Welcome to The Maggie blog. This is my first post. I hope you enjoy.
The 8th November 2016 was a pretty special day for most students and staff in DCU. DCU hosted another Get Started 2016 event in the Helix and there were a lot of entrepreneurs invited to come up on stage and tell their story. Andrew Keogh, an International speaker/Speakers coach was hosting the Get Started 2016 event.
Entrepreneurship is quite big in Ireland. There are millions of entrepreneurs in the world today that are regarded as inspiring people. The most remarkable entrepreneur being Steve Jobs who was the co-founder of the biggest technology company, Apple Incorporated. The number of entrepreneurs in Ireland is on the rise in recent years as there has been a rise in the number of Irish Female entrepreneurs since 2015 which has risen to 22%. The Get Started 2016 event really opened my eyes to entrepreneurship and the value it adds to the community as well as the individual itself.
We listened to six entrepreneurs during this event as they told their story in great detail given us an insight on their successes and failures. The truth is that being an entrepreneur requires hard work as you have to start from the bottom to get to the top.
I have to say that my favorite entrepreneur during this event was Iseult Ward. This woman is the co-founder of FoodCloud. She was also crowned the Real Entrepreneur 2014. This company FoodCloud is based in Ireland and they cater towards the homeless who are in need of food. Their motto is ‘’Connecting those who have too much food with those who have little’’. Basically, FoodCloud is available as an app. This app allows companies such as Tesco and Aldi to connect with FoodCloud in order to to send large quantities of unused
food to feed the homeless. The aim of it all is to prevent food wastage. Iseult provided some statistics in regards to the amount of food that is wasted yearly- one million tonnes of food is wasted in Ireland yearly and even all over the world at least 30% of food is either lost or wasted. Overall, Iseult has a lot of passion for the company that she created. That is something that I’ve learnt from lecturers and videos- whatever you plan to create/do, you should have a great passion for it.
Another entrepreneur that I found amusing was Elva Carri. She was real bubbly as she told her story on the stage. She is the creator of GirlCrew, which is also available as an app. Her story was funny enough as it all started through the Tinder Dating app. The funny thing was that even though she is a girl she changed her gender to male on Tinder because she wanted to go dancing yet none of her friends would go with her. Although she did that, she also put in little pink text that she was a female and that she was looking to go dancing.
‘girl focused’ as it connects thousands of girls all over the world to come together for events and obviously to make new friends. The good thing about this app is that you can create events yourself and you can meet people that are local to you. To be honest the whole idea of Girlcrew sounds adventurous and enjoyable.
What’s also interesting is that a Romanian entrepreneur, Adrian Mihai truly believes that you will be happy if you start your own business which is exactly what he did. He is the co-founder of Opening.io. This is a business that does matching and recommendations for those who are looking for jobs through the use of CV’s and job posts. Usually the recommended time for an individual to get feedback on whether or not they got the job takes 3-6 months, so this website helps to speed up the process of receiving a job. I believe that this is highly beneficial for anyone and graduates of colleges. He also provided tips/rookie mistakes when it comes to start- up companies…
- Endless polish. Prototype fast.
- Business people try to convince a client that their product does that too. Instead try to sell the idea of the product to a client.
- Not bootstrapping at all- understanding why you need the investments for your start- up company.
- Start- up companies should be aiming for one goal- Survival.
I believe these are great tips that start-up companies and even existing businesses can use when looking to design products to impress clients.
Gavan Walsh, the founder of iCabbi which is a taxi dispatch system was also present at the Get Started 2016 event. He was also a 2016 finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year under the International Category. He was highly motivated from a young age to follow in his father’s footsteps. His father, John Walsh is the founder of the Irish School of Motoring which began in 1961. Gavan spoke of his successes and failures. One of them being that he sold Christmas trees when he was around 19 and that proved a success for himself as well as his cousin. Since that proved successful, he thought of the idea of selling debs dresses that were only worn once, however this proved unsuccessful as he himself said he had no idea about women’s fashion. Although it proved an unsuccessful idea, he proved to me that anyone can literally start their own business at any age whether you’re a college dropout or are in full time work. ‘’You can only grow as big as your vision.’’
Philippe Brodeur, the creator of Overcast HQ was also present. Overcast HQ is a video platform that helps business people manage their video files. Anyone is capable of changing the world for good and that is what Philippe was setting out to do. His business has proved a success in Ireland among marketers, advertisers, agencies, producers and even broadcasters. Businesses can save up to 90% of time on rudimentary tasks and this, I believe, is a handy enough tool to use when managing videos. He also mentioned that there are 5 reasons start-ups succeed:
All reasons are essentially important, however Philippe did emphasize that the number one reason start-ups succeed is because of Timing. Timing has got to do with the responsiveness of the market to a change. So his idea of creating a start-up in the market may prove successful or unsuccessful as it depends on whether the market is lacking in the product/service at a certain period of time.
Last but not least, we have Brian O’Rourke and Alan Farrelly who were college graduates and now are real time entrepreneurs. Brian O’Rourke is DCU’s very own business graduate. They are the creators of the transportation company CitySwifter alongside Sean Byrne. Just like Gavan Walsh, they had to find a business idea that appealed to them individually. They had their turn of trials and errors as their first business was Busman.ie which unfortunately failed and then there was the creation of Concertbus.ie which also didn’t work. Now fast-forward to 2016 and the creation of CitySwifter is in operation in Ireland. CitySwifter has received over 15,000 journey requests and also makes at least 1,000 passenger trips a day. A day in the life of an entrepreneur will come with its ups and downs when wanting to start a business just like it did for Brian and Alan; however one thing is for sure that they didn’t fear failure. They continued to stay positive amidst all the challenges that they faced and are pretty much successful at what they do.
So, is entrepreneurship worth the try? HELL YAAAAAS. I think if you have a business idea that you believe can change the world or even make the world a better place, then you should take that risk just like a true entrepreneur would. The idea of being your own boss is enough to want to become an entrepreneur. Even having passion for whatever you do should be a driving force towards personal achievement. All these entrepreneurs took that risk knowing that they could potentially fail, so why shouldn’t you take that risk? There is always a reward at the end of each success and failure. It could be developing as a person mentally or spiritually, or your business idea could change the world for a better place. Whatever it is, just have faith in yourself that one day you could be that one person telling your story on stage among millions of people and you could inspire that one person to just do it.
‘’The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.’’