Ray Walshe is the SFI-funded investigator at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at Dublin City University (DCU).
Walshe has also been a lecturer in Computing at DCU since 1994. He is a senior member of the IEEE, sits on the Cloud Computing Working Group of the Irish Internet Association, and is an Executive Committee Member of the Irish National Artificial Intelligence Association.
He is also a member of the steering committee for the Startup Gathering Dublin.
In your opinion, which areas of technology hold the greatest scope for opportunities?
Data analytics: Finding knowledge and insights from the copious quantities of data that exist now and are being generated every day provides scope for great projects, tools and start-ups.
Visualisation: As data analytics has grown so, too, has the need for new techniques for data aggregation, auto-summarization and, especially, visualisation. Sometimes you need to see the big picture.
Environment/Sustainability: These two are huge in that we are talking everything from agriculture to climate change and how technology has impacted on both and can help in both.
Energy: Energy generation and consumption is growing as world population grows. Smarter ways of utilising energy and optimising energy consumption are going to be popular and essential in the years to come.
Are good entrepreneurs born or can they be made?
Both. We can give the entrepreneurs the tools and techniques for building a business, but you have to be born with the drive and passion.
What are the qualities of a good founder?
You need to be a good listener and passionate about the business. You also need to be able to delegate and be good with people.
What does a successful entrepreneur need to do every day?
Work hard, make new contacts and progress the business.
What resources and tools are an absolute must for your arsenal?
When it comes to communications and documents: LinkedIn; Twitter; email and Google Drive. When it comes to hardware I rely on my Samsung Galaxy S5 and Nexus 7.
How do you assemble a good team?
Talk to people and get to know them. Know your own limitations and hire positive, like-minded people with similar work ethics.
What is the critical ingredient to start-up success?
Never taking no for an answer — pursue your dream relentlessly.
What are the biggest mistakes that founders make?
Looking for a quick win.
Who is your business hero and why?
I have many. Today, it is Des Kavanagh, managing director of Jungheinrich Ireland. His success is inspiring and he still finds time to help others in growing their businesses.
What’s the No 1 piece of advice you have for entrepreneurs?
Surround yourself with capable, hard-working, positive people with a similar work ethic to you.
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