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Vodafone’s Smart Startup Network delivers digital expertise

Vodafone is bringing its Smart StartUp Network back to Cork in partnership with Cork Innovates for today’s InBusiness InCork 2013 event.

Vodafone’s network will provide attendees with free access to experts who run digital training sessions in social media, business productivity and e-commerce imparting the practical advice and tools necessary to allow start-ups to grow their business.

As well as the speed mentoring sessions, and unique to this event, Vodafone will provide attending businesses the opportunity to present an Elevator Pitch in a dedicated ‘pitch booth’.

Vodafone small business manager, Treasa Doran, said: “We established the Smart StartUp Network in direct response to small businesses and start-ups telling us that they wanted to build business knowledge, particularly around how technology can enable growth.

“We have added the Elevator Pitch element in order to help businesses gain experience in pitching their business as well as the opportunity to win some of the latest technology that will have a real impact on how they do business.”

Cork Innovates chairman, Anthony O’Mara, added: “At this year’s InBusiness InCork showcase, we want to help and encourage people to take real steps to creating and maintaining a business and like Vodafone — we believe that technology can play a large role in that. Having digital mentoring sessions and the Elevator Pitch competition at this year’s showcase will deliver real insights to the companies that attend.”

* Vodafone’s Smart StartUp Network mentoring sessions will run all day at Cork City Hall and people can register to attend at their stand on the day.

* Vodafone will host a number of Smart StartUp free mentoring events throughout the country in 2014. Open to all, just visit:

MEET THE SPEAKERS: Profiles of a selection of the speakers at today’s conference.

Vodafone’s Smart Startup Network delivers digital expertise

PROF Anita Maguire (pictured), UCC’s vice president for Research & Innovation, is one of the panel leading the discussion on ‘Enterprise & Innovation: Open for Business’ from around 2.15pm.

She will be joined by colleague Dr Tim Roche, UCC’s vice-president for Research and Innovation.

They will share the platform with Michael Loftus of CIT, head of the Faculty of Engineering and Science, and his colleague Josette O’Mullane, CIT’s industrial liaison officer.

Prof Maguire is also director of the Analytical & Biological Chemistry Research Facility, professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and supervisor of the Organic and Pharmaceutical Synthesis Research Team at UCC.

Her research interests in Synthetic Organic Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Chemistry include development of new synthetic methodology, asymmetric synthesis including biocatalysis, and the design and synthesis of bioactive compounds with pharmaceutical applications. She interacts extensively with the pharmaceutical industry both within Ireland and internationally. Twenty six PhD and five MSc students have graduated from her research team since 1997.

Minister Seán Sherlock TD

Vodafone’s Smart Startup Network delivers digital expertise

Minister Seán Sherlock has been Minister at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and at Dept of Education and Skills, responsible for Research and Innovation since March 2011. Through this dual role, he chairs the Research Prioritisation Action Group; he is a member of Sub-Committee on Economic Recovery and Jobs.

Robert Heffernan, World champ

Vodafone’s Smart Startup Network delivers digital expertise

Keynote: ‘Excelling in your field’.

Robert is an Irish race walker. On Aug 14, 2013, Rob finished first in the 2013 World Championships in Athletics 50km event in Moscow, finishing over a minute clear of the silver medal position with a time of 3:37:56. He will relate his experiences in a business context.

John O’Doherty, AIB regional director

Vodafone’s Smart Startup Network delivers digital expertise

John has been Regional Director for the Cork Central region since Feb 2010, managing in excess of 300 staff in 22 branches.

Christine Winning, MD, Corporate Care Relocation

Vodafone’s Smart Startup Network delivers digital expertise

As owner and managing director of Corporate Care Relocation Ltd, Chris brings a wealth of personal experience to her role. As MD of a small company, she has a variety of responsibilities in her day job — Customer Care, HR, sales & marketing, team leader.

Entrepreneurial insights: Tom Kearney, MD, Spice O’ Life. Event supported by the West Cork Development Partnership.

Entrepreneurial insights: Julie Lynes, EasyCity & Happy Tours, this event is supported by Enterprise Ireland.

Entrepreneur insights: Kieran Walsh, CEO and founder of WhatSalon, event is supported by CorkBIC.

Vodafone’s Smart Startup Network delivers digital expertise

Kieran Walsh is an e-commerce entrepreneur with a specific focus on the creative web space. He moved into the beauty industry in 2010, co-founding National Beauty Distribution. National Beauty has gone on to become Ireland’s leading marketing and distribution partners for some of the biggest brands in the industry.

Entrepreneur insights: Avril Allshire-Howe, founder of Caherbeg Free Range Pork Ltd, event supported by Teagasc (see: P14).

Enterprise & Innovation: Open for Business Panel discussion with representatives from UCC & CIT; discussion to be chaired by Gillian Keating, President Cork Chamber, partner, JW O’Donovan Solicitors.

Sourcing finance for growth: The New Rules of the Financial Playing Field; Panel discussion, chaired by Susan Hayes, The Positive Economist.

Funny business: ‘From Twitter to tea-towels’ with Colm O’Regan, stand-up comedian, broadcaster and author, from Dripsey, Co Cork.

Vodafone’s Smart Startup Network delivers digital expertise

His debut book — Isn’t It Well For Ye, The Book Of Irish Mammies — is a global bestseller.

Cork Innovates/Vodafone Smart StartUp Network: SPEED MENTORING

Topic 1: ‘E-Commerce: Sell While You Sleep’

Learn the benefits of selling online, build your customer base, open 24/7, and gain a competitive advantage.

Topic 2: ‘Productivity On The Go: Your Business Life In Your Pocket’

How relevant apps and web tools for iPhones, Android and Windows phones, iPads and tablets can help you work smarter.

Topic 3: Social Media: ‘How Social Is Your Business?’

Learn how to get maximum impact for your business from social tools and strategies.

Topic 4: ‘Managing Your Business In The Cloud’

How to use the cloud to access and manage documents, emails and calendars any place, any time.

* Each of these topics will be covered every half hour from 10am to 4pm in round table format; up to five attendees per table.

* To sign up and register for a session, visit the Vodafone Smart StartUp Network zone.

Meet the mentor

Vodafone’s Smart Startup Network delivers digital expertise

QED Training guides people on starting a business. QED founder Noel Davidson is one of the speakers at the Vodafone Smart StartUp Network at the InBusiness InCork event at Cork City Hall today.

“Before I joined QED as a trainer, I worked for Apple as a product manager,” he says. “Then I set myself up as a trainer, and I loved it from the start. Helping people develop their skills and realise their own potential is fantastic. There’s nothing better.”

The Vodafone Smart StartUp Network has, Noel says, helped small businesses really understand all of the benefits of leveraging technology and digital media to their advantage.

“QED became involved with Vodafone’s local roadshows and workshops, and from the start, I saw the difference it could make.

“It gives people a chance to discuss their business challenges, get advice and share tips with others.

Today, Noel is due to take part in the Vodafone Smart StartUp Network speed mentoring sessions.

“We will have a large, glassed-in booth with four mentor tables where people can come in, ask questions and get some valuable help and information on topics relating to social media, business productivity and lots more. They get 20 minutes on each topic before moving on.”

Interview: Denise Hall


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