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  • US-based Irish tech group signs deal with UCD, Trinity

    Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

    The Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG), a Silicon Valley-based group of has signed an agreement with Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin aimed at driving Irish innovation and creating new business opportunities in the US for emerging Irish companies.

    According to a press release, TCD Provost John Hegarty, UCD President Hugh Brady and ITLG chair John Hartnett announced a memorandum of understanding on Monday, 15 June to promote technological innovation, and the goals of the recently announced Innovation Alliance between UCD and TCD, through this partnership.

    The group also announced a summit meeting at the Irish embassy in Washington DC on 10 September, 2009. This meeting will be aimed at devising a programme of collaboration around a number of areas set out in the memo of understanding:

    • To explore and advance new mechanisms for business creation and scaling for Ireland
    • To explore creation and management of a dedicated technology venture capital fund
    • To partner on the delivery of innovation training to the student body of the Innovation Alliance, through case study presentation and mentoring of project work within the Innovation Academy.

    ITLG chair John Hartnett said, “In the midst of Irish and US economic turmoil, there has never been a more important moment to foster and invest in technological innovation. ITLG is delighted to seize the opportunity to pursue that objective in partnership with Ireland’s premier research universities through the Innovation Alliance”.

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    ITLG founder calls for high-level outreach to Irish abroad

    Friday, March 20th, 2009

    A group of high-level Irish representatives should be gathered to reach out to the Irish diaspora to assist in economic development, says an Irish-American founder of the San Francisco-based Irish Technology Leadership Group.

    Tom McEnery, a former mayor of San Jose, is quoted in the Sunday Business Post as saying,

    It is now time to assemble the best and most significant Irish representatives – like President McAleese, key government and Enterprise Ireland people, U2, Seamus Heaney and the Abbey players as well as certain chief executives – to help Ireland in these tough times.

    If these representatves reached out to successful second- and third-generation Irish around the world, then a rich vein of relationships that could achieve real results would be initiated.

    McEnry said that the focus of Irish outreach efforts needs to shift from the traditional centres of Irish-American power:

    Politicians need to make more visits to Silicon Valley, where there are 700,000 technology workers – and less to Washington, New York and Chicago.

    Silicon Valley is successsful because of the Californian government’s investment in universities, the development of a proper transport network via public-private partnerships, and the availability of capital to support enterprise ventures.

    Ireland has good universities, but it hasn’t achieved the others to the extent that is needed, and that is where the focus needs to be now. Ireland has come a long way in the last 20 years, and everything that can be done now to sustain that must be done.

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    Sunday Business Post: Irish diaspora must be tapped for support

    US-based tech leaders support Irish business

    Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

    The Irish Technology Leadership group, a San Francisco-based group of technology executives, are eager to lend their support to Ireland’s economy, according to an article in

    John Hartnett, the group’s chair, told the publication that the Irish abroad can play a key role in dealing with the current economic crisis:

    “It’s not just an Irish problem; it’s a  worldwide problem. Ireland needs to reach out to each part of the diaspora that can help it to be successful.”

    The ITLGis comprised of 500 members, all at executive and CEO level. The group is hosting an event in Silicon Valley this month that will bring six firms selected at its “Siclicon Valley comes to Ireland” event in November to meet with senior executives from US-based businesses.

    The ITLG is working with the IDA and Invest NI to better compete in Silicon Valley. The article says:

    Ireland is going to have to compete in a different way. The first thing is to get the brand right,” he argues, by positioning Ireland as a high-value country and an innovator on the leading edge of technology.”Inward investment is hugely imporant, but we must stand on two legs and make Irish companies multi-million firms. Israel ahs 66 companise listed on Nasdaq; Ireland has four. We have got to be able to compete up the food chain and up the value chain. “

    Hartnett also says that the group is encouraging Irish politicians to meet with industry leaders in the valley, and assisting government and educational institutions to understand how to innovate and win business more successfully.

    The ITLG is hosting its Silicon Valley Awards 2009 ceremony on 14 April at Stanford University in California, with Tanaiste Mary Coughlan as keynote speaker.

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