With an ambition to double the number of sports tech companies operating in Ireland by 2020 SportsTech Ireland laid out ambitious plans when launching at King John’s Castle in Limerick last night.
“We want to target at least ten international companies operating in this space to establish a base here in that same period and help to grow an ecosystem which will be good for all those involved,” said Co-Founder Emily Ross speaking to Sport for Business last night.
She is one of three women based in Limerick who came together after a Ted talk that had been organised by Martina Skelly and Grainne Barry and decided to do something that would appeal to a sector into which $5 Billion has been poured in the last three years alone.
They have energy to burn and last nights event included a showcase of many of the companies who are blazing a trail in this space and who Sport for Business has featured regularly.
Sport for Business Membership provides a network of information, innovation and intelligence to over 200 of Ireland’s leading organisations in sport and business including Enterprise Ireland, Trinity College, Ulster University, Sport Ireland, Vodafone, Elverys Intersport, AIB, AIG and many more.
Companies like Kitman Labs, Sportego, Golf Voyager, Orecco and more were there to show what they have done and dream about what the next stage might hold.
“We want to position Limerick and the Mid West as a leading destination for sports technology, said Ross,
“There are forty companies operating here, half a dozen of which have begun to scale and more of which are at the ideation stage.”
“Our role wil be to bring people together with people who can help them move through the stages of business development and then in turn inspire others to follow a similar path.”
“We are talking to sports accelerators around the world and part of what we do is that quintessentially Irish idea of saying ‘I know somebody who might be able to help.'”
“We are all blow ins to Limerick but we are proud to be doing business here and this is an opportunity to replicate the tech hub that Dublin has already but with a unique differentiator in sport.”
“Rather than saying why we say why not come to Limerick.”
The message of these three passionate advocates was echoed by local sporting here and advocate for the region Keith Wood, by Joe Hogan, EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011 and running his own multinational tech company from Ireland in Openet Telecom and by Niall O’Sullivan of the IDA who are one of the Government Agencies that will be purposefully corralled into providing supports where needed.
Clyde Hutchinson, a leader in the start up and healthcare technology space is Chair of the new organisation which will be developing rapidly as an agent for positive change over the coming months and years.
It was an impressive launch of an initiative that deserves to succeed and we hope to bring you news of the initiatives and success stories that it will create as the story unfolds.
Sometimes all it needs to get things done is for someone to put their hand up. Ross, Barry and Skelly have done just that. Today we are happy to do likewise.
Find out more about our next major event looking at the impact of Sport for Social Good in September 2017.