Brian Caulfield is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He is a Partner at DFJ Esprit, the leading European venture capital firm, and is based in Dublin, Ireland.
Prior to joining DFJ Esprit, Brian was a partner at Trinity Venture Capital where he sat on the boards of or led investments in AePONA, ChangingWorlds (sold to Amdocs - NYSE: DOX), CR2, SteelTrace (sold to Compuware - NASDAQ: CPWR) and APT (acquired by CSR – LSE:CSR.L).
Previously, Brian co-founded both Exceptis Technologies - sold to Trintech Group (NASDAQ: TTPA) in November 2000 and Similarity Systems, a business focused data quality management software company that was acquired by Informatica (NASDAQ: INFA) in January 2006.
Brian currently sits on the boards of Mobile Travel Technologies, Imagine Broadband, AePONA, Clavis Technology and The Irish Times, Ireland’s leading daily newspaper. He is also a private investor/advisor in a number of early stage technology companies.
Brian is a Computer Engineering graduate of Trinity College Dublin. He was the 2007 recipient of the Irish Software Association’s "Technology Person of the Year" award. In 2010 he also received the Halo Business Angel Network’s “Business Angel of the Year” award.
Thomas Hunter McGowan
CEO of InterTradeIreland, the Trade and Business Development Body
Thomas Hunter McGowan has recently been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of InterTradeIreland by the North South Ministerial Council.
A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, Thomas’s previous role was as Director of Finance at Kildare County Council. Prior to that, he spent 18 years at Swansea Cork Ferries Ltd as Managing Director. He was a board member of the Cork Chamber of Commerce and served for two terms on the board of Chambers Ireland.
Thomas is a graduate of University College Dublin and of University College Cork, and is a Chartered Company Secretary. He took up his post at the end of July and is based at the InterTradeIreland offices in Newry.
Dr Christopher J Horn
BA BAI PhD DSc CEng FIEI Chartered Engineer
Dr Horn is the co-founder, CEO, Chairman and Vice-Chairman of IONA Technologies, established in 1991. He was the initial developer of Orbix® and held the joint offices of IONA's president, chief executive officer and chairman from IONA's inception until May 2000.
Dr Horn was an electronic engineering graduate in 1978 and received his PhD in Computer Science in 1983. From 1984 until 1994, he was a lecturer in the Computer Science Department at TCD, where he was involved in many pan-European IT research projects. He also worked in Brussels for the European Commission, and was an integral part of the ten-year "Esprit" program designed to improve Europe’s technology industry.
Dr Horn is a former member of the Board of TCD and has been a non-executive director of a number of privately held software companies and business associations and advisor to a number of venture capital firms. He is a former Director of Science Foundation Ireland, a former chair of the "Expert Group on Future Skills", a former chairman of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce eCity working group and a former chairman of the Irish Management Institute.
Dr Horn regularly contributes to debate on Ireland's high-tech industry, and was a member of the ICT working group at IBEC and was the founding chairman of the Ireland China Association. Dr Horn was also chairman of UNICEF Ireland until 2009. He currently serves as chairman of Cloudsmith (a cloud computing company); of Gridstore (a grid storage company); China Crest (a Beijing based consultancy firm); CTVR (an SFI and IDA co-funded CSET); and the Science Gallery (an outreach initiative). In 2001 he received an honorary Doctor of Science from TCD, became a Fellow of Engineers Ireland and received the RDS Gold Medal for Industry.
PhD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer and Founder Sigmoid
Prior to founding Sigmoid, Ivan set up, developed and managed the drug formulation and diagnostics groups at NTera, a nanotechnology-focused company. Ivan has an honours degree and PhD in Pharmacology from University College Dublin, held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Institut Curie, Paris and, awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, completed an MBA at Cornell University, New York. While at Cornell, Ivan consulted to Nautilus Biotech SA, advising on its successful Series A fund raising. In addition, while completing his PhD, Ivan was awarded a Diploma in Accounting and Finance by the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (ACCA). Ivan was appointed to the board of Bord Iascaigh Mhara, headed the Seafood Innovation Council and chairs the Nutramara scientific council.
Mary McKenna MBE
Co-founder & Director, Learning Pool
Mary McKenna is a technology entrepreneur and co-founder of successful Derry based Learning Pool, a multi award winning company that has built the biggest online learning community in the UK with one million learners at the latest count. Her newest project is interim Chief Executive of brand new social innovation startup Task Squad. Part of the national charity vInspired, Task Squad has been seed funded by Google and the Nominet Trust and its objective is to get unemployed 18-25 year olds into paid employment.
Outside work Mary has a passionate interest in helping start & grow indigenous Irish tech companies and especially in working with very young entrepreneurs. She has been Chairman of Northern Ireland’s Digital Circle Steering Group since 2010.
Mary is a strong supporter of the Arts in Ireland and sits as a non executive director on the board of Derry’s Millennium Forum & Theatre. She is also a trustee of the London based charity, Social Care Institute for Excellence.
In the recent New Year’s Honours Mary was awarded the MBE for services to digital technology, innovation and learning.
CEO & Founder, Crowley Carbon Ltd
Norman is a successful international entrepreneur and founder of The Cloud - Europe's largest WIFI operator, Inspired Gaming Group - the world's largest company in the Server Based Gaming domain, Trinity Commerce - one of the first eCommerce services companies in the world and most recently Crowley Carbon.
At the age of 26 Norman founded his first technology company Trinity Commerce. Trinity was one of the first eCommerce services companies in the world. By 1996 Norman had grown the business to 5 countries and 150 people. Three years later the business was sold to Eircom PLC.
By 2001 Norman co-founded Inspired Gaming Group in the United Kingdom with 8 others. By 2006, Inspired was the largest player in the world in the area if Server Based Gaming (SBG) and was floated on the London Stock Exchange. It had grown to 2500 people and had revenues of $500m.
Along the way Norman also co-founded The Cloud - Europe's largest WIFI operator. This business was sold earlier last year to Rupert Murdoch for circa €80m.
In 2008, Crowley Carbon was born and Norman's ambition to help corporations reduce their energy consumption took shape. Crowley Carbon recently announced a new agreement to be worth €64m over the next three years with Emrill - one of the largest Facilities Management Companies in the Middle East.
He is a prominent board member for both i2e2 - Innovation for Ireland's Energy Efficiency and First Step Georgia - the charity supporting the neglected and disabled children of Georgia.
Norman lives in Wicklow with his wife, two daughters and two dogs and can be spotted every morning running up the nearest mountain - he says it clears his head!
Mr Mark Nodder
Group Managing Director, the Wright Group
Mark Nodder is Group Managing Director for The Wright Group of Companies, which includes Wrightbus Ltd, Wright Customcare Ltd, Wright Composites Ltd, Metallix Ltd and Wright EN-Drive Ltd subsidiaries. Mark has held this position since December 2006, prior to which he was progressively responsible for the Customcare aftersales subsidiary, UK and International Sales, and Strategic Development.
Mark is a lawyer by training and before joining the bus industry in 1998 worked for the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defence and for Bombardier.
Outside Wrightbus Mark is President of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and a member of the advisory group to the Northern Ireland Economy Minister.