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The Startup Gathering was launched on March 4th in Bank of Ireland’s brand new branch in Grand Canal Docks in Dublin 2. The new branch, with its sleek design and highly networked infrastructure was the perfect backdrop to the the main event itself.

The idea behind the Startup Gathering is that it will be a national week of over 50 events held in five cities promoting entrepreneurship and showcasing Ireland’s startup sector. The Startup Gathering’s call to action is for Ireland’s startup sector to come together and create and host events to coincide with the Startup Gathering’s week of activities beginning October 5th.

If you are interested in hosting an event please visit

Gerry Prizeman Bank of Ireland Startup Gathering 2015_1MC on the day was Gerry Prizeman from Bank of Ireland and he introduced four keynote speakers – the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, the Minister of State for Business and Employment, Ged Nash TD, Liam McLoughlin, Chief Executive of Retail, Bank of Ireland and the Co-Founder of the Startup Gathering, Eoin Costello.


Eoin Costello Startup Gathering 2015_3Eoin Costello, Co-Founder, Startup Ireland, said: “The future growth of Ireland’s economy in terms of innovation and jobs is closely linked to the performance of Ireland’s startup sector, and we need far more people creating high impact start-ups here. Our goal with The Startup Gathering is to encourage more of our population to consider entrepreneurship as a real career choice and make the move on startup ideas they have. In support of Minister Bruton’s goal of making Ireland a country where great ideas can be transformed into excellent businesses and new jobs, our ultimate ambition is to use the Startup Gathering as a key pivot towards making Ireland a global startup hub by 2020”.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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