Island of Innovation

Enterprise Island is one of Ireland’s government agencies, which serves the purpose of fueling the development of small and medium size enterprises. They offer an assortment of services to different businesses including funding and investing in small to medium enterprises as well as startups, and guiding businesses through various challenges they will face as they endeavor to grow. 

The presentations given to us by people holding very different positions at Enterprise Island was really inspiring to me. The first thing that stood out to me is the demographics they gave us of the typical first time entrepreneur who finds success. The team leader of the High Potential Start Ups Acceleration Program told us he found the average age of a successful entrepreneur to be 39, and these people usually have about 15 years of experience in their field. Their experience is what makes them so successful and gives them insight into how to innovate in their fields. I was also impressed with how they create curriculum in order to best serve the businesses they are helping develop. Enterprise Island focuses on practical applications to the different businesses. Enterprise Island has also developed a mentorship program for the CEO’s of businesses who have exponentially grown and may not have a large network to seek out advice from. I thought that was an interesting program as I believe mentorship is key to success at every stage of professional development. Another point that the speakers mentioned was the importance of transforming company culture in order to drive change. This is something that has been emphasized in some of my courses at Pitt Business and I was intrigued that it was something that was carefully considered and not overlooked in big business endeavors like those of Enterprise Island. It was also mentioned that Enterprise Island was a “best in class” government agency with many people from across the world traveling to study what goes on there. I think that more developing economies should adopt similar government agencies in order to grow their economies. 

This was my first time listening to a speaker present about startups and while I kept up with the discussion, I certainly have a lot more questions for our speakers. I would like to learn more about the analytics that go into deciding which ventures are good investments and which need more time to develop. Another thing I would have liked to hear more about are the different stages of growth of a business and how entrepreneurs can anticipate future challenges. The different strategies used in foreign markets also caught my interest and is a field that I do not know much about. 

Enterprise Island was the first government agency I have attended a presentation for, and while I don’t understand the complicities of the European Union’s market economy, I felt inspired by their presentation! The entire purpose of Enterprise Island is to motivate entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses to their full potential. After the presentations, I felt encouraged to think about my long term career and how I may one day be leading innovation on my own. 

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