Jet lag: Delaying Everything But Innovation

Today we FINALLY arrived in Dublin, Ireland! So excited to be here and experience the remaining 11 days of our trip! As promised, I’m tying into yesterday in regards to the amazing turn around in Charlotte, NC. We ended up visiting the corporate HQ of Bank of America!!!

As it turns out, Bank of America is based in Charlotte, NC. That’s their world HQ! Thus, I was able to gain a recruiter connection for applying to Merrill Lynch APAC and EMEA. Which is the division of Bank of America that is over seas.

Then after arriving, we went to Enterprise Ireland. A division of the Irish Government that works with startups and entrepreneurs to invest & fund new Tech related products to increase business, exports, and jobs in Ireland.

The primary way that Enterprise Ireland generates revenue is through export sales, not directly however. They do so from the increased jobs that come from high export sales of a startup, the VAT taxes on those sales, and sometimes (rarely) the increased evaluation on the equity of the companies they sometimes invest in directly.

There was 5 interesting aspects to the presentations given. The first was how Enterprise Ireland provides free resources for the startups. Usually, innovation institutes, like at Pitt. While Pitt does not provide such resources for free, and neither do American innovation institutes. EI does, which greatly shows how well they believe their profit function works.

The 2nd notable aspect, was the high ratio converted from application to final startup in the incubator/accelerator. 1300 applications (done digitally and via startup pitches 10+ at a time) to enter the program by EI. Then 900 sent with requested Business Model Canvases. Then of that 900, 400 accepted into the program (almost 1/2). The failure rate and ultimate amount of startups out of there (70) varies due to many being sent to develope further and thus will enter a future program/year with EI most likely.

The Third was the intention to send companies abroad. They want to send companies to countries with low adoption of Irish exports, this was a smart tactic but it would require a bias towards founders from those countries or interpretor for those who are not. It does make sense, as they said they accept 10 people per year from America for example to start items in Ireland.

The Fourth, would be the internship program. Only new graduates can enter the program and they preferably local from Ireland due to internship restrictions. There is encouragement to join the local programs where authorized to work in the 33 offices that exist with 3 planned to be developed in other overseas countries such as Vietnam, Italy, and France.

The fifth take away I had, was how those choosing the invested in startups are governmental but not industry experts or understanding the tech. They understand the practicality for their government but not how the tech related startups actually function. This provides insight into the issue of selected startups failing when they cannot create the solution they believed they could after funding. However, I am sure this is not the case, as they have consultants and experts on staff.

AI, Block chain, VR, and Data are focuses of the department currently, falling in line with current market trends. Keeping in line with the 4 lenses of Innovation, 1. Understanding Needs (of Ireland), 2. Challenging Orthodoxes (With tech), 3. Utilizing Trends (AI, Block chain, VR), 4. Using current resources (Irish people and capital).

Honestly speaking, nothing went over my head in the discussion as I have worked and consulted in this exact innovation and entrepreneurship industry for 2 years. Having researched since I was 11 years on old the processes both domestically and internationally.

Personally, when I do not understand something I ask questions and do not pretend to know the answer. When acronyms are given, I immediately ask what they mean during the conversation/presentation. Presenters in industry are typically unaware they are using un-understood acronyms and appreciate such help, as if they continue speaking the audience will not understand and it will derail the presentation.

Later I will research or during the presentation I will utilize my phone to research to provide context. I prefer not understanding or often will not pretend to fully understand if I only somewhat understand. As you can hear the answer/description of something in a new way and compare it with your prior understanding. Rarely, but sometimes, I can even correct those presenting in industry if what they are saying is false by asking them for an explanation. Instead of telling them my explanation and them agreeing.

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