25th September 2017, St. Mary's Hall, GMIT Mayo Campus, Castlebar, Co. Mayo
To book your place  

About "The Spirit of" Event
The Taoiseach adresses the packed crowd at the 2011 event
"The Spirit of" event started as The Spirit of Entrepreneurship at GMIT Mayo back in 2006. Now in its eleventh year, the event regularly attract hundreds of people to the event. The event is run as part of Mayo Ideas Week with this year's theme being “The Challenge of Change”. 

The Spirit of Change” will kick off Mayo Ideas Week 2017 and the seminar will explore the challenges and opportunities arising across the changing international, political, social and business environments. We will feature a series of speakers outlining their vision for the future and their strategies for managing change.

2017 speakers include:

* Yvonne Holmes, Head of Business Performance & Analytics at AIB

* Willie Ruane, Chief Executive Office of CONNAUGHT RUGBY

* Dr. Mark White, Manager of Marine Development Team at MARINE IRELAND

* Fiona Slevin, Chief Operating Officer at ORRECO

Our hopes for the event are to provide inspiration for a new generation of leaders and entrepreneurs across the West Region, to spark discussion on the opportunities arising from a period of change, and the potential for diversification into new products and markets.  

Over the years "The Spirit of" event has been host to many familiar faces including:

John McGuire (Gamegolf), Colm Lyon (Realex Payments), Elenor McEvoy (Budget Energy)
Jordan Casey (Games Developer), Dorothy Creaven (Element Software), Niall Harbison (Simply Zesty), Terry Clune (Taxback.com), Michael Dwyer, (Pigsback.com), Jerry Kennelly (Stockbyte & Tweak), Frank Salmon (CMS Peripherals), John Concannon (JFC Manufacturing)
Tommy Griffith (PEL Recycling), Sean Rowland (Hibernia College), Leonard Moran (Ovagen and Biological Labs Ballina), Jonathon Ruane (Eventovate), Sean Gallagher (Dragon’s Den) and Ciaran Crean (Micksgarage.ie)

Terry Clune speaking at the 2012 event
The judges ponder their decisions during the pitching competition
About The Innovation Hubs
The GMIT Innovation Hub in Mayo, was officially opened in March 2006. The GMIT also has a second Innovation Hub located on the GMIT campus in Galway.

The Hub's primary focus is to support new enterprises in the region by providing incubation space, nurturing new ideas, aiding business development, and progressing the commercialisation of their business, while alleviating the high costs that they would normally incur if they set up alone.

Supported by Enterprise Ireland, the Innovation Hub in Mayo has 10 Incubation Units ranging in size from 18 to 36 sq. m. for start-up companies. The Innovation Hub has a Concept Desk Space facility to support entrepreneurs who have a good idea for a new business venture, which may in time develop into a project for the incubation units and offers virtual space to those businesses who may not physically be based in the Centre, but would avail of the wide range of services that the centre provides.

The Centre also has a New Frontiers shared Desk Space facility. This is a one year innovative enterprise support programme that targets individuals with commercial experience in starting their own high-potential, knowledge-intensive business. 

As well as providing concept desk space and incubation units, the Hub also facilitates the hiring of its boardroom and meeting room. 

The iHub has also ran an Enterprise Development Programme supported by South West Mayo Development Company and North East Mayo Leader Partnership Company. This was a four month enterprise-training programme will have a combined approach of practical learning through workshop delivery, hands-on experience and one-to-one mentoring for all participants. The Innovation Centre will facilitate the networking and other supports necessary to navigate the business start-up process.

The Innovation Hub enables companies to work in a secure, innovative, entrepreneurial environment as they progress through the various stages of a new company start-up. A range of business development supports is available for client companies such as financial, legal, sales, marketing and export development including mentoring and networking facilities.  

The Innovation Hub also works very closely with the students and staff of GMIT, who regularly engage in market research, product testing, material evaluation, and also assess branding opportunities on behalf of the iHub client companies.

Developing an innovative and entrepreneurial culture by linking education and business is a key philosophy of the institute and the opportunities afforded by the centre are continuously evaluated.

The Innovation Hubs have led to the creation of over 300 jobs since their opening.

For more information on the centre or any queries you may have on the services it provides please use the contact form provided.

IiBC reception area
Outside view of centre