IIBN 6th Annual Global Conference 2017 – Dublin

“Your name badge is a permission device to speak to strangers”, noted Kingsley Aikins during his hugely entertaining and informative presentation at the Conference launch on the Thursday evening at the prestigious Bank of Ireland House of Lords on College Green, Dublin 2.

So set the tone for the next 24 hours where Irish entrepreneurs and business professionals from all over the world congregated for the 6th Annual IIBN Global Conference at the elegant Royal College of Physicians in Dublin on the 3rd November.

In a departure from previous years, the emphasis was on maximising the number of speakers and letting as many people as possible ‘get their spake in’!

And ‘spake’ they did. First up was Simon Conveney, Minister for Foreign Affairs and newly appointed Tanaiste, who spoke eloquently about the importance of the Irish diaspora and the challenges his Government are facing in relation to Brexit and the border with Northern Ireland.

We could have listened to him all day, until someone suddenly remembered we had another 30 equally eloquent speakers and the Minister was dragged kicking and screaming from the stage.  Ok, not quite.

From Cork we moved to Galway and were treated to an enlightened voyage from Ireland’s Unsinkable Entrepreneur, Enda O’Coineen.  When you’ve spent 4 days stranded off the coast of New Zealand with a broken mast, a 15 Minute TED-style talk was never going to faze Enda, and he wrapped it up with a powerful video diary of the highs and lows of the high seas.  A special thanks to Enda for delaying his trip to New Zealand to complete his Around the World expedition until after his IIBN presentation.


We were then treated to a series of 15 Minutes Talks from Adrienne Harrington, CEO, Ludgate Hub, Darren Ryan, CEO, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, Alex Cooney, CEO, CyberSafe Ireland, Emma Manley, Founder, Manley, Gerard Barry, Founder, Fintrax Group Holdings, John Stapleton, Entrepreneur, Niamh Bushnell, CEO, TechIreland & Sarah O’Connor, Co-founder, The Cool Bean Company.

Photos from the IIBN Conference


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In-keeping with the objective of giving as many members as possible an opportunity to speak at the Conference, our Speakers were introduced by Andrea Linehan, Grid Finance, Gillian Horan, The Pudding Brand, Jasper Walshe, Jasper Walshe & Associates, Mary McKenna, Elemental Software,  Barbara Moynihan, On Your Feet, Liz Shanahan, FD Sante, Gerry Collins, Ecovis Wingrave Yeats, Mary Ann Pierce, MAP Digital, Colman Lydon, Everwise, Susan HayesCulleton, Hayes Culleton Group, Emer Moriarty Crowley, Beauchamps, John Beckett, Channelsight, Louise O’Conor, SocialTalent, Matt Dunn, Carter Ledyard & Millburn Llp & Audrey Browne Gallen, Fusebox Communications.


Just before lunch, Mark Hennessy, News Editor of the Irish Times, hosted a powerful Brexit Panel Discussion, which included Robin Barnett, HM British Ambassador to Ireland, Danny McCoy, CEO, IBEC, Mairead McGuinness, MEP and Dr Darrin Morrissey, Director of Programs, SFI.  We’d like to thank each of the panellists and also say a special word of thanks to Mark for agreeing to moderate at short notice and commend him on a stimulating and vibrant discussion.


Throughout the day, we had a series of highly informative and entertaining 2 Minute Presentations from a diverse range of businesses, as follows: Tony Musiol and Maurice Power, Carrick-on-Suir Tourism and Economic Development Committee (COSTEDC), Ciara Buckley, The Doyle Collection, Barry Darmody, Search4Less, Tony Moore, Give It Direct, Chris Burge, Spark Crowdfunding, Michael Foley, Aspire Digital, Siobhan Byrne-Learat, Adams & Butler, Anthony Woods, Keystone Business School, Tony Rudden, Caragon Data, Paul Smullen, Ddaas, Richie Smith, IF Workforce Solutions, Gary Purcell, Allgo, Gavin Mulcahy, Sovaassessment, David Gleeson, RBK, Katherine Fitzpatrick, Cork Chamber of Commerce, Paula Fitzsimons, Going for Growth, Daniel Maloney, HireUp, Brian Sheridan,  OneTouch Telecare, Emmett Gallagher, Warbble & Martin McEvoy, Signium.


A sincere word of thanks goes to all of our Sponsors, without whom we could not have held such a large conference.  Galliard Homes were the lead sponsor, and we’d like to thank CEO Don O’Sullivan for this and his ongoing support of IIBN.  We are also very grateful to Julie Ennis of Bank of Ireland for hosting an excellent reception on the Thursday evening.  The support of Cork Chamber of Commerce, Adams & Butler, COSTEDC and American Airlines as sponsors is also greatly appreciated in this regard.


Our Exhibition area sold out within days and we were delighted to give each of our exhibitors an opportunity to showcase their business and engage with attendees in a high energy room during each of the intervals.  This year’s exhibitors included COSTEDC, The Doyle Collection, Adams & Butler, Private Luxury Travel, Harvest Financial, Search4Less, Spark Crowdfunding, Give It Direct, Aspire Digital, RBK, Trilogy Technologies, Connecting Cork, Keystone Business School, Caragon, Dept. International Trade, The Panel, IF Workforce Solutions, Beauchamps, Science Foundation Ireland, Ddaas.


The Conference concluded with an excellent Key Note presentation by Denis McCarthy, CEO, Fexco, Ireland’s largest held financial services company.  Despite a late night on Thursday evening and a full day on Friday, it is a great reflection on the appeal of the Fexco story that we will had a full room at 5pm on the Friday!


So, all in all, we calculate that over 50 people spoke at ‘Connectivity’ and we are aspiring to double that for ‘Connectivity II’ in Dublin in 2018.  We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to contribute.