IT experts offer free advice to start-ups

16 Mar 2007

ShareIT, a training initiative for small businesses, is holding a series of free talks next week in Cork in a bid to inject life into the Irish IT sector.

Damien Mulley, spokesperson for the Irish Small Business Advisory Group (ISBAD), which runs ShareIT, explained: “The idea is that somebody would come along with a business idea and we would have a panel of experienced people who can give advice about funding, running a business, running a team or outsourcing.”

ShareIT came about after ISBAD had gone to various meet-ups with Irish start-ups firms and Mulley said that in panel discussions the same questions kept coming up again and again.

“It seemed that there was some sort of gap between enterprise boards and Enterprise Ireland, where some information just wasn’t there, so the idea is to get people who are already experienced in business and technology to give training to people that are just starting off.”

Mulley said this was the first instance of its kind where free advice and training was offered and he attributed it to the close-knit IT community that exists in Ireland.

“I guess you could call it a version of pay-it-forward. The idea is that the more tech companies that are out there the bigger the community is going to be and the more business it is going to generate for the people that are there already.”

When asked how a not-for-profit company has the resources to network with small businesses, he explained: “There is quite a good tech blogging community out there. It’s done mostly via blogs.”

He likened the Irish tech community spirit to Silicon Valley where, he said, there are networking events every day of the week and a good community feel even though there’s tens of thousands of people.

By Marie Boran