Innovators with clear objectives have opportunities for success


WE MAY BE going through the worst recession in history, according to entrepreneur Norman Crowley, but there is still plenty of opportunities for success if you have clear objectives and are prepared to work hard.

Serial entrepreneur Crowley was speaking at the latest Irish Times Innovation roadshow event, held in Belfast at the York Street Campus of the University of Ulster.

During his presentation, he outlined the highs and lows of his business life to date, from the successful sale of his first internet venture to Eircom for €14 million, through to the potential $1 billion sale of his gaming business in 2007 to an Icelandic hedge fund that fell through on the back of the onset of the financial crisis. It was later sold into private hands for €300 million.

His latest venture, Crowley Carbon, is making significant in-roads in the green-tech sector, with one customer reportedly saving 4,000 litres of oil a day at its manufacturing plant on the back of the changes and technology his firm implemented, he said.

During the morning briefing event, Crowley outlined the lessons he has learnt along the way, saying it starts with a company-wide ban on bad news stories.

“I want staff to have a positive mindset all day and they should be focused on success, not potential failure.”

Other speakers at the morning seminar included John Reid, founder of RepKnight, a software firm that develops tools to monitor and analyse traffic on the web.

Founded just 18 months ago it has won contracts with national security agencies monitoring web traffic and last March was one of five firms to pick up an award from the Silicon Valley-based Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG) in California.

Reid has successfully grown the company to £1 million in revenue with 10 employees and without taking on any private investment.

There was also talks on innovative marketing approaches for digital media from Prof Maurice Mulvenna of the University of Ulster and funding advice for start-ups from management consultant Angela Reavey of Capaxo Ltd.

The next roadshow event takes place at the UCD Michael Smurfit Business School next Friday morning.

For more details see

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