Business Stories

Ecosystem

How Dublin Works: The Guinness Enterprise Centre

The Guinness Enterprise Centre, on Taylor’s Lane in the heart of Dublin’s Liberties, is managed by Dublin Business Innovation Centre and has been named the no.1 university associated business incubation centre in the world. In the first of two articles about the GEC, Dublin.ie talks to Eamonn Sayers, the centre’s manager since 2011. Dublin.ie: I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve got an idea. What can the GEC do for me here? Eamonn Sayers: The first step here is that we’ll try and put you in front of an entrepreneur who’s in the same industry. We’ll say have a chat with this person, see what they’re thinking. If you’ve identified your target market, again we’ll say we know someone here who’s in the same market and they’ll have a coffee with you too. Dublin.ie: Then what happens? Eamonn Sayers: Our role here is to help your company grow and scale. We help to make it become better and we help to make you a better entrepreneur. We create an environment and a community and a sense of belonging that makes entrepreneurs very comfortable, makes them enjoy the fact that this is their office, this is their workplace, so that both the entrepreneur and their teams are in the best place to grow their businesses.

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Responsible Innovation

Innovation is what has brought the human race as far as it has come… Because of innovation, we have tackled disease; we have navigated the globe by land, sea and air; we have sent men to the moon. Soon we will have driverless cars. Innovation, in many ways, defines us. But it also has its limits and drawbacks. There is an innate impulse to push things as far as they can go. At times you wonder why innovation has taken us in this peculiar direction. What is the need for this device? Why has this phenomenon taken over? This is when innovation becomes irresponsible. That innate drive to push boundaries can have consequences for the environment, commerce and social well-

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Dublin Voices: Towards 2050

I came over to Dublin from Edinburgh in 2005. I suppose it was bang in the middle of the good times. Back then, the atmosphere here was insane; there was so much going on, it was so busy. Ireland and Dublin were really riding the wave at that time. Employment was high, everyone was well paid, everyone had nice cars, you could get a loan if you wanted. Then we moved into hard times, and it’s changed a lot in that regard now. I think people are more grounded; there’s a sense of reality now. I don’t think the ordinary man is as tempted to get carried away. People are more concerned with value and being sensible. I think that’s a positive that can be taken out of the recession.

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GROWN

GROWN is a tiny Dublin company that prints beautiful simple designs on ethically-sourced, environmentally friendly shirts and t-shirts from a shop on Francis Street in Dublin’s Liberties. Its origins lie in conversations between three friends as they journeyed back and forth between Dublin and the West of Ireland, on swimming, surfing and scuba-diving trips. The ocean-loving friends were Neil McCabe, Stephen O’Reilly and Damien Bligh.  They’d noticed rubbish in the water and on beaches. It made them think about the ecological impact of plastics and modern fabrics, and how we produce and consume everything from food and drink to coffee and clothes. That got them rese

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Meet a Dubliner – Ailbhe Keane, Izzy Wheels

When Izzy was little she always said that her favourite thing about being in a wheelchair was that her shoes never got dirty. They looked brand new every day and the lights never ran out in her favourite light-up runners. However, her real shoes were her wheels. I remember we used to decorate her wheelchair for birthday parties and Halloween. We filled them with fresh flowers once when she was a flower girl for a wedding. At Christmas, we used to put tinfoil and lights around the wheels and lots of tiny Christmas decorations for the Xmas family show.

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