We caught up with Mary Rodgers (CEO, Galway City Innovation District) in preparation to the upcoming Interceltic Business Forum being organized at the Portershed in Galway, Ireland.

She shared with us what the tech ecosystem in Galway looks like and why the Portershed is the perfect place to host forum.

Can you tell us about Galway as a startup and tech hub?

Galway is a pillar for the national startup tech community. The collaboration between FDI tech companies and Indigenous tech companies has created a melting pot for innovation. Agencies and Hubs work together for the best outcome for Galway and The West. The PorterShed hosts tech meetups regularly, and we have seen significant growth in both the number of attendees and the diversity of tech topics. In the first quarter of 2024 alone, the PorterShed hosted 48 events, and 18 of which were tech meet-ups covering everything from DevOps and AI to Product building. The consistency of delivery across startup supports has made Galway an attractive location for Tech founders. The PorterShed is the regional partner for the NDRC (National Tech Accelerator) and HBAN (Halo Business Angel Network) this remit ensures Tech Startups in the West of Ireland have access to all funding, mentoring and accelerator program opportunities ensuring companies can start and scale from the West of Ireland.

What is the Portershed and how it has grown since its founding?

The PorterShed is recognised on a national level as a best-in-class innovation tech hub. Founded in 2016 by a voluntary board, it has gone from strength to strength. Based in downtown Galway city centre The PorterShed is so much more than a physical building, it has a community driven by the needs of the tech community in the West and North West of Ireland. The key focus of the PorterShed is the creation of high-value sustainable tech jobs, and all decisions made are based on how our activities will benefit our members and community. The PorterShed originally opened in PorterShed A a naide in Eyre Square, and it has increased in size over the past 8 years, now occupying 3 buildings and supporting more than 66 tech start up and scaling indigenous tech companies. Our focus is globally focused indigenous tech companies - a KPMG report in 2021 validated that the Portershed in its first five years has supported the creation of 834 jobs in the region and its companies had secured inward investment of 35m. The portershed has had many success stories emerge including Altocloud now Genesys, fleetops, Siren, Cityswift and so many more. The Portershed has 3 pillars, community collaboration and connectedness.

Why is it important that the Interceltic Business Forum be held at the Portershed?

We all know business is based on relationships and at PorterShed we strategically seek out events that will create opportunities for networking and business that will benefit both the event host and the tech community. The relationship between the Celtic nations is strong and has developed over many years. At PorterShed we believe it is our responsibility to further these key relationships providing a platform for key opinion leaders to share learnings and forge relationships. The Celtic community is progressive and steeped in ambition with a recognized understanding of culture, hosting the Interceltic Business Forum provides a unique opportunity to highlight the synergies and opportunities with our Celtic partners and create new opportunities that will benefit not only the business community here in Galway but also across the west and north-west of Ireland.

Join us at the forum : Get tickets

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