The importance of telling your story well is one of the key messages two leading entrepreneurs will be bringing to The Xchange mentoring and networking event at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Rosses Point, Sligo, on October 5th and 6th.
Grainne Kelly of BubbleBum, the inflatable car booster seat company, and Emma Coogan of Articulate Now, which provides clients with coaching on clear, confident speaking and presenting skills, will discuss the business of getting your story and message across.
Grainne Kelly is the CEO and inventor of Bubblebum UK Ltd, manufacturer of the world’s first inflatable car booster seat. Founded in December 2009, Bubblebum now exports to 27 countries and is stocked by major retailers including Walmart, Aldi, Amazon, Lidl and Tesco.
“I have two key messages,” Grainne says. “First, tell your story. If you just say, ‘I have an inflatable car seat’, you’re gone. You won’t be memorable unless you tell your story. Say who you are, how and why you came up with the idea and what you did to make it happen.”
“The second is your message. You have to be able to say what you do in one sentence. You lose their attention after the first sentence.”
Of course, how you deliver your story or message is of critical importance and that is where Emma Coogan of Articulate Now comes in. Emma initially worked with clients on their speaking and presenting skills through her school of speech and drama before founding Articulate Now due to the increasing demand from businesses and individuals.
Emma will be stressing the importance of energy, tone, pace and simplicity to Xchange participants. “When we have that nice, relaxed positive energy, people pick up on that and it helps people to make a connection with us and what we’re saying. When people make that connection with us, then they trust us and they are happy or feel more confident in working with us,” she says.
“One thing that’s very important is to consider the tone of your voice. Trying to match the tone of your voice to your message, to the meaning of what you’re saying, so that there is that link, that connection, between what you say and how you say it.”
You get the sense when speaking with Donal Byrne that if he could split himself in two he would enthusiastically attend The Xchange mentoring and networking event at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Rosses Point, Sligo, on October 5th and 6th for a third year in a row.
The founder and CEO of Big Red Barn, the Mayo-based company which designs and manufactures modular structures, is a keen advocate of networking in general and Xchange in particular.
“If I wasn’t as busy as I am I’d definitely go for the third year because you can never learn enough. It’s a different story every year and there’s different entrepreneurs there but you would never get access to a room filled with millionaires anywhere else,” he says.
Donal built his business after the experience of being in charge of all the temporary structures used at the Olympic Park before and during the London 2012 games.
“We had a lot of issues with the structures, weather especially, moving, ripping, tearing. So, my plan when I came back to Ireland was to design a bigger, stronger structure that could withstand the Irish and English climate and that was basically bombproof,” he explains.
And so the Big Red Barn was born. Donal’s alternative to the usual canvas structure of marquees has proved a success in Ireland, the UK and beyond and the barn has been followed by a range of other structures, including modular homes which were recently launched at the Ploughing Championships.
“We’ve grown on average between 300 and 500 percent every year for the last four years and it’s been a great success story but we’re working very hard at it.”
Despite the success, Donal has found that being an entrepreneur has serious challenges. “Sometimes it’s a very lonely place, being an entrepreneur, and you think I’m the only one that has these problems – cash flow problems or staffing problems, trying to grow a company, get money from the bank. I sat with several entrepreneurs at The Xchange and they made you feel at ease and told you how they dealt with similar issues,” he says.
So, apart from networking and hard work, are there other secrets to his success? “There are key learnings,” he says. “The first key learning is surround yourself with positive people. You cut out all the negativity. Anybody who is telling you ‘you cannot do’ it shouldn’t be in your group.”
Kingsley Aikins is founder and CEO of Diaspora Matters, a Dublin based consultancy company that advises countries, cities, regions, companies and organisations on how to develop strategies to connect with their Diasporas. He is a recognised expert on Networking and has written and spoken extensively on the topic and has run workshops and online/offline Networking Training Programmes for Google, Linkedin, Accenture, Intel, PwC, KPMG and a number of the leading law firms in Dublin. He is an Economics and Politics graduate of Trinity College Dublin . In his career he worked for 10 years for the Irish Trade Board and IDA Ireland and was based in Sydney. He then led the Ireland Funds for 21 years, mostly based in Boston. In his time with the Funds over a quarter of a billion dollars was raised for projects in Ireland. He was awarded a CBE for his work on British-Irish issues. He represented Trinity College, Irish Universities, Vichy (France) and Leinster at rugby. He is married with 3 children and lives in Dublin.
You’ve seen Dragon’s Den, Entrepreneur of The Year and all those other mentoring, networking and business shows – The Xchange offers the best of everything to give ambitious business leaders a competitive edge.
The Xchange takes place on October 5th and 6th 2017 in The Radisson Blu Hotel, Ballincar, Rosses Point, Sligo and it’s now open for companies to register their interest.
This unique event has the single aim of sharing information and stories of success with participating businesses, so they leave better equipped to tackle the challenges facing them.
This isn’t another ‘startup’ get together: it’s for people who are already running good businesses, probably doing a lot right but probably some things not so well.
In a nutshell, The Xchange allows businesses and entrepreneurs from across Ireland to engage with a group of successful business leaders and executives, pick their brains and ask them during exclusive one-on-one sessions for advice, tips, shortcuts, goal-setting do’s and don’ts as well as suggestions for business success.
Everyone then sits down together for a great dinner and a chance to meet and exchange business knowledge and insights with all involved. A special guest will give an after-dinner speech, guaranteed to energise everyone in attendance.
Attendees include Programme Director of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year, Sean Duffy, CEO of LotusWorks Fergal Broder, serial entrepreneur and Ticketmaster founder Tommy Higgins, Gillian Buckley, investment manager of the WDC Investment Fund and Cindy Barnes of Futurecurve.
LotusWorks CEO Fergal Broder said those attending can reap real benefits: “The Xchange is really about bringing established young entrepreneurs into a setting to meet with successful entrepreneurs. We love doing what we are doing but inevitably we face challenges, this event allows us to share stories and learn from mistakes others made. A problem shared is problem halved- taking a day away from the desk into a setting with like-minded people gives us all a new and energised perspective.”
Ian Brannigan, head of the Western Development Commission, said: “Pairing emerging businesses with some of the most successful business leaders the region has to offer is a recipe for success. Rather than the Dragons Den, this has been a real ‘Dragons School’ for numerous developing businesses in the Western region.”
Aidan Doyle, CEO of Sligo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “This is really a wonderful opportunity for seasoned and emerging entrepreneurs to share knowledge, skills and experience while promoting the region as a place in which to do business.”
The event details:
The Xchange takes place on October 5th and 6th 2017 in The Radisson Blu Hotel, Ballincar, Rosses Point, Sligo.
What is it?
You’ve seen Dragon’s Den, Entrepreneur of The Year and all those other mentoring, networking and business shows – The Exchange has the best of everything to give ambitious business leaders a competitive edge.
When is it on?
The Exchange takes place on December 1st and 2nd 2016 in The Radisson Blu Hotel, Ballincar, Rosses Point, Sligo.
What’s the setup?
This isn’t another ‘startup’ get together: it’s for people who are already running good businesses, probably doing a lot right but probably some things not so well. In a nutshell, The Exchange allows businesses and entrepreneurs from across Ireland get to sit down with a group of successful business leaders and executives, pick their brains and ask them during exclusive one-on-one sessions for top tips, help in setting goals and advice on overcoming challenges.
There’s craic to be had too.
After the chats, everyone sits down together for a great dinner and a chance to meet and exchange business knowledge and insights with all involved. A special guest will give an after-dinner speech, guaranteed to energise everyone in the room.
What does The Xchange feature?
Just some of the country’s brightest and best business figures and leaders exchanging advice, tips, shortcuts, do’s and don’ts as well as suggestions for business success.
Who are they?
Well, for starters there’s the Programme Director of the phenomenally successful EY Entrepreneur of the Year, Sean Duffy, co-founder and CEO of Netwatch, David Walsh, CEO of LotusWorks Fergal Broder, serial entrepreneur and Ticketmaster founder Tommy Higgins, Gillian Buckley, investment manager of the WDC Investment Fund, Cindy Barnes of Futurecurve, businessman and RTE board member Padraig O Ceidigh and David Kiely of consulting engineers Jennings O’Donovan & Partners.
Here are the full details
It sounds like a business could learn – and gain – a lot by attending.
Yes – this unique event has the single aim of sharing information and stories of success with participating businesses, so they leave the Exchange better equipped to tackle the various issues facing them.
LotusWorks CEO Fergal Broder says those attending can reap real benefits:
“What we are trying to do is share some of our experiences which of course include our successes but also to share those valuable insights and experiences about what we did wrong and to see how we might have done things a little different.”
And what kind of business should attend?
All kinds, says David Kiely of Jennings O’Donovan & Partners:
“In terms of sector and size, ideally with a few years under their belt since starting-up and who have the ambition to scale and grow.”
So, the event can really help indigenous businesses to expand and thrive?
Without doubt, says Ian Brannigan, head of the Western Development Commission.
“For several years now ‘The Xchange’ has brought businesses into direct contact with business leaders who are passionate about making a difference to growing enterprises. The WDC is delighted to see how these meaningful engagements have created a culture of success leading to improved capability, products and in many cases jobs.”
The event details once more…
The Xchange takes place on December 1st and 2nd 2016 in The Radisson Blu Hotel, Ballincar, Rosses Point, Sligo.
Register: this is how businesses can sign up:
Registration closes Friday November 25th.
And for more information:
Contact Ciaran Byrne at StoryLab on 0861739523 or Mary Harty at Sligo Chamber on 071 916 1274
The Exchange, an immersive 24-hour event for emerging entrepreneurs in the West of Ireland.
- An established business seeking to scale, if so you should apply to become part of The Exchange.
- This full day experience includes one to one mentoring, group breakout sessions, leadership advice, and networking opportunities.
- Over a full day, the Exchange enables you to connect with an executive group who have achieved global success.
- Provides an opportunity for you to discuss your business’s plans, challenges and goals with Ireland’s most successful and influential entrepreneurs.
- It’s more than networking. It’s more than mentoring. It’s THE EVENT for ambitious entrepreneurs who see a global business in their future.
How To Apply
Apply before November 18th via http://thexchange.ie/
The Radisson Hotel, Ballincar, Rosses Point, Sligo
26-27 November 2015
About The Exchange
The Exchange aims to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, experience and learning between small and medium-sized enterprises and Ireland most experienced Entrepreneurs. The event is an opportunity for businesses, ready to take the next step, to gain invaluable advice from some of the biggest names in business, who will share their knowledge and experience of developing a business on a global stage. Meet The Entrepreneurs
The programme provides entrepreneurs like you the opportunity to have formal one-to-one sessions with these successful business leaders as well as numerous informal networking opportunities.
Are you: an established business that is seeking to scale?
Join us on November 26th and 27th to become part of The Exchange. Apply Now
This full day experience includes one to one mentoring, group breakout sessions, leadership advice, and networking opportunities.
If you are facing challenges in growing your business, don’t miss this unique opportunity to benefit from the insights and experiences of successful entrepreneurs in an inspirational, high energy and supportive environment. Fergal Broder CEO, LotusWorks
Get focused on growing your business; its events like these that will give emerging entrepreneurs the competitive edge. There has never been a greater need for the Entrepreneur in Ireland. George Mullan CEO, SIS Group
The Entrepreneur Exchange: The Radisson Hotel, Rosses Point, Sligo on Thursday, 27 and Friday, 28 November 2014.
Some of the country’s most successful business leaders are making themselves available to work with SMEs who want to expand and grow their business.
The event is an opportunity for businesses, ready to take the next step, to gain invaluable advice from some of the biggest names in business, who will share their knowledge and experience of developing a business on a global stage.
The programme provides entrepreneurs like you the opportunity to have formal one-to-one sessions with these successful business leaders as well as numerous informal networking opportunities over the course of an intense 24 hours.
In addition, there will be workshops on preparing your business for a successful exit, managing business and family life and telling your business’ story. There will also be advice from banking institutions, venture capital investors and the Halo Business Angels Partnership.
The following are the Business Leaders who have confirmed their participation: –
|Aaron Forde, Chief Executive Officer, Aurivo Co-operative Society Limited|
|Andy Rogers, KSG, KMCO, Chairman, Premium Golf Brands Ltd.,|
|Aoife Porter, Digital Marketer, Bua Marketing,|
|Bairbre Meehan, Managing Director, Vention Medical Ireland|
|David Kiely, Jennings O’Donovan & Partners, Director|
|Fergal Broder, CEO LotusWorks|
|Frank Boyle, ProTek Medical|
|Gary Kennedy, Chairman of Greencore Group plc; and Green REIT plc;|
|George Mullan, SIS Group|
|Gerard Barry, Founder and ex CEO of Fintrax Group Holdings Ltd.,|
|Gillian Buckley, Investment Manager, Western Development Commission (WDC)|
|John Daly, Managing Director, Ireland Food|
|John O’Shaughnessy, Chairman and Co-Founder Neuravi, Chairman of Vistamed, Cambus Medical and Founder and CEO of Mednova.|
|John Purdy, Chief Executive Officer, Ergo|
|Liam Griffin, Chairman, Griffin Hotel Group|
|Michael Dawson, Gift Voucher Shop|
|Niall Tracey, Growth Drivers|
|Niall Tracey, Growth Drivers & Group CEO of NetWatch|
|Professor Thomas M. Cooney, (B.Comm, MBA, PhD, MMII, MCIM, FIMCA) Professor in Entrepreneurship at the Dublin Institute of Technology|
|Sean Hannick, Managing Director of Killala Precision Components|
|Tommy Griffith, Founder & CEO, PEL Waste Reduction Equipment|
|Tommy Higgins, Chairman, Access Media|
Full details are available on theentrepreneurexchange.ie/#entrepreneurs
The Entrepreneur Exchange takes place at the Radisson Hotel, Sligo on November 27th and 28th, from lunchtime to lunchtime. It costs €295 per person including accommodation, all meals and a gala dinner.
To apply, complete the application form available on www.theentrepreneurexchange.ie and send it to email@example.com. The closing date for applications is Saturday, November 8th, 2014. Applicants will be chosen by their suitability to the programme and, following shortlisting and/or an interview, 24 will be selected to participate.