NUI Galway and GTC launch scaling masterclasses for emerging tech firms

11 Dec 2019

Esther Tippmann, professor of strategy, leadership and change, NUI Galway. Image: Aengus McMahon

The scaling masterclasses aim to prepare businesses for the challenges that come with rapid growth, particularly on a global scale.

On Tuesday (10 December), the Galway Technology Centre (GTC) and NUI Galway announced a new partnership that aims to offer emerging tech companies a masterclass in scaling.

The scaling masterclass, which targets founders and senior management in growing tech companies, will be provided by NUI Galway’s JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics with the help of GTC.

The classes will be delivered by Prof Jonathan Levie, who specialises in entrepreneurship and regional development, and Prof Esther Tippmann, who focuses on strategy, leadership and change. Stephen McIntyre of Frontline Ventures will serve as a guest facilitator on the project.

Niamh Costello, general manager of GTC, said: “This region has an abundance of tech companies who have brought products to market and discovered a viable business model.

“Their next challenge is to grow by at least 20pc per annum, and the scaling masterclasses aim to support them as they do that. It is a wonderful opportunity for scaling companies to tap into the expertise available at NUI Galway.”

A woman with short, brown, curly hair wearing a red top smiles into the camera.

Niamh Costello, general manager of Galway Technology Centre. Image: Martina Regan

‘Just the start’

Commenting on the partnership, Tippmann said: “This is a new initiative to address an important challenge – the supports for scaling companies. We are excited to have partnered with the Galway Technology Centre to deliver execution-focused masterclasses.

“The management of rapid growth is demanding and we are looking forward to supporting scaling tech businesses to develop their firms.”

Taking place in 2020, the masterclasses will cover the topics of mastering replication and entrepreneurship; leading at scale; vision, mission and culture for scaling and metrics that matter; financing your scale-up and becoming fit for scaling; and tying it all together.

Levie added: “At the JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics, we have identified growth and scaling of entrepreneurial firms as a key target for us to contribute to, by collaborating with the best researchers and practitioners in this area around the world. These masterclasses are just the start of a long term commitment to this issue.”

A man with grey hair looks into the camera in front of a blurry grey background. He is wearing a black suit, white shirt and purple tie.

Jonathan Levie, professor of entrepreneurship and regional development, NUI Galway. Image: Aengus McMahon

Who’s leading the initiative?

Levie has 35 years’ experience in entrepreneurship education and research in leading business schools, including London Business School, Babson College and, for the last 20 years, Strathclyde Business School, which is Scotland’s leading business school. There, he was the founding director of the Human Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Tippmann, meanwhile, has extensive experience in strategy and international business education and research from leading business schools, including the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business in UCD and Grenoble École de Management.

Over the years, she has worked closely with several scaling SaaS firms in Ireland and the US, on case studies and research projects to understand the challenges of rapid growth, especially in international markets.

McIntyre, of Frontline Ventures, previously held the role of VP of EMEA at Twitter, where he set up and led the regional business. Prior to this, he held a variety of leadership roles at Google.

The newly announced partnership solidifies Galway’s reputation as a start-up collaboration hub, a topic we explored earlier this year at, when we spent a month putting Galway’s sci-tech scene under the microscope.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic