opportunities. He has grown and scaled companies, including his own, in Ireland, the UK and in the USA. These include several start-ups; one in the UK, three in Ireland (most recently RecommenderX AI) and GM of a games company in Chicago. His domain knowledge is in the AI, Software, ICT, MediaTech & Animation/content sectors.
John is involved with all stages of funding (Equity, Debt, Grant, R&D) and stages of development from M&A exit transactions, Series A, Seed and R&D, and has also engaged in early stage Research (H2020 and the European Commission).
Through his engagement with Dublin BIC, the Halo Business Angel Network, the AIB Seed Fund and Enterprise Ireland he has his “Finger on the Pulse” of entrepreneurial activity in Ireland.
John is also the co-founder of RecommenderX (www.recommenderx.com), Chair of lifestyle learning content brands Knowhowdo (www.knowhowdo.com ) and the Independent Chair of Animation Ireland (www.animationireland.com ) with members employing over 1,500 and annual revenues ~ €100m. Sometimes artist, sometimes sailor...
Niamh Sterling Moderator
Niamh is the Co-founder & Board Member of several high performing export driven companies both in Ireland and the UAE. Most recently her digital publishing company is targeting the U.S market.
With over 20 years Directorial & Senior Executive experience, Niamh brings a wealth of commercial and customer focused insight to her new role. She has developed & implemented viable business growth strategies & cohesive business processes, exercising control and accountability for driving revenue growth & profitability.
She has a dynamic career spanning both the corporate & entrepreneurial space with a passion & energy for delivering results and is a key member of the team to build strategic partnerships and negotiate contracts across the UAE and MENA regions.
Niamh is a member of the Institute of Directors.
Julian Seymour Moderator
Julian is a proven business development professional with over 18 years international experience in Telecoms, ICT, Cleantech, Education, NGO and FMCG sectors.
He has held senior sales roles with Diageo in Germany, Ericsson, Telecom New Zealand and is former Head of Operations for ECDL Foundation. He has also worked as Head of Industry Engagement for The Green Way, Dublin's Cleantech cluster.
Julian has a 1st class MSc in E-Commerce from DCU, an honours degree in Marketing also from DCU and post graduate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from UCD's Innovation Academy.