Irish Entrepreneurs Visit VDC
January 12, 2012
Office of Communications
Stop Designed to Develop and Support Young Business Leaders in Ireland
It was a visit Ron Immink, the cofounder of the fastest-growing business website in Ireland, called “a breath of fresh air.”
On December 8, the Venture Development Center (VDC) hosted Immink and eight other entrepreneurs and directors of programs for young entrepreneurs in Ireland in the U.S. to learn how to develop and support young business leaders. This is the second year a delegation from Ireland and Northern Ireland has visited the VDC.
William Brah, the founder and executive director of the VDC, gave a tour of the facility and then talked about how to encourage young students to become entrepreneurs and how to incubate technology companies.
“The lesson was mostly about the ‘can do’ attitude,” said Immink, the cofounder of smallbusinessscan.com and CEO of Bookbuzz, a company that uses inspiring business books to improve management teams’ decision making. “Not getting stuck in the problems, but tackling it, getting on with it, and moving forward. Bill was particularly impressive.
He had a very pragmatic view on technology transfer, IP commercialization, and startups.”
Others in attendance included Maria Doherty, a program manager for a youth entrepreneurship program, The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE Ireland), and Basil MacCrea, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland. As chair of the Committee for Employment and Learning, he is responsible for the oversight of higher education and skills for businesses.
“I really enjoyed Bill’s presentation,” MacCrea said.
Immink was also impressed with the facilities.
“There is no comparison between facilities of universities in the U.S. and Ireland,” he said. “We would have a (small) soccer pitch, you would have a stadium. We have a few buildings; you have a city as the university. You should count yourself very lucky with the facilities. It is difficult to get our heads around the scale and the funding and resources available to U.S. universities compared to Irish universities.”
The delegation met with other entrepreneurs in Boston and San Diego, California, before flying back to Ireland.
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