Sowing the seeds of change

14 Jan 2009

Those who tuned in to Prime Time on Wednesday night last caught a glimpse of the current state of the economy and, crucially, what companies must do in order to reverse the damage done.

The main theme of the Prime Time programme was the current economic crisis facing Ireland today, and how we need to position ourselves in order to meet the challenges ahead.  A focus of the programme was on the initiatives and structures that are in place to help indigenous companies grow sustainable businesses that can perform, compete and achieve success internationally.

Prime Time chose to part-base this special feature in the Dublin Docklands area and, as a provider of a unique support programme in the Docklands for knowledge-intensive start-ups, the centre manager of DIT Hothouse, Bernadette O’Reilly, was selected for interview.



With regard to Hothouse, the main angles that were covered include supports provided to participants on the Hothouse Venture programme, which is currently recruiting for its 17th cycle.

According to O’Reilly, many past participants on the Hothouse programme have been previously in middle/senior management with multinationals who wanted to take the leap and start their own business.

“They had the idea, the vision and the experience necessary to make the successful transition from employee to owner-manger – important in the context of current situation vis-à-vis the future of multinationals in Ireland,” she said.

Sara Hogan, programme manager, DIT Hothouse, explains that other aspects of tonight’s Prime Time evaluated the difference between inventor and entrepreneur, as well as interviewing a recent participant of the Hothouse programme — Andy Deegan of Breakout Gaming Concepts, which is a spin-out from DIT.

She says: “Via Prime Time, we hope to generate interest in the next Hothouse Venture Programme that starts in March. We also hope to stress the importance of continued funding for initiatives such as the Hothouse Venture Programme because of the critical role they play in equipping the next generation of Irish entrepreneurs with the skills and tools that they need to building sustainable knowledge-intensive internationally trading businesses that will be the backbone of the new ‘smart’ economy.”

Adds O’Reilly: “There has to date been significant interest in the next Hothouse Venture Programme, with interviews taking place through January and February and the programme itself starting in March.”

Details of recruitment drive for the 17th Hothouse Programme that will commence in March 2009 can be found on

Hopefully, the Prime Time programme itself helped generate interest from entrepreneurs — nascent and established — both in the tech and general business space, helping to ignite future innovation sparks and overall business success stories in Ireland and on the global stage to take us to the next level.

By Carmel Doyle

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic