New York Digital Irish (NYDI), one of the premier events for Irish entrepreneurs and digital media professionals takes place this week in New York in the Irish Consulate.
New York Digital Irish is the brainchild of Feargall Kenny, CEO of Glenborn. Also heavily involved in getting the group established were Barry Navan HBO. Shane Lennon of Epiq Systems, Oisin Hanrahan, founder of Handybook and Aisling Keogh of IrishCentral.
This group is for Irish expats or Irish Americans who explicitly work in the Digital Media arena (or those interested in meeting them) either with established firms or startups. According to organizer Feargall Kenny, “It is folks who touch on the following areas - social media, mobile, online advertising, digital agencies, search, analytics, video, ecommerce or other online-centric B2C or B2B plays.”
The event this week is taking place in collaboration with another Irish professional network, the Irish International Business Network (IIBN), a global, not for profit organisation which brings together Irish business people.
Generally the NYDI takes place every two months and follows the same format. The event is kicked off with a presentation from an Irish or Irish American working in industry, such as Jason Forbes of Zeebox and Chris Walker of AKC.
This is followed by 4-5 pitches from entrepreneurs - the vast majority are from Ireland but one slot is reserved every meetup for a startup founded by an expat or Irish American. The beauty of this format is that each entrepreneur asks the audience for help connecting them to useful contacts that they define. To date companies have been helped with fundraising, customer and partner connections, office space and consulting and full-time talent.
Companies who have pitched to the group have included a veritable who’s who of talented Irish entrepreneurs. They include SXSW winners Trustev who presented last year, Storyful (acquired by News Corp) and Datahug.
This week the event has a superb cast:
Deirdre Connelly, Executive Producer for Embassy Row will share insights from her role at Embassy Row and the impact of digital on the TV production business. Deirdre joined Embassy Row in 2009 to produce Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live!” with Andy Cohen.. Prior to joining Embassy Row, Deirdre’s experience included producing MTV’s flagship daily show “Total Request Live”. Deirdre has also just joined the Advisory Board of the IIBN in New York.
The event will finish with startup pitches from some truly inspirational entrepreneurs including Susan O’Brien, founder of Smigin and advisory board member of IIBN NY, Tadhg O’Toole, CEO Likecharity, Sean Blanchfield CEO PageFair and Tony Prylowski CEO of Compendia.
Tadhg O'Toole - CEO Likecharity.
Dublin-based. Founded on the belief that the future of fundraising is mobile and social, likecharity makes it easy by letting you donate directly from your mobile phone. For charities, Likecharity takes ownership on campaign spends to ensure ROI.
Susan O'Brien - Founder, Smigin.
NY-based. Expat Susan O'Brien has created a revolutionary way to speak a foreign language. Learn why American Airlines are adopting the Smigin platform to ensure their cabin attendants are competent at servicing customers of all languages.
Sean Blanchfield - CEO, Pagefair.
Dublin-based. The internet survives with ad dollars. Ad blocking technology puts that at risk. The more technically savvy the audience, the greater the risk that the publication in question will have its ads blocked by the user. Pagefair helps publishers work around ad-blocking technology to ensure monetization opportunities are not lost.
Tony Prylowski - CEO, Compendia.
Dublin-based. With the proliferation of tablets, Compendia bridges the gap for enterprises to embrace this technology by providing a solution that ties together discrete apps with a collaboration layer that meets the security requirements of large enterprises.