I get up at 7.15am, having listened to the first 15 minutes of Morning Ireland, have my critical first coffee of the day, look through my calendar, grab my laptop and often head to my first meeting over breakfast.
As chair of the Irish Software Association (ISA), the representative body for Irish digital and software technology companies, and the chief executive of Storm Technology, I try to juggle my responsibilities.
The ISA Software Industry Awards take place on Nov 9, and we have just secured Phil Cox, Silicon Valley Bank’s head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, and India, and president of the UK Branch, as our keynote speaker and guest of honour.
Although the ISA is Dublin-based and Storm Technology is established in both Galway and Dublin, the family home is still in Galway. I alternate between Dublin and Galway, travelling back and forth by train each week.
I meet the ISA team (over plenty of coffee) and review our progress in the run-up to the awards. We will shortly issue the call for entries to the awards. I would encourage software technology companies to apply and to join ISA.
Past ISA awards winners, such as The Now Factor, Helix Health and Openet, are capturing market share in Ireland and worldwide. A key challenge for small companies is access to bank finance. We hope that Silicon Valley Bank’s involvement in this year’s awards will help to prompt a shift in the banking sector to provide forms of financing more suitable to viable software technology companies.
A key aim of the ISA is to connect our member companies to sources of finance, government agencies, higher education institutions and entrepreneurs. ISA regularly hosts an event in Dublin called the ISA Techbrew, where company leaders get together over a beer and food. We offer companies a soapbox to recount their experiences and then mingle to exchange ideas, network and form alliances. The more ideas we share the better we can build a base of export-driven, software companies.
Apart from coffee, my main vice is sailing and I try to ensure that one evening of the week is blocked out for that.