The IIBN runs 40 - 50 networking and other events each year and has three chapters in London, New York and Dublin. The aim of the group is to bring Irish business professionals of all hues together. The IIBN are renowned for their high quality of the speakers and content at their events. Irish and Irish American professionals based in New York are no strangers to their events.

IIBN member Martin Ryan talked with IrishCentral this week about the program he is putting together for the startup zone of Opportunity, the annual IIBN conference that is taking place in New York this November. Click HERE for Early Bird Rates!

Tell us about the Startup Zone?

Our SmartStart Zone, sponsored by Irish investor Gerry Moan’s Smart Invest transatlantic fund that helps Irish startups get going in the US, is intended to demonstrate the innovation being delivered by Irish startup companies looking to get a foothold in the US. We have companies from the world of technology, food and beverage, hospitality, law, and healthcare, all with female and male leaders at the helm. 

What companies will be there?

We have an abundance of talent waiting to exhibit! While we have space for between 12 and 15 exhibitors, we are working to make sure we have the right blend of talent. The exhibitor list should be finalized by October 3rd. 

Who is involved?

While I am the lead on coordinating the exhibitors, Gerry Moan from Smart Invest, Feargall Kenny from the NY Digital Irish group, and Kristie D’Agnes from Enterprise Ireland have all be instrumental in pulling together our exhibitor companies. In addition, Mary Ann Pierce from MAP Digital has been our point person on all things logistic at Convene, our event location. 

What kind of opportunities is there for Irish startups in NYC? Can you think of specific industries?

Technology startups certainly lead the line in Silicon Alley, however with so much focus today on areas such as energy, financial regulation, privacy and security, and cloud service infrastructure, opportunities will continue to be produced and new innovations created across a wide breath of industries. Given the continued investment Ireland makes in educating our workforce, and the talent we have been and continue to produce, there is tremendous opportunity to harness the power of our own diaspora networks in NYC and across the globe. 

Can startups still apply to attend? Tell us a little about the conference and why startups need to be there?

As mentioned, we are still completing our list of exhibitors and will have it finalized by October 3rd. As of now, we are accepting applicants however not all are guaranteed a spot due to significant interest and limited spaces. However, if you are a startup and don't make it to be an exhibitor, the conference is a tremendous opportunity to meet fellow Irish and Irish Americans. The Irish have always been top of the class when it comes to meeting people and building relationships. We have travelled the world and created opportunity for ourselves wherever we have been, and this conference is aimed at amplifying our growing global ambitions and innovative leadership. 

Tell us a little about your background?

I was born and raised in Dublin, leaving in 2000 for NYC. Since coming to NY I’ve made some amazing friends and colleagues, not least of all my wife since 2007 with whom I have 2 wonderful young girls and a little fella on the way in December. I was working in the financial services industry, running a technology team, for the past 13 years until recently when I decided to switch gears and start a business. I’ve been a technology advisor to small businesses since the change and am also currently working to start a shared office for international businesses, both startup and accomplished, who need help getting started in the US. While ultimately we intend to offer a space for all international businesses, we are starting with the incredibly talent of the Irish networks who seek help getting up and running in NYC.

How did you get involved with the IIBN?

I first heard of the IIBN several years ago through a friend who had been to several events. It was here I met Colman Lydon, former Chair of the NY Chapter, who helped me get involved with several aspects of the group. I started by contributing to such initiatives as our Financial Industry Symposium and the Irish Executive Mentorship Program, which I co-led with Sean Gaffey, current Chair of the NY Chapter, and members of IN-NYC.

Join IIBN Members, many of whom will be traveling over to join us from the UK and Ireland, guests and VIP guest speakers for the 4th IIBN Annual Global Conference will take place in New York on Friday, November 7th 2014 at the Convene Center. Don’t miss this opportunity to organise an invaluable business trip and access some of the most successful and exciting business talent associated with Ireland in decades. Click HERE for Early Bird Rates!