Ivan Yates to speak at British Irish Chamber Dinner

Ivan Yates

Ivan Yates is a broadcaster, columnist, businessman and former politician, holding the position of Fine Gael Dáil deputy for more than twenty years. A native of Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, he became involved in local politics at a young age and, at twenty-one years old, was the youngest member of the 22nd Dáil. He was appointed Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry in 1994.

Celtic Bookmakers

In 2001, he left full-time politics to concentrate on his family and business interests.  Celtic Bookmakers, a chain of betting shops founded by Ivan in 1987, went on to become one of the largest independent family chains in the country. The business went into receivership in 2011 and Ivan declared himself bankrupt in 2012.

Newstalk, TV3

After a year in Wales, he returned to Ireland where he now works full-time in the Irish media. Ivan co-presents Newstalk FM’s breakfast show with Chris Donoghue, is a frequent guest presenter on TV3 and writes weekly columns for the Irish Independent.  He also makes regular appearances as a promotional and after-dinner speaker.

“Full on”

Ivan is married with four children and lives in Dublin. His best selling autobiography “Full On” was published in 2014.


If you want to book for the dinner (which will also give you access to the conference), click here

Separate tickets to the conference are available here. Use “ULSTERBANK” to get 50% off.

NB Discount does not apply to the conference dinner

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Would you like to find out more about Entrepreneurial Spark?

Entrepreneurial Spark are offering you the chance to have a look around the accelerator, speak to one of the team and discuss joining the programme or how you/your business can become involved with Entrepreneurial Spark.

Whether you have a business yourself that you are looking to take to the next stage, you are considering becoming a mentor or believe you could help support the entrepreneurs within the Entrepreneurial Spark programme then we would like to invite you to join one of our tours.

Each group tour will last no longer than one hour and the tour will be conducted by Lynsey Cunningham, Belfast Entrepreneur Development Manager.

Please note that the hatchery tour is not on one to one basis and there will be approx 15 people on each tour therefore all questions and answers will be given in a group.

Entrepreneurial Spark is non – sectorial, equity free business growth accelerator based in physical spaces – Hatcheries. We accept entrepreneurs and businesses of all genres. We are more focused on the individual and how we can develop them as entrepreneurial leaders.

And everything is absolutely FREE.  

Entrepreneurial Spark – Lombard House. 5th – 6th Floor, Lombard Street. Belfast BT1 1RD GB


26 February


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Help entrepreneurs to grow, mentors wanted

Helping 80 entrepreneurs to grow

The World’s largest free business accelerator, Entrepreneurial Spark, is opening its doors to exciting and dynamic businesses in Belfast this February (and we can’t wait!). Powered by Ulster Bank, we are offering free office space, a 6-18 month programme of hands-on enablement, a start up boot camp and regular events that will help the 80 entrepreneurs build and grow their businesses.

Looking for mentors

In addition to all of the above, we are on the look out for experienced mentors to support, coach and help the businesses- are you the person to make this happen?  The right mentor can provide expert support and ultimately increase the likelihood of businesses becoming a roaring success and we are looking for passionate people who have the skills and experience to share with Entrepreneurs, giving them the extra edge.

You are invited

Join us for a light lunch to find out more about the programme and see our state of the art Hatchery. It’s also a brilliant opportunity to tell us a bit more about you and how you could support the entrepreneurs, as well as meet other potential mentors.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016 from 13:30 to 15:00 (CST) Add to Calendar
The Belfast Hatchery – Lombard House. 10-20 Lombard Street. Belfast, Antrim Bt1 1RD GB


Hope to see you there.

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Export, scaling Irish technology companies in the UK market

Market of 60 million people

The British Irish Chamber of Commerce and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), in partnership with PwC, will be hosting a morning seminar to explore the export opportunities for scaling Irish technology companies in the UK market.  Access to a market of 60 million people, a competitive entrepreneurial tax regime and the benefits of the wider ecosystem of supporting services for entrepreneurs on your doorstep creates a compelling offer for Irish companies.   

UK’s Trade & Investment Minister Lord Francis

The UK’s Trade & Investment Minister Lord Francis Maude will lead a discussion with entrepreneurs on the opportunities for Irish companies in the UK.

Panel Discussion

The panel discussion will be moderated by Anthony Sheehan, UKTI expert in tech finance, tax incentives for entrepreneurs and establishing global operations.

  • Joseph Thompson – Peace by Trade – successful Bitcoin company now established in UK
  • Sonya Lennon- Frockadvisor – unique cross platform digital service for independent fashion retailers
  • Shay Garvey – Frontline Ventures – vastly experienced early stage technology investor
  • Pat Flood – Chair of British Irish Chamber ICT Policy Committee – exploring potential for future partnerships and collaborations in the Ireland & UK Tech space

The session will conclude with continued networking allowing you the opportunity to share experiences and ideas with your peers as well as the speakers. PwC members as well as UK Trade & Investment staff will also be on hand for meetings, should you have specific questions related to your own business.


7.30am:   Registration, breakfast and networking

Opening Remarks by Lord Maude, UK’s Trade and Investment Minister

Presentation by Ronan Finn PwC

Panel discussion

Q and A

9.15am:   Event concludes


PwC Ireland,

One Spencer Dock,

North Wall Quay,

Dublin 1



If you would like to attend this event please reply to this email or email Darragh at darragh.otuathail@britishirishchamber.com by 25th January.

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Make a Great Impression at a Networking Event

Live events bring together people with common interests and give everyone an incentive to interact. They are a great way to build both your personal and professional networks. If you’re willing to introduce yourself, then you have a good chance of making new friends or meeting potential business contacts.

Of course, getting the most from a live event takes more than showing up and saying, “Hello”. If you want to make an impression and build lasting connections, then you’ll need to put in some work. Here are few tips to ensure you make a positive impression that lasts beyond the event.

Make a Great Impression at a Networking Event

1. Be prepared

An event may be your first or only chance to connect with potential customers, employers or new friends. Take the time to review information about attendees and topics being discussed before you arrive. If you’re not familiar with the topic then you can prepare by attending a webinar or using a mobile learning tool for research.

Preparation also means have the right look and supplies for the event. Make sure you’re dressed to impress, or at least fit in. Also, remember to bring plenty of business cards, pens, and something to write with. Practice introducing yourself so you are comfortable walking up to strangers and sharing your key information.

2. Show real interest in the people around you

The worst thing you can do at a live event is spend all your time talking about yourself. Make it a point to ask open-ended questions and listen carefully to what others have to say.

Making connections is about getting beyond the shallow conversation topics and engaging with what matters. The best way to do this is to offer a bit more about yourself at the start, then ask questions that give your conversation partner the same opportunity.

While a live event may be about business, you should make it a point to talk about things other than business. Share a story about your vacation, ask your new friend about their hobbies or suggest a good book to read in order to start building a real rapport.

Remember that your goal is to make a lasting impression and stand out in a person’s mind after the event. That means sharing more than your sales pitch.

3. Be a connector

Sometimes you, your business, or your goals don’t align with the people you’re meeting. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make a connection. Remember that people often change jobs and even industries: someone you meet today could become a client, or an employer down the road.

If your interest and a new connections don’t align at that moment, then try helping them make another connection. This may be another person at the event or someone else you know. Offer introductions to other people at the event or referrals to people you think can help them. You’ll be remembered in a positive light and they may return the favor someday.

4. Keep conversations going

It’s important to keep the conversation going after the event is over. You don’t want your new friend or contact to forget about you.

Don’t be afraid to invite a new connection out for coffee, or invite them for a drink after the event is over. If you feel it’s too soon to ask for another face-to-face interaction, then make it a point to email them the next day.

The trick here is to reinforce the connection, but not be too aggressive. If you talked about doing business, then feel free to bring that up, but you might be better off mentioning the other topics you discussed.

When you make a good first impression at a live event, it will be beneficial to your business.

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CoderDojo Community Platform Hackathon

The CoderDojo Foundation recently relaunched Zen as a new open source community platform! With the awesome support of Code For Ireland, Dogpatch Labs and Ulster Bank we are hosting a 2 day Hackathon at Dogpatch Labs to show you how to contribute to this opensource community platform!

Register here

About Zen

This new system allows CoderDojo community members (Mentors and Champions) to fully manage their Dojo activities like  issuing tickets to individual Dojo events, posting in forums, editing and setting up profiles etc. The system is completely open source.

Below are some of the really cool community features:

– A forum for community members
– A forum especially for youths over 13 years of age
– An improved Dojo listing where you can book tickets to a Dojo event
– Profiles for individual community members where you can showcase your skills and the Dojo you belong to

We’re using some cutting edge open source technology for the system:

– NodeJS
– AngularJS
– PostGreSQL
– Mozilla Open Badges
– Jenkins

About the hackathon

If you’re interested in developing for this open source project please come along to our Hackathon in Dogpatch Labs, the top tech start up hub in dublin! On the day there will be 2 streams, a coding stream and a translation stream.

Coding Stream

We will cover how to get set up for development and open your first pull request! Don’t worry about having / not having lots of experience, we will have experienced developers present to help you, and we have a list of issues that are “suitable for beginners”!

This is an ideal opportunity to:

– Showcase your development skills on an open source repository. Employers love to see open source activity on Github so it is an easy way to prove your skills.

– Learn from experienced developers in the tech industry. The system was developed by a leading NodeJS development house, NearForm

– Learn how the peer coding reviews and deployment processes work in a real world scenario.

Translating Stream

We are also looking for people to help us translate the community platform. If you are fluent in any forgien language we would love your help on the day. We are using Crowd In to translate the community platform. More details about helping translate on the day can be found here.

This is an ideal opportunity to:

– Showcase your language skills

– Contribute to a open source community project that impacts youth all around the world!

What you will need:

Your Own Laptop and charger

You don’t need to be an expert but you will need to be very familiar with javascript.


View repository here https://github.com/CoderDojo/community-platform where you can see issues and the Readme if you’d like to get started pre-workshop.

Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us directly via: info@coderdojo.com

If you are interested in contributing to the platform outside this event, we are always looking for developers to help out, get in touch via the mailing address above.

A special thank you to the event sponsors Dogpatch Labs for providing the amazing venue for this event and to Ulster bank for providing the food.

Hope to see you there!

Register here

Wednesday, 6 January 2016 from 18:00 to 21:00 (GMT) Add to Calendar
Dogpatch Labs – Unit 1 CHQ Building. North Wall Quay. Dublin, Dublin D1 IE – View Map

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Early bird tickets for Social Media Summit

We are proud to be part of the Social Media Summit.

Dublin City Council

Also supported by International Relations in Dublin City Council, the event will be an important global gathering of key influencers, leaders, investors and creators within the global social media community. There are already whispers about this being the alternative to the Web Summit and they have promised to stay.

50% early bird discount

Early bird tickets at 50% of ticket price are still available, but are moving fast. You can get your ticket here before it is too late.

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If you are exporting to the UK ..

There is no rugby on the weekend of the 19th of February. That doesn’t mean we can’t go shoulder to shoulder with our exporting partners in Northern Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland.

One of the highlights of the conference season is the annual British Irish Chamber of Commerce dinner and conference.Exporting or thinking of exporting?
If you are exporting, or thinking of exporting, this is the event to go to. Particularly with the upcoming Brexit referendum, which will bring its own challenges and opportunities.

The Conference
The structure of the conference is a mix of politics and business, discussing not just Irish and UK politics, the elections, Brexit and the EU, but also leadership, strategy and export.

To give you a flavour of some of the contributors:

  • Tony Hanway of  Virgin Media
  • Ann Heraty of CPL
  • Sarah O’Connor of Cool Beans
  • Barry Andrews of Goal
  • Tim Arnold of Hailo
  • Niamh Townsend of Dell
  • Conor O’Leary of Greencore
  • Ambassador Dominick Chilcott
  • Paul Drechsler of the Confederation of British Industry
  • John Fitzgerald of Trinity College
  • Ellvena Graham of ESB

Meet your potential clients
During the annual British Irish Chamber of Commerce conference there is an opportunity to meet your counter parts from Ireland and the UK. To accommodate these meetings, there will a separate meeting room where you can meet your potential buyers, speakers, experts, customers and partners. We will endeavour to facilitate those meetings.

Panel discussions with your peers
If you are not interested in the politics and if you want to talk to other small businesses from Ireland and UK on a collective basis, you can participate in a number of open panel discussions, where business people from Ireland and the UK share their business lessons and experiences. Topics that will be covered are culture, selling, social media, lessons from failure and lessons from success.

Book now

Tickets for the dinner and conference are € 195. Places are limited and you need to book before 25 January in order for us to try to arrange the meetings you want. We cannot guarantee that all meetings will happen on the day, but we will do our best to facilitate the introductions during and after the conference. Contact alison.cotter@britishirishchamber.com

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Madness at the Ulster Bank #hackmakethebank hackathon

Was just part of a meeting preparing for the upcoming Ulster Bank hackathon in the Dogpatchlab in CHQ on 29-31 January.

On the programme, apart from hacking is Techball, lessons in Irish dancing, food, drink and massages.

For good measure, participants can win Spheros. Yep, the robot that is the basis of BB-8 in Star Wars

I am concerned! If you want to be part of this madness, you need to be fast, tickets are quickly running out. Book your place here

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McCormack Family Farms at “I Believe”

As part of “I believe“, Ulster Bank has given a stand to their clients to sample the Christmas atmosphere, sell and make the public aware of their offerings.

Over the next weeks you can visit them at the Food and Craft market. On Saturday 19 December it is the turn of McCormack Family Farms

McCormack Family Farms

The McCormack Family Farms’ story began in 1984 when Edward McCormack began growing and selling veg in Kiltale, Co. Meath. In the late 1980s he was joined by his son Stephen McCormack and together McCormack Family Farms was born. For 20 years the father and son team focused on growing veg and selling into Smithfield Market in Dublin. Then in the early 2000s the focus shifted to growing salad leaves and herbs, the first of many innovative steps! Success followed with the company earning its first retail contract in 2007 supplying herbs to Superquinn.

Today McCormack Family Farms supply all the leading retailers in Ireland! In March 2015 this 2nd generation family farm took its biggest, innovative step yet entering the juice market launching three new veggie juices using the finest salad and veg grown by the McCormacks: Apple & Spinach; Orange & Beet Leaf; Carrot, Beetroot, Kale & Pea Shoots.

Visit them at the fair or visit their website.

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