Bluechips play ‘Dragons’ Den’ with digital media hopefuls

22 Jul 2008

Panels consisting of some of the heads of the largest technology and communications bluechips and multinationals will listen to and advise aspiring digital media companies and help them to achieve global success.

The initiative, being pulled together by the Digital Media Forum skillnet, aims to get start-ups and SMEs ambitious for global exports to present business pitches before seasoned industry veterans.

The move, explained organiser Neil Leyden, is to help promising companies gain a better insight into how they can scale their businesses internationally and gain contacts who can open doors for them.

“Participants will get real business feedback from senior executives they mightn’t normally get access to. They get a chance to road test their business plan and open up international business opportunities,” Leyden explained.

Bluechips and multinationals partaking in the initiative entitled The Digital Media Panel include Microsoft, IBM, O2, Vodafone, Google, Dell, Oracle, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Eircom.

Leyden said the plan is to identify eight companies that would go before two panels.

While there is no specific prize for companies that impress the seasoned executives, Leyden said, “hopefully the prize will be global success. That’s what we’re looking for. It’s rare companies get a chance to get feedback from companies of this calibre.

“It’s a win-win for the companies hoping to grow to scale but also for the larger companies looking to grow through innovation.”

Leyden said the opportunity is open to businesses provided they are in the digital space. To get a chance to pitch your company and business plan before the panel, email

Applications for the panels are to close at the end of this month (30 July), with the first of two panels sitting in September.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years