We had a great event on June 15th where the students presented their team projects to a great audience of Colorado business leaders. Belfast and Dublin were both represented in the room as the Colorado Irish Network also attended!
The students did a great job, and shared with the audience what they learned from the 39 speakers we met in Ireland, the two speakers we had in Denver, and the business leaders studied by the four student teams:
- Gerry Breen, Lord Mayor of Dublin
- David Byrne, head of high growth markets, Enterprise Ireland
- Oliver Hughes, Founder, Porterhouse Brewing Company
- Caelen King, Founder and CEO of WhatClinic.com
The feedback from the students and the audience has been terrific, and we hope to make another trip next year. As for next year, we’re thinking about some new ideas:
- It would be ideal to conduct organized, formal, and specific market research that we can share broadly to benefit Ireland and the US.
- Perhaps we could bring a small group of students to actually do a sponsored project for a company – e.g., marketing plan, sales strategy, business development, etc.
- Lastly, we would relish the chance to reciprocate and host Irish business leaders, government officials, and academia (professors and students)!
In the end, we have much to learn from the Irish about the development of deep and meaningful relationships with those with whom we work. We can also learn a thing or two about humility – “All egos must be checked at the door!” In the end, there is a great deal in common between the Irish and Coloradans: Same population numbers, we’re both an “island,” we have a focus on technology, we’re entrepreneurial, and we both have a great talent pool. The only “real” difference is altitude; but certainly not attitude!