Venture Catalyst connects entrepreneurs, investors at Dublin conference
Fourteen of Ireland’s most promising entrepreneurial ventures got to make their pitches to a select group of more than 40 U.S. and European Venture and Angel investors last week at Invest Ireland 2010, a conference jointly organized by Venture Catalyst at ASU and the Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship at Dublin City University.
The three-day conference is built on the model of Invest Southwest, a capital conference series hosted by Arizona State University. Over the past 15 years, Invest Southwest has brought in more than 200 start-up companies and established investor relationships that have resulted in $300 million in funding for new ventures.
Speaking at the conference, Ireland's President Mary McAleese explained the importance of the event as Ireland seeks to recover from the global economic downturn.
“Jobs are not created by spectators or by doing nothing," McAleese said. "They are created by people with sound business ideas who can move their ideas skillfully from the drawing board to the factory floor. The more support, mentoring and encouragement those entrepreneurially-minded ideas people receive, the quicker will be the translation from good idea to decisive action.”
Julia Rosen, ASU associate vice president for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, spoke at the conference and provided an overview of the global business connection services offered by Venture Catalyst at SkySong, the ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center.
“By gathering together a select group of investors and high-potential entrepreneurs in this format, Venture Catalyst lives up to its name by accelerating the process by which startups go from idea to build-out," Rosen said. "The U.S. investors we recruited for the trip, many of whom have longstanding ties with ASU, got first-hand contact with emerging companies outside their typical geographic realm and had an opportunity to discuss global investment trends with their European counterparts.”
Venture Catalyst is ASU’s new entrepreneurial assistance initiative to help faculty, students and companies launch new startups or accelerate existing ventures. Launched this week with the help of a $1 million state grant, Venture Catalyst offers investor connections, intellectual property consulting, educational workshops, and one-on-one mentoring opportunities with established entrepreneurs and seasoned business executives.
SkySong is a global portal connecting the world through technology. More than 40 enterprises from 11 countries have operations on site. Partnerships with organizations and universities in Singapore, Turkey, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Mexico attract global companies and help U.S. companies expand abroad and explore new technologies.