The 100 most Powerful people in tech in Ireland


Business Post Technology editor

Ireland’s tech scene is one that has burgeoned in recent years and one in which we can be justifiably proud. It spans multiple disciplines and covers businesses both big and small. For the first time at Connected, we’ve assembled a list of who we think are the most impactful people in Ireland’s tech scene currently.

As with all lists, this isn’t the final word on the issue but rather a starting-off point for a deeper conversation about what it is that makes Ireland’s tech sector so strong. In compiling this ranking, we’ve consulted widely and relied on a range of criteria. Many of those here could arguably fit under multiple categories.

In addition, on another day you could arguably find as many more people again who would justify a spot on this list that aren’t present. These factors in themself show the strength of the tech scene in Ireland. However, a line has to be drawn somewhere and we’re the ones drawing it.


Equipping the workforce of tomorrow with the skills they need is essential. Here are just a few of the academics that are showing the way in this, and who are monitoring just how big an impact tech is having on us all

her research in the field looks at the impact of technology on our behaviour and wellbeing

Dr Nicola Fox Hamilton

Cyberpsychologist, IADT

Fox Hamilton has been lecturing in cyberpsychology for more than a decade and her research in the field looks at the impact of technology on our behaviour and wellbeing. With tech becoming more and more embedded in cultural touchpoints – from socialising and dating to entertainment and shopping – the question of what this all means for humanity in the long-term is one well worth exploring. And Fox Hamilton has long been positioning herself as an informed voice on this hot topic.

Prof Stephen Kinsella

Co-director, Immersive software engineering (ISE) programme

The Immersive Software Engineering (ISE) programme at University of Limerick has been praised by tech leaders who often say it’s an education option they would have jumped at when first starting out on their careers. Kinsella is one of the programme’s directors along with being one of Ireland’s leading economists. As well as training the next generation of Irish techies, ISE is also leading a potentially transformative €5.9 million research project examining low-code and no-code software engineering. Working with industry partners, the R@ISE project will deliver a development and integration platform that will support developers and non-developers to build and deploy applications quickly. Kinsella is also a member of the AI Advisory Council.


academic and entrepreneur

Digital chair of computer science in University College Dublin and a founding director of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, Smyth is the go-to tech academic, with over 400 peer-reviewed papers to his name. He doesn’t just talk the talk, though. An adviser to countless tech firms, including NewsWhip, Aylien, Clever Cards and Kinzen, Smyth is also an entrepreneur in his own right, having played a critical role in the success of Changing Worlds, which was acquired by Amdocs for $60 million back in 2008.

Smyth is the go-to tech academic with over 400 peer-reviewed papers to his name

Artificial intelligence

AI is so hot right now that entrepreneurs are falling over themselves to integrate it into their businesses. Ireland is punching well above its weight in terms  of representatives in the space but here’s our pick of the essential people you need to know

Dr Abeba Birhane

Senior adviser on AI accountability, Mozilla

In 2023, Time magazine’s first-ever AI 100 listed Birhane among the likes of Sam Altman, Jensen Huang and Geoffrey Hinton. She has since been named as a member of the UN’s AI advisory body, and her rise to prominence can be traced back to her influential audits of AI datasets. In 2020, while conducting research at UCD and Lero, Birhane uncovered how a much-cited image dataset may have contaminated AI systems with racist, misogynistic and other slurs. 

Time magazine’s first-ever AI 100 listed Birhane among the likes of Sam Altman, Jensen Huang and Geoffrey Hinton

Sarah Friar

Chief financial officer, OpenAI

Friar has come a long way from her early days in Sion Mills, Co Tyrone. One of the most senior tech executives in Silicon Valley, Friar has just been appointed as chief financial officer (CFO) of ChatGPT, the parent company of OpenAI. Her appointment came just four months after she stepped down as CEO of Nextdoor, a company she led for over five years during a period in which the company listed.
Friar, who came to prominence as CFO of Jack Dorsey’s Square, is also a board member of Walmart and blockchain company ConsenSys. She hasn’t forgotten where she came from though, having invested in several promising Northern Irish start-ups, including Cloudsmith, Responsible and MedAll.

Dr Amelia Kelly

Chief technology officer, SoapBox Labs

At SoapBox, AI engineer Kelly is developing accurate and secure speech recognition and analysis that’s specifically designed for kids’ voices. She has been instrumental in securing grants for this work from the Irish government, the EU and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. A former AI Person of the Year, she recently completed an Eisenhower Fellowship where she connected with more than 50 thought leaders across the US, an experience she said deepened her understanding of cross-cultural leadership and collaborative innovation.

Dr Alessandra Sala

Director of AI, Shutterstock

As global president of Women in AI and co-chair of UNESCO’s Women for Ethical AI Platform, Sala is committed to increasing the number of women shaping the AI industry and advocating for the building of ethical AI. At the recent Global Economic Summit in Killarney, she raised the issue of AI being built on datasets that amplify pre-existing biases, particularly around gender and race. “These models are bringing us back,” she warned.

Dr Patricia Scanlon

AI ambassador, founder and chair, SoapBox Labs

An obvious choice for our rankings, Scanlon was bigging up AI before most of us had ever heard of it. Having scaled SoapBox, which led the way in showing how you can responsibly build an AI-focused business, Scanlon was appointed Ireland’s first AI ambassador last year to “lead a national conversation” about the challenges and opportunities ahead as widespread AI adoption becomes a reality.

Scanlon was bigging up AI before most of us had ever heard of it

Dr Deva Senevirathne

Co-founder, Sonraí Analytics

While conducting bioinformatics research at Queen’s University, Senevirathne and Dr Darragh McArt decided to develop better data analytics for healthcare. Spinning out as Sonraí Analytics in 2018, they realised they could leverage advancements in AI and machine learning (ML) to further the development of precision medicine. Previously named one of Europe’s top women working in AI, Senevirathne continues to seek impactful healthcare outcomes and recently joined a group applying ML to cardiology research at Imperial College London.


It isn’t enough to only have people writing code, we also need to have people along to document the journey. Here are some of those who are chronicling what is happening.

Tech and democracy strategist

Liz carolan

A new occasional columnist for Connected magazine, Carolan writes frequently on the intersection between technology and democracy. Founder and director of Digital Action, a board member of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and a consultant at Proponent, her weekly newsletter ‘The Briefing’ is a must-read.

Carolan writes frequently on the intersection between technology and democracy

Aine Kerr

Co-founder, Kinzen

Named as one of the Irish Independent’s “50 ones-to-watch in 2023”, and “one of the 100 women changing Ireland” in 2021 by the Irish Examiner, Áine Kerr has long had a spot on this list wrapped up. A co-founder of anti-disinformation platform Kinzen in 2017, before its acquisition by Swedish streaming giant Spotify in 2022, Kerr also previously managed a Facebook team in New York, working with journalists across the world. In addition, she served as managing editor of Storyful before it was bought by News Corp, and prior to that had a successful career as both a journalist and broadcaster. In recent years, she’s returned to the airwaves and done much to promote women entrepreneurs.

Áine Kerr has long had a spot on this list wrapped up

Karlin Lillington

Columnist, The Irish Times

Lillington has written on the highs and lows of the tech sector for over 20 years, giving an Irish slant to the comings and goings in Silicon Valley and beyond. Smart, witty and insightful, she deserves kudos for recognising early on the issues around data privacy and protection, and just how badly Ireland has acted on these in many instances.

Aisling Murray

Founder and director, Beta Festival

You can’t keep a good creative down and following the disappointing closure of Dublin’s Science Gallery, its head of programming rebounded with the creation of Beta Festival, an event exploring Ireland’s role in the global tech landscape through a mix of art, discussion and experimentation. In November 2023, Murray successfully joined the dots between technologists, artists and the public in a carefully curated forward-looking event. And she aims to do the same again this year.

Murray successfully joined the dots between technologists, artists and the public


As technology has become popular so has a wish to exploit it for nefarious means. Whether it’s for monetary gain, political purposes or just “shits and giggles”, the need to protect your tech has never been so critical. Ireland might not boast too many experts in cybersecurity but those we have are among the world’s best

Eoin Hinchy

Co-founder and CEO, Tines

Noted “soonicorn” Tines was built on Hinchy’s desire as a cybersecurity professional to make it easier to automate tasks. With a shortage of cybersecurity skills, Tines addresses a critical business need, but the platform is also seeing quick adoption because of its usability, product quality and thorough onboarding. This, no doubt, comes from Hinchy’s product-driven mindset. His future focus? Building a company to surpass the legacy players, not sell to one of them.

Brian Honan

Founder and CEO, BH Consulting

BH Consulting recently celebrated 20 years in business, marking a milestone in the storied career of founder Brian Honan. On the long list of organisations that have turned to him for cybersecurity advice you’ll find Europol and the EU. But global recognition has not kept him from strengthening Ireland’s security position. He contributed to the development of new guidelines for our National Cyber Security Centre and, in 2008, founded IRISSCERT, Ireland’s first Computer Emergency Response Team, which he continues to lead.

global recognition has not kept him from strengthening Ireland’s security position

Not only is she former cyber woman of the year and a woman in tech ambassador, she has degrees in technical engineering and in information and technology law, as well as a masters from University of Cambridge

Onur Korucu

Former cyber woman of the year and women in tech ambassador

Korucu comes with an impressive list of accolades. Not only is she former cyber woman of the year and a woman in tech ambassador, she has degrees in technical engineering and in information and technology law, as well as a masters from University of Cambridge. She puts all that academic knowledge to good use by diving into the technical and legal aspects of data protection in the increasingly digital world.

Ronan Murphy

Founder, GetVisibility and Smarttech, AI Council member

Not content with founding one successful firm in Smarttech, Murphy is also behind GetVisibility, which is winning plaudits left, right and centre. One of only a handful of go-to Irish experts on cybersecurity, he was appointed to the government’s AI advisory council in January at a pivotal juncture for the tech world. Interestingly, Murphy has gone against the grain by claiming that regulating AI is a “mistake”. “Governments typically move very slowly and by the time they build regulations on AI the goalposts will have moved,” he said recently.


All hail the entrepreneurs! Despite what the cliche says, fortune doesn’t always favour the brave. But these are just some of the great Irish techies who have gone out there and won against the odds.

John Beckett

Co-founder and CEO, ChannelSight

Beckett impressed early on when he helped build the first Ryanair website while still at school. After this he went on to establish ChannelSight, a much respected e-commerce intelligence platform. As if that weren’t enough, Beckett later founded Forestry Partners, a not-for-profit that brings businesses together to foster biodiversity, and The Nature Trust. which is an alliance with Coillte Nature to create large areas of new native woodland.

Boundless provides remote working compliance services so companies can scale internationally

Dee Coakley

Co-founder and CEO, Boundless

Everyone knows remote working is here to stay in some form or another and Coakley understands that companies need help doing it. Founded in 2019, Boundless provides remote working compliance services so companies can scale internationally. Covid-19 certainly aided Coakley’s company, but she has proved its sticking power and recently signed on a number of tech heavyweights, including John Riordan and Liam Casey.

Dylan Collins

Entrepreneur, and founder of countless companies

Here is one entrepreneur who just can’t seem to leave things alone. Having started out co-founding Phorest, Collins then went on to establish and lead DemonWare, the online gaming technology firm that was acquired by Activision Blizzard. Following this he co-founded Jolt Online Gaming, which was subsequently bought by GameStop. As if that weren’t enough, Collins then set up SuperAwesome. The ‘kids tech’ company achieved great things prior to it being acquired by Epic Games and, having been spun out last year, will likely do so again. Collins is an inspiration to anyone looking to see how to successfully scale a business from scratch and we can’t wait to see what he does next.

Oisin Hanrahan

Founder and CEO, Keychain, former CEO of Nasdaq-listed Angi

You can’t keep a good man down or so they say. Hanrahan is proof of that having quickly returned to the fray after stepping down as CEO of Angi. He has recently raised $18 million for Keychain, a new venture that is seeking to build the world’s first comprehensive AI-powered supply chain platform for consumer packaged goods to help retailers and brands quickly identify over 10,000 manufacturing partners. Keychain is aiming to bring clarity and convenience to a sector, which Hanrahan describes as a “deeply fragmented landscape”.

He has recently raised $18 million for Keychain

Bobby Healy

Founder and CEO, Manna

Healy was the first to agree when people said he was mad to set up a drone delivery firm to transport takeaways to people’s homes. Mad, but not stupid as it turns out. Having found success early on with Eland Technologies and then helping to scale CarTrawler, Healy took on the big guns by setting up Manna. Having raised over $50m to date and carried out thousands of unmanned flights, the company is more than holding its own against big drone players such as Alphabet’s Wing and Amazon.

Mark Little

Co-founder, Kinzen and Storyful

A force to be reckoned with in the Irish start-up and media scenes, Little has had a storied career with 20 years of broadcast news under his belt from RTÉ, where he became the broadcaster’s first Washington correspondent and had a spell as the anchor of their flagship programme Prime Time. In 2010, he founded the world’s first social news agency, Storyful, which eventually sold to News Corp, and Kinzen in 2017, which was recently acquired by music giant Spotify.

In 2010, he founded the world’s first social news agency, Storyful

Eoghan McCabe

Co-founder and CEO, Intercom

An increasingly controversial figure, McCabe founded Intercom along with Des Traynor, Ciarán Lee and David Barrett in 2011 in Dublin. He led the unicorn from its founding to 2020 when he moved to the position of chairman. He returned to the position of CEO in October 2022. Intercom has developed a popular software platform that brings messaging products for sales, marketing and customer support together. Having swiftly embraced AI, the company should be celebrating recent wins but instead finds itself on the backfoot as McCabe raises eyebrows due to his political leanings.

Garry Moroney

CEO, Roomex, formerly founder and CEO of Clavis Insights and Similarity Systems

Moroney might keep a low profile but he is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s most successful tech entrepreneurs having sold not one, but two, businesses that he co-founded for big bucks. Similarity, a data quality company which he set up with Brian Caulfield, was acquired by Informatica in a $55 million deal in 2006, while Clavis Insights, a firm he founded two years later, was bought for $119m in 2018. He’s now leading Roomex, the travel-tech firm acquired by US company Fleetcor two years ago.

Barry Napier

CEO, Cubic Telecom

Napier has extensive experience and a proven track record building innovative technology companies, growing revenue and increasing market share. He became chief executive of Cubic Telecom in 2008, which was founded in 2005 as a mobile roaming business. Under Napier’s leadership, the firm has pivoted the automotive software solutions market. The Dublin-based company’s technology is now included in 17 million cars globally. At the end of last year, Softbank acquired a controlling stake in the company for €473 million, in what was Ireland’s biggest ever tech acquisition. The deal netted Napier a reported €130 million, and lucky man that he is, he continues to hold a 12.5 per cent stake in Cubic.

Ray Nolan

Founder, eDesk and Hostelworld

A decade after spotting a gap in the market for an online booking platform for backpackers, Nolan sold for over half a billion dollars in 2009. One of the veterans of the Irish tech scene on the list, Nolan is just under two years into his second stint as CEO of e-commerce platform eDesk, which he continues to juggle alongside board roles with Ultimate Rugby, the news and stats app that he founded with Brian O’Driscoll, and Ding. As if that weren’t enough, he’s also an active investor backing the likes of Storyful early on in their journey.

Cian O Maidin

President and founder, NearForm

Ó Maidín’s Waterford software company found itself on the world stage during the pandemic when it successfully deployed Covid-19 tracking apps for Ireland and other regions. Being an influential open-source advocate, Ó Maidín ensured the code was donated to the Linux Foundation. He was also an early adopter of flexible working, having established NearForm as a remote working operation from its inception in 2011.

Susan Spence

President and co-founder, SoftCo

Spence co-founded Softco in 1990 with the company recently being acquired in what is likely to be one of the biggest tech transactions in Ireland this year. SoftCo’s flagship solution is Procure-to-Pay, a software platform that automates key financial processes from procurement, invoice automation, supplier management and reporting.
The company has grown to over a million users worldwide with annual recurring revenues growing at over 25 per cent per annum. With new owner Keensight providing additional firepower, growth will likely continue to surge in the coming years.

Des Traynor

Co-founder and chief strategy officer, Intercom, angel investor

As well as overseeing Intercom’s R&D team, Traynor is very much the tech unicorn’s lead evangelist, happily preaching the word about its solutions at tech conferences across the world. In addition, he’s a canny investor, having backed almost every Irish company of note you can think of, including Stripe, Evervault, &Open, Manna, Orreco and Tines.


There are many tech sectors in which Ireland is performing well in, but fintech is arguably one of our strongest. With well-established businesses such as Fexco, to up-and-coming start-ups, there are plenty of firms flying the flag. Here are just some of the key players in fintech.

Terry Clune

Founder and CEO, Clunetech

Why create one successful business when you can create a multitude of them? That seems to be Terry Clune’s mantra. Having founded his first company, Taxback, in 1996, Clune has gone on to establish many more, all of which have been wildly successful. In 2023, Immedis, the global payroll platform he set up in 2016, was acquired in a €575 million deal, while a year earlier, Transfermate, the payments infrastructure-as-a-service provider he co-founded with Sinead Fiztmaurice, achieved unicorn status after raising $70 million. Among the other companies under the CluneTech umbrella are Sprintax. Founded in 2020 and led by Joanna Murphy, the company is focused on a niche area that is estimated to be worth $1.7 trillion for organisations, and there are few rivals in its path.

Having founded his first company, Taxback, in 1996, Clune has gone on to establish many more, all of which have been wildly successful

Sinead Fitzmaurice

Co-founder and CEO, Transfermate

Talking of Fitzmaurice, as the only woman heading an Irish tech unicorn, it would be amiss of us not to give her a listing of her own. TransferMate has built a global payments network covering over 200 countries and territories and has more than 140 currencies on the foundation of 92 licences. Fitzmaurice has excelled as a business leader, steering the company through some tricky waters and to great success.

Joe Heneghan

CEO, Revolut Europe, chair of Financial Services Ireland

Three years into his term as chief executive of the European wing of one of the best-known fintech companies in the world, Heneghan’s impact on the financial and tech space is hard to understate. In recognition of his standing, Financial Services Ireland, a division of business group Ibec, appointed him as its chair last year. Heneghan also serves in an advisory capacity to the Department of Finance and as a member of ECB’s Euro Retail Payments Board, governing matters related to the bloc’s currency.

Colm Lyon

Founder and chief executive, Realex Payments and Fire

It only took judges of the inaugural National Fintech Awards minutes to unanimously opt for Colm Lyon as the winner of the outstanding achievement award last year. And it’s easy to see why. A real visionary, Lyon has not only built two successful companies, he’s also been a huge advocate for the fintech sector in both Ireland and Britain. Having sold Realex, the online payments company he founded and led, for €115 million, Lyon could have settled for the easy life but instead he quickly returned to the fray with Fire, another fintech that is making waves.

A real visionary, Lyon has been a huge advocate for the fintech sector in both Ireland and Britain

Fidelma McGuirk

Founder and CEO, Payslip

McGuirk’s Westport-based Payslip is on fire at the moment. Founded in 2016 by the former Taxback chief executive, the company recently secured a major partnership with Deloitte to provide payroll services. It’s forecasting annual recurring revenue will reach €15 million over the next 18 months following this deal and the growth of other partnerships. With 83 staff and €12.4 million in funding, Payslip is among the best fintechs out there.

Marc Murphy

Founder and CEO, Fenergo

After a decade at Ergo, the company established by his uncle John Purdy, Marc Murphy founded Fenergo to help banks open new customer accounts – in 2008, of all years. Sixteen years on from the financial crisis, the firm, which became a tech unicorn in 2021, is anticipating significant profits in 2024, with its software helping financial institutions navigate regulatory requirements and manage client data. “Businesses born in recessions are typically the ones that survive because the trading environment is so tough,” Murphy told the PwC CEO survey last year. “It forced us to be lean from the get-go.”

Peter Oakes

Founder, Fintech Ireland

Formerly a director of enforcement at the Central Bank of Ireland, and founder of the advisory group Fintech Ireland in 2014, you’d be inclined to listen to Oakes when he says that Ireland is doing well when it comes to attracting fintechs. A non-executive director of a number of firms including TransferMate, Susquehanna International and Optal Financial Europe, Oakes’ extensive regulation expertise has been vital to many firms making the first steps on their start-up journey.

Andrea Reynolds

Co-founder and CEO, Swoop

Providing a kind of “virtual CFO” service is the modus operandi of Swoop, the ambitious fintech co-founded by Reynolds, which aims to give financial advice to firms in a jargon-free way. The youngest daughter of former Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds, she brought her experience as an accountant at KPMG to the founding of Swoop in 2018, which now employs more than 150 people across three continents. With over 15 years of experience in corporate financing, largely focused on matching businesses with investment opportunities, and a booming business in Swoop, Reynolds is an obvious choice for this ranking.

she brought her experience as an accountant at KPMG to the founding of Swoop in 2018, which now employs more than 150 people


State agencies may come in for criticism on occasion but there is no doubt that both IDA and Enterprise Ireland do a great job in terms of tech. Moreover, with regulation growing in importance so has organisations such as Coimisiún na Meán

His appointment as CEO of Enterprise Ireland was warmly welcomed

Leo Clancy

CEO, Enterprise Ireland

A household name among Irish businesses, Clancy has led Enterprise Ireland for the last three years. Prior to being appointed, the electronic engineer’s credentials were bolstered in his role as head of tech at IDA Ireland, and his time working in a number of roles at Ericsson. He credits his background, growing up on a small farm in Tipperary, as having taught him a lot of what he knows about enterprise. His appointment as CEO of Enterprise Ireland was warmly welcomed and there are few who could argue he has been anything but excellent in the role.

Donnchadh Cullinan

Head of ICT, HPSU team at Enterprise Ireland

Though he may be a relative unknown outside of tech circles, Cullinan is the man to talk to for anyone seeking assistance from Enterprise Ireland. He serves a valuable role behind the scenes as head of ICT at the state agency’s High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) team, which invests in and helps scale the next generation of Irish companies.

Niamh Hodnett

Online Safety Commissioner

Featuring as a key member of our newly established media regulator, Coimisiún na Meán, Hodnett has the difficult task of making the internet a safer place. But with a CV that includes legal expertise in several fields, from telecoms to the National Lottery to advising for ComReg, there are few better placed for the job. She qualified as a solicitor in 1998, and is an expert in both Irish and European regulatory law. She has a masters in law from Universität Passau in Germany, along with her credentials as a qualified mediator.

Hodnett has the difficult task of making the internet a safer place

Donal Travers

Head of technology, IDA Ireland

Stepping into the shoes of Leo Clancy after he departed to take over as CEO of Enterprise Ireland can’t have been easy, but the tech sector is blessed in having Travers in situ. With over 20 years’ experience working in foreign direct investment and a good knowledge of the global tech space, he knows all about how best to position Ireland internationally.

Horse whisperers, lobbyists and representatives

Being able to tell your story is a key ingredient of success, whether that’s to journalists who will alert the world to who you are, or politicians, from whom you need help. Here are just a few of the many people who stand up for tech in Ireland

Martina Fitzgerald

CEO, Scale Ireland

Fitzgerald is a well-known face to many in Ireland, having worked as an RTÉ journalist for nearly two decades. Having turned her deft hand to the start-up scene three-and-a-half years ago, she’s now helping both fledgling and more established entrepreneurs out by leading Scale Ireland, a representative organisation that advocates on behalf of Irish tech companies.

she’s now helping both fledgling and more established entrepreneurs out

she is a strong supporter of new pathways into the tech sector

Una Fitzpatrick

Director, Technology Ireland

Having spent the last six years as director of Technology Ireland, representing the bulk of the companies associated with this list, Fitzpatrick was always going to end up in our top 100. A Drumcondra-native with Cavan connections, she is a strong supporter of new pathways into the tech sector. In addition to her day job, Fitzpatrick also serves as the vice chair of Digital Europe’s Brexit taskforce and sits on the board of Fastrack into Technology (FIT).

Paul Hayes

PR man, horse whisperer to multiple exited founders

What can be said of a man who has run both Flounders, a gathering of failed founders, and the Start-up Wake Series, where dead start-ups go to be buried? Hayes may spend a lot of time dwelling on failure, but he’s helped lead plenty of Irish techies to success. Through Beachhut PR, he and his team regularly advise tech entrepreneurs on how to build their profile. A man who knows everyone, Hayes is the person you call in a crisis or, more commonly, when you want a pint. Current clients include Provizio, Coinbase, CitySwift and Equal 1. The company employs 12 consultants and has offices in Belfast, Amsterdam and Berlin as well as a base at Dogpatch Labs.


Irish techies are taking over the boardroom. As if there weren’t plenty of entrepreneurs scaling businesses, there are others who are increasingly calling the shots at other companies. Here are a selection of them

Peter Coppinger

Co-founder and CEO, Teamwork

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone with a bad word to say about the founders of Teamwork, Peter Coppinger and Daniel Mackey. Not only are the dynamic duo highly personable and great supporters of other Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies, their story of how they bootstrapped to success serves as a huge inspiration to others. With clients such as Disney, Netflix, Paypal, HP, Panasonic and Spotify and revenues of $35 million for 2022, the creator of business management applications is tipped for further success.

Sonia Flynn

Board member, Zego

For six years Flynn was at the helm of Facebook Ireland following a role directing EMEA operations for Google. She then moved to Germany for a VP role at then-scaling SoundCloud, and later became COO of Australian start-up Hireup. After that was a move into fintech as COO of insurtech unicorn Zego, though she has since left that position to become a member of the board. She was also on the board of Irish fintech Payslip, and her varied, international career in tech makes her advice highly valuable for scaling teams.

Adrienne Gormley

COO, Sylvera

Following a series of Irish tech leadership roles at Google and Dropbox, Gormley went to Berlin to take up the position of COO at challenger bank N26. Then she heard London calling and led B2B software company Setforth as CEO until its acquisition in 2023. Staying in London, Gormley has now moved into climate-tech as COO of Sylvera. The start-up has raised about €100 million to support its carbon data services, and Gormley maintains her position as a key figure in European tech as a board member at Monta, Epidemic Sound and Pleo.

Gormley has now moved into climate-tech as COO of Sylvera

John Goulding

Co-founder and CEO, Workvivo

Another famous Cork-based double act, Workvivo founders John Goulding and Joe Lennon are on a roll. Having been acquired by Zoom in a $250 million deal a year ago, they’ve been snapping up new clients left, right and centre. As if that weren’t enough, they recently scored a major win when Workvivo was chosen by Meta as a replacement for Workplace, its online collaborative software solution, which the tech giant is discontinuing.

they recently scored a major win when Workvivo was chosen by Meta as a replacement for Workplace

the company has grown even bigger under his watch

Tom O’Connor

CEO, Version 1

Version 1 was already a huge success when O’Connor took over from Justin Keatinge seven years ago. But the company, which is focused on implementing IT systems for large corporates and government departments, has grown even bigger under his watch. With the backing of Partners Group, which acquired a majority stake in a deal worth up to €800 million two years ago, Version 1 has been going all out with some huge wins of late and with more to come.

Paul Rellis

CEO, Viatel

Having led Microsoft’s Irish business for a number of years, Rellis is doing wonders at Viatel, the telecoms and IT services provider, which recently makes its ninth acquisition since 2020. The deal for MJ Flood Technology brought total headcount to more than 350 people and it will likely rise even higher as the company continues to snap up businesses, big and small.

As well as promising legal tech companies, Ireland also boasts some of the finest minds too. Here are just a few of the tech lawyers you need to know.

Jeanne Kelly

Founding partner, Browne Jacobson

The co-founding partner of Browne Jacobson’s Dublin office, Kelly has led data compliance programmes for some of the world’s largest social media platforms, as well as indigenous Irish tech companies, particularly those in AI and data analytics. She has also advised on the establishment of EMEA HQs in Dublin. Kelly was recently ranked in the Chambers Europe legal guide 2024 in two categories: technology, media, and telecom information technology, and IP. At present, Browne Jacobson’s Dublin office has 11 lawyers, with plans to expand over the coming years.

Kelly has led data compliance programmes for some of the world’s largest social media platforms

Deirdre Kilroy

Partner, Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird only established its Dublin office in the summer of 2022 but already it has made headway as a practice well versed in technology, data protection and intellectual property law. Central to that has been hires like Deirdre Kilroy, who joined the firm as one of the founding partners and advises on the regulation of numerous tech sub-sectors, such as gaming and gambling. Anna Morgan, co-founding partner of the Dublin office, has also been forging a path in the world of data privacy, specifically as it relates to platforms used by the current generation of children growing up online. The area is regarded as the next frontier in digital regulation and Morgan has her work cut out for her in helping clients navigate domestic and EU-wide laws.

Emma Redmond

Assistant general counsel, OpenAI

Redmond joined OpenAI as assistant general counsel for privacy and data protection last year, and is likely to be kept busy in the role. Previously chief privacy officer and global head of privacy and data protection at payments company Stripe, Redmond was also appointed to Ireland’s AI Advisory Council earlier this year. She previously served as chair of the American Chamber of Commerce Data Group.


Ireland’s medtech scene is flourishing in no small part to BioInnovate, the Galway-based incubator that has helped founders come up with smart tech that can be truly revolutionary.

Luma specialises in cardiac imaging solutions and has developed a 4D imaging and navigation platform

Fionn Lahart

Co-founder and CEO, Luma Vision

“We have developed a Google Maps of the human heart for surgeons,” is how Fionn Lahart describes Luma Vision, the medtech he co-founded with Christoph Hennersperger six years ago. Luma specialises in cardiac imaging solutions and has developed a 4D imaging and navigation platform, which uses a sensor combined with digital imaging and deep learning to provide 360-degree imagery of the beating heart and surrounding anatomy for use during surgery. Born out of BioInnovate, the company has raised over $70 million to date.

Niamh Donnelly

Co-founder and chief robotics officer, Akara

Roboticist Niamh Donnelly applies her expertise in AI and mechanical engineering to healthcare technology through Akara. Alongside CEO Conor McGinn, she leads the company’s mission to automate hospital processes and alleviate staff shortages. Their flagship product, a disinfection robot, decontaminates rooms up to 20 times faster than a human cleaner and is currently being used in six hospitals around the world. Donnelly was dubbed a rising star at the EU Prize for Women Innovators in 2022 and was later named among Irish Tatler’s women of 2023.

Prof Martin O’Halloran

Executive director, BioInnovate

A medical device research leader, O’Halloran tends to have his hands in multiple projects. He founded the Translational Medical Device Lab in Galway and also built up the medical device research underway at the Cúram centre. Being a needs-led medtech innovator, O’Halloran is well-positioned at BioInnovate, embedding technologists and entrepreneurs alongside clinicians to see what ideas can be generated. He is also co-lead of Health Innovation Hub Ireland and CSO of his own start-up, Luminate Medical.


Where would Ireland be without its multinationals? Not only have they helped put Ireland on the map globally but in recent years, some of those who’ve spent time at them, have used the knowledge they’ve gained to establish their own successful businesses. Here are some of the leading Irish names working for some of the world’s biggest tech companies.

Patrick and John Collison

Founders, Stripe

It’s so hard to separate the Stripe brothers that we had to have them sharing a slot on this list. Dual-headquartered in Dublin and San Francisco, Stripe has taken its place among the major tech multinationals. One of the most highly valued private companies in Silicon Valley, it has become a global leader in payments processing with clients that include Amazon, Google, Ford, Shopify and Instacart. The company recently revealed it is currently processing approximately $1 trillion a year in payments and, while it experienced a wobble as its valuation halved last year, it rebounded to $65 billion on the back of a recent deal that allows staff to cash out some of their shares.

The company recently revealed it is currently processing approximately $1 trillion a year in payments

Adaire Fox-Martin

CEO, Equinix and former Google Ireland lead

Having led Google Ireland, Fox-Martin was recently snapped up to become chief executive and president of Equinix, the Nasdaq-listed data centre giant. Named in Fortune magazine’s list of the ‘top 50 most powerful women’ for the fourth time in 2020, Fox-Martin previously spent over a decade with SAP, serving over 440,000 customers at the helm of the software company’s global sales, services and customer-engagement teams. She has been replaced at Google Ireland by Vanessa Hartley.

Cathy Kearney

VP of European operations, Apple

Tim Cook may be the public face of Apple, but Kearney is a major player in the company, where she leads a team of 6,000 employees in Ireland. Apple has been operating at its Cork facility since 1981, with Kearney overseeing substantial expansion of the business during her time in charge.

Carolan Lennon

Country leader, Salesforce Ireland

Upsetting the good citizens of Sligo while leading Eir aside, Lennon has had a pretty flawless rise to the top. Having proved her mettle as Eir’s first female CEO, Lennon moved quickly to cement her position as one of the state’s best business leaders. Currently leading over 2,000 employees at Salesforce Ireland after joining the company a year ago, Lennon is a much liked and respected leader who could well go on to achieve even greater success yet.

Lennon has had a pretty flawless rise to the top

Dr Jessica McCarthy

Global vice president of engineering, Google

“There’s nothing special about me, anybody can do this. It’s all about the right encouragement and having folks to open doors for them,” a modest McCarthy told the Business Post last year.
Despite the humility, McCarthy plays a significant role at Google, where her focus is on the reliability of its global network infrastructure, software and services, product and search. McCarthy also leads the Generation Google scholarship for women in computer science in Ireland, which aims to support young women who want to try a career in tech.

Anne O’Leary

VP and Ireland lead, Meta

“She is who she is, there’s no bullshit with Anne,” is how one of O’Leary’s former colleagues described one of Ireland’s best-known business leaders in a profile published by the Business Post last year. At Vodafone, which she led for nearly a decade, O’Leary oversaw the nationwide rollout of both 5G and 4G as well as Siro, the company’s joint venture with ESB. Choosing not to rest on her laurels, she made the jump to Meta two years ago, becoming country lead in April 2023. Her no-bullshit approach is helping to win over sceptics wary of the company.

Vincent Roche

CEO, Analog Devices

Heading up Analog Devices, the US semiconductor giant that has a large and growing client bases, is no menial task … But Wexford man Vincent Roche has delivered for the firm, and then some. His 11-year tenure as CEO saw the company’s shareholder return climb to 300 per cent, with profits booming to more than $3.8 billion last year and an Irish workforce in excess of 1,500. Outside his success at Analog, the electronic systems graduate also serves on the boards of the Semiconductor Industry Association and the MIT Presidential CEO Advisory Board.

Start-up Advisers

Start-ups need all the help they can get in order to get started. Luckily there are more than enough people out there willing to give them a helping hand. Here are the key people you need to know.

Liam Cronin


Cronin was appointed CEO of the RDI Hub in 2019. Based in Killorglin, it ensures Ireland’s south-west has a foothold in the innovation ecosystem, with a particular focus on the region’s bio-economy, agritech and fintech clusters. Another of its goals is to support commercialisation and Cronin, who previously served as director of commercialisation at Trinity’s Adapt research centre, makes good on this connection, bringing in Adapt researchers to help on AI projects in development at the hub.

Claire Halliday

General manager, Ormeau Labs

Ormeau Labs innovation hub was established in 2017 with Halliday among its founders. In 2023, along with Dogpatch Labs, the Belfast operation was awarded a contract by Enterprise Ireland and InterTrade Ireland to run HBAN 2.0, the all-island angel investment network. Halliday has a reputation as a connector with a wide network of entrepreneurs, investors and other community builders, and under her stewardship the hub has hosted hundreds of events, meet-ups, accelerators and innovation programmes.

Eamon Leonard

Investor and entrepreneur

Leonard and his partner Fiona Kelly are looking to do something different with Baseline, a new workspace and community for early-stage tech entrepreneurs. Describing itself as a “hackspace for founders,” the initiative, which is independent of government funding, is focused on developing high-growth breakthrough and breakout tech companies. “We are here for the founders who are following their own path, rather than looking for a playbook. We are open 24/7, and we are an always-on community,” Leonard has said of Baseline. Having founded numerous businesses and backed many others, we’re looking forward to seeing how Baseline progresses.

Sree Nagabhushana

Chief operating officer, TechIreland

John O’Dea may be the public face of TechIreland, a not-for-profit that collates data on Irish start-ups, but Nagabhushana is the man in charge of ensuring that everything is working in the background as it should. In addition to his day job, he helps immigrant entrepreneurs form closer links with the tech community here. He recently organised a gathering with the Irish Brazilian Alliance, Ireland India Business Association and United for Changes. It is hoped the event will become a regular fixture.

In addition to his day job, he helps immigrant entrepreneurs form closer links with the tech community here

Mary Rodgers

CEO, PorterShed and Galway City Innovation District

One of many tech community leaders ensuring Ireland’s innovation ecosystem isn’t concentrated in the capital, Rodgers leads PorterShed, the hub for tech companies establishing in the west. Having spent 16 years helping Irish companies to enter the US market through her own business, Rodgers joined Galway City Innovation District (GCID) as a community manager and ‘entrepreneur amplifier’ in 2016, just before the establishment of PorterShed. She eventually became CEO of GCID, and PorterShed grew to encompass three buildings in Galway city.


In its 10 years of existence, Dogpatch Labs has been a launchpad for many Irish tech success stories and has also become a magnet for well-respected mentors and skilful community builders. Some would argue that this one entity has cornered too much of the Irish tech ecosystem, but its contributions to the start-up landscape cannot be denied. And as long as it continues to roll out cutting-edge and thoughtfully considered approaches to entrepreneurial development, the entire tech scene stands to benefit

Menno Axt

Head of platform, Dogpatch Labs

A long-serving and founding team member of Dogpatch Labs, Axt has evaluated thousands of start-ups in his time and even designed some of the masterclasses on the NDRC programme. He developed the monthly ‘First Fridays’ events for start-ups, and his most significant achievement for entrepreneurs was his role in implementing Dogpatch’s version of Y Combinator’s SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity), adapted for Irish law, as part of the NDRC accelerator terms.

his most significant achievement for entrepreneurs was his role in implementing Dogpatch’s version of Y Combinator’s SAFE

Sean Blanchfield

NDRC accelerator director, Dogpatch Labs

Blanchfield has had the kind of success most entrepreneurs dream of, having founded multiple successful companies, including DemonWare and PageFair. He now offers mentorship and guidance for aspiring entrepreneurs and has also established the invite-only Techpreneurs meet-up. Last year, he was entrepreneur-in-residence at Dogpatch and this year he ran the first cohort of the 2024 NDRC accelerator. He has also suggested plans to launch an IoT accelerator and lab.

Ian Browne

Managing director, NDRC

After starting, growing and selling a SaaS health-tech business, Browne took up entrepreneur-in-residence roles at Catalyst and Ignite, two Belfast-based start-up support networks. Now based in Dublin with Dogpatch, he continues his support of Irish start-ups through NDRC, which now connects regional hubs across the country. He also had a hand in Invest NI’s new Founder Labs accelerator programme.

Now based in Dublin with Dogpatch, he continues his support of Irish start-ups through NDRC

DC Cahalane

Venture partner, Sure Valley Ventures

The latest aspect in the multifaceted career of Cahalane is a venture partner role with Sure Valley Ventures where he will lead its new Cork office. As well as a number of roles in Irish tech successes such as Trustev and Teamwork, Cahalane is himself a serial entrepreneur and founder of Republic of Work, Cork’s innovation hub. No surprise then that he was until recently also involved with leading partnerships and events for Dogpatch Labs.

Mark Cummins

Entrepreneur and angel investor

Mark Cummins sold not one but two businesses to Google – Plink and Pointy – and since then he acts as both an investor and advisor to entrepreneurs seeking similar success. At Dogpatch, Cummins has served as an entrepreneur-in-residence and has been called on as a mentor for start-ups and founders passing through its programmes. He’s also a Scale Ireland board member, campaigning for policy change to better support those who follow the entrepreneurial path.

Cummins has served as an entrepreneur-in-residence and has been called on as a mentor for start-ups and founders

Lorraine Curham

Programme director, Dogpatch Labs

Curham joined Dogpatch just two years ago and has had a tremendous impact in that short time. Taking the lead on programmes, she keeps the hub buzzing with events, workshops and networking opportunities. Most recently, she spearheaded a ‘Glastonbury for women founders’ called Fierce, an event series that was more about delivering on experience than mud and music. With one-on-one mentoring and closed-door roundtables equating to ‘founder therapy’, this model of building action-focused events around participants’ needs proved a huge success.

Michelle Fogarty

Entrepreneur-in-residence, Dogpatch Labs

Athlete-turned-entrepreneur Fogarty founded workplace wellbeing platform PepTalk in 2017 based on knowledge she gleaned leading HR for the likes of Twitter and Blizzard. She took the bold step of leaving her own company in 2022 and is now sharing her experience with other early-stage founders at Dogpatch. Fogarty is also a founding board member of SERI, a representative body for social enterprises in Ireland.

She took the bold step of leaving her own company in 2022 and is now sharing her experience with other early-stage founders

She wears many hats in the Irish tech start-up ecosystem

Eshna Gogia

Programme manager, NDRC and Republic of Work

Gogia is a regional lead for the NDRC accelerator and programme manager in Cork’s Republic of Work. She wears many hats in the Irish tech start-up ecosystem. At Republic of Work, she began hosting small roundtable events that eventually grew to become DeeptechFest, a new annual event focusing on scientific entrepreneurs. Gogia is also one of the leads for HBAN, connecting entrepreneurs with angel investors.

Suzanne Mills

Former director, Dogpatch Labs and HBAN

As one of the founding directors of the NDRC accelerator fund, Mills has been instrumental in the design and delivery of early-stage start-up supports and in building the regional network of innovation hubs through partnerships with Portershed, Republic of Work and RDI Hub. She then became director of HBAN and though she stepped down from this role at the angel syndicate earlier this year, her presence is still felt and her advice much sought after.

Jack O’Regan Kenny

Engineer and entrepreneur

O’Regan Kenny has already appeared in the Connected 30 Under 30 but his prowess as a people-connector and innovator on the scene warrants a second listing in our Tech 100. At just 21, he already bears the mantle of ‘serial entrepreneur’ and his engineering sensibilities ensure he is a keen builder of both products and communities. He has played an instrumental role in Dogpatch’s youth accelerator programme, Patch, and later served as its entrepreneur-in-residence.

Patrick Walsh

Founder and CEO, Dogpatch Labs

Walsh founded Dogpatch Labs in 2014 to provide an affordable collaborative space for start-ups. A decade on, Dogpatch has become a world-renowned start-up hub and a fertile pot from which the likes of Intercom, Instagram, Twilio and more have grown. Not one to rest on his success, Walsh has continued to drive Dogpatch on to bigger and better things, such as kicking off a novel ‘founder accelerator’ programme last year.

Walsh has continued to drive Dogpatch on to bigger and better things

Venture Capital

Ireland’s VC community has so many important players that we’ve had to wrap many of them in under one key representative for their respective firms. Even with that there are still plenty of great people that didn’t get their own listing due to space limitations. Here are the key leaders in venture capital.

Elaine Coughlan

Managing partner, Atlantic Bridge

Named one of Europe’s Top 50 Inspiring Women in technology, Coughlan has over 25 years of experience in running and scaling technology companies, including successful realisations through IPOs and M&A, and is a force to be reckoned with. Based in Dublin, she was previously co-founder and director of Glonav, a GPS company that was acquired by NXP for $110 million. She served as CFO and vice president of finance for three successful technology IPOs − Parthus, Iona and Smartforce – that realised more than $5 billion in value for investors. Coughlan is currently on the board of Atlantic Bridge portfolio companies FieldAware, WellAir and Swrve.

Coughlan has over 25 years of experience in running and scaling technology companies

John Flynn

Managing partner, Act Venture Capital

Flynn, along with Debbie Rennick and John O’Sullivan, leads Act, the first Irish venture capital firm to successfully transition its management team. Founded in 1994, the company has an impressive portfolio, having backed many of the leading Irish tech companies. Among the startup’s it has previously invested in are Movidius, Cubic Telecom, and most recently, Spectrum.Life.

Alan Foy

Chair and managing partner, VentureWave Capital

Along with Brian Martin and Kieran McLoughlin, Foy has brought wealth and fame to the Irish start-up industry, with private equity firm VentureWave Capital boasting half of U2, Liam Neeson, a former Taoiseach and several impressive business leaders as part of its investors and advisors. From the start, the plan was to launch a fund focused on Environment, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) and they have been true to their word. Such is the success of their €100 million Impact Ireland fund, they secured a deal with Bank of America to launch a similar US fund.

Sarah-Jane Larkin

Director general, IVCA

To be one of the leads of the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA), along with chair Denise Sidhu, one must have a broad span of experience, and that is true for Larkin, who has spent her career in a variety of roles in pharma, along with experience across several other ventures. In her role as head of the IVCA, Larkin is very much the voice of Irish venture capital.

Nicola McClafferty

Partner, Molten Ventures

McClafferty knows what it takes to launch a company – after all she’s done it. She co-founded and led online fashion marketplace Covetique, which was acquired by Asos in 2015. Since then she’s turned her sights to venture capital and she currently leads Molten Ventures’ Dublin office. The listed tech firm, which is a big backer of Irish start ups, has an impressive track-record, which is in no small part due to McClafferty’s commitments.

The listed tech firm, which is a big backer of Irish start ups, has an impressive track-record

Alan Merriman

Co-founder, Elkstone

Elkstone has gained a formidable reputation in recent years after backing tech unicorns such as Flipdish and LetsGetChecked at a point when few investors would give them the time of day. A few duds aside, its portfolio is impressive. With a strong venture team that includes Niall McEvoy, Martin Cass and Barry Brennan, the firm has been busy backing lots of early-stage entrepreneurs of late as it deploys from its €100 million fund with investments in the range of €1 million to €2 million.

Amy Neale

General partner, Delta Partners

Having spearheaded Mastercard’s start-up scheme for over 250 fintechs, Neale’s 20 years in tech led her to Dublin venture capital firm Delta Partners in 2022. With a passion for “underestimated” companies, she is driven by improving inclusivity in the tech world. Backing from Bank of Ireland, Fexco and Enterprise Ireland has enabled Delta to give a hand to early-stage firms during a turbulent time for the industry.

she is driven by improving inclusivity in the tech world

Will Prendergast

Founding partner, Frontline Ventures

Frontline is having quite the year. It was recently name-checked by Stripe’s John Collison and in March it announced it had raised $200 million across two funds to help B2B software companies to scale on both sides of the Atlantic. Prendergast co-founded the VC firm along with William McQulllan and Shay Garvey in 2012 and it has gone on to back a considerable number of great Irish tech firms. Special mention is needed for Stephen McIntyre, who formerly led Twitter’s Irish operations, and who, along with Brennan O’Donnell, set up Frontline Growth, which focuses on later-stage US firms expanding into Europe.


Many of us owe a huge debt of gratitude to the early founders who carved the path to growing a successful tech community in Ireland. There are countless names that have played their part over the years. Here are some of the key veterans of Irish tech.

John Herlihy

Non-executive director, OpenAI, former country head of Google, VP EMEA at LinkedIn

Herlihy would deserve a spot on our list for his time at Google alone. A man with significant experience in the tech sector, he held several leadership positions at tech companies such as First Data, Oracle and Adobe, before becoming head honcho at Google Ireland. The Limerick native grew the tech giant’s Irish operation from 50 employees to more than 2,500 staff during his tenure. Herlihy then went on to join LinkedIn as its VP and managing director for EMEA as it scaled, stepping back from that role three years ago. Since then he’s been guiding other companies, not least as a director at OpenAI, which is developing a significant operation in Ireland, and as chairman of StatSports, the Newry-headquartered firm.

Edel Creely

Co-founder and CEO, Trilogy Technologies

Creely burst onto Ireland’s entrepreneurial scene with a bang in 2009 with Trilogy Technologies, a leading IT managed services company acquired by Arkphire in 2020. Creely continued to play a critical role after the deal went through, staying on as managing director until June 2021. Since then she has used her significant experience serving as a director at Auxilion and as chair of IP Telecom. In addition, she is a member of the Enterprise Ireland Investment Committee and of Ibec’s National Council.

Creely burst onto Ireland’s entrepreneurial scene with a bang

Liam Casey

Founder and CEO, PCH International

The man affectionately known as “Mr China” due to his success in bringing Western firms such as Apple together with Chinese manufacturers, recently embarked on a mission to revive Slendertone’s fortunes and turn it into a billion-dollar heavyweight. Having grown PCH International into a major global player, and finding success in investing in firms such as Stripe early on, few would bet against him succeeding once again.

Chris Horn

Tech columnist, co-founder and CEO of Iona Technologies

A man with a fascinating history in the Irish tech space, Horn was the co-founder of software company Iona Technologies back in 1991, which went on to become one of Ireland’s first Nasdaq-listed companies. These days, Horn is known for his Irish Times column, which covers the intersection of technology, business and privacy.

Bill McCabe

Entrepreneur, chair of Oyster Capital

You don’t hear much from McCabe these days but he deserves a place on this list on his past triumphs alone. Having founded CBT/Smartforce, leading it through a historic stock market IPO, he then played a part in the IPO of Parthus Technologies and other businesses. While undoubtedly quieter, McCabe is still very much around, backing great Irish-founded tech companies such as Novareous, FieldAware and Synergy Suite.

Sean Mitchell

Chair Ubotica, MoveAhead, Co-founder Movidius

Mitchell was already a well-known name in the semiconductor space before he co-founded Movidius, the computer vision hardware company acquired by Intel in a €350 million deal. He’s kept busy since then, serving as chair of both MoveAhead, the analytics start-up, and Ubotica. Mitchell is also chief commercial officer at the latter, a space tech firm that is at the heart of semi-autonomous satellite systems. With a big partnership with IBM having worked on projects through partners such as NASA and the European Space Agency, the future looks bright for Ubotica.

the future looks bright for Ubotica

Annrai O’Toole

Co-founder of Iona Technologies, Cape Clear and Utmost

Although it was their Trinity research budget drying up that spurred Annraí O’Toole and Chris Horn into setting up Iona Technologies in 1991, money was the last thing on O’Toole’s mind. “If you start off as an entrepreneur thinking about the cash that’s in it for you, then you’re doomed to failure,” he said in a 2001 interview. Either way, he’s managed alright since. The tech veteran followed Iona with Cape Clear Software, which was acquired in 2008 by Workday, and where he continued to serve as CTO until 2018. Four years after founding Utmost, the HR software start-up was snapped up by Beeline in 2022, with O’Toole serving as CIO of the Florida-based company ever since.

John Purdy

Founder and chair, Ergo, angel investor

Having co-founded Ergo in 1993 as a two-man firm selling toner cartridges for printers, the company has blossomed into an IT solutions behemoth with revenues of nearly €200 million in 2023. In the process, it spun out a number of firms, not least of which is tech unicorn Fenergo. Purdy stepped back as CEO in 2021 but he is still very much active, not least as an angel investor backing firms that include Dimply and Vromo, which was recently acquired by Dunkin’ Donuts owner Inspire Brands.

Tech for good ambassadors

We may hear plenty of bad news stories about how tech is destroying the world, but here are some of the most inspiring people in the sector committed to using tech for good.

Dr Colin Keogh

Co-founder and director, Sapien Innovation

Keogh is equal parts engineer and entrepreneur, and a complete advocate for open innovation. That spirit is imbued in all his ventures: design-thinking consultancy Sapien Innovation, prototyping accelerator The Rapid Foundation, and Team OSV, a collaborative effort to design and develop an open-source ventilator during the pandemic. His passion is leveraging technology for good, and doing so sustainably and collaboratively. You’re as likely to find him getting hands-on at a hackathon as in a start-up hub offering advice and mentorship.

His passion is leveraging technology for good, and doing so sustainably and collaboratively

Mary McKenna

Entrepreneur, co-founder Awaken Angels

McKenna is not only a successful founder and investor, she is also one of the brains behind Awaken Hub and its funding arm, Awaken Angels. The cross-border female founder network, which was set up four years ago, is behind SheGenerate, the only all-island accelerator programme for early-stage women entrepreneurs. Its funding arm, meanwhile, is a syndicate that is investing in women-founded businesses.

Mairin Murray

Co-founder, TechFoundHer

Murray co-founded Tech for Good Dublin in 2017, then trained her focus on the challenges facing women entrepreneurs with the launch of TechFoundHer in 2020. She is not only building a support network but hosting acclaimed bootcamps for early-stage founders and funders as well. Murray and her fellow organisers are also tackling systemic issues, including the gender funding gap. Next up, she hopes to launch a new accelerator for women founders.

Kyran O’Mahoney

Co-founder and CEO, Vially

Formerly known as Inclusion and Accessibility Labs, Vially has set out to make tech more accessible. O’Mahoney leads this company while continuing his role as CTO with NCBI, which has given him hands-on experience with digital accessibility. Vially conducts accessibility audits and advises businesses on actions they can take to improve inclusion and ensure compliance with current and incoming EU regulations. For his efforts, O’Mahoney was named Digital Advocate of the Year at this year’s Digital Business Ireland Awards.

101: The great connector

It takes a special kind of person to have been around so long and yet have few enemies. In compiling our ranking, one name came up constantly as someone who deserves special mention for their ability to cross all disciplines.

Brian Caulfield

Entrepreneur, venture capitalist, angel investor and chairman of Scale Ireland

An all-round good guy, Caulfield has done it all. A venture partner and former managing partner at Molten (formerly Draper Esprit), Caulfield founded and successfully exited both Exceptis Technologies and Similarity Systems. Now chair of Scale Ireland, he is one of the country’s leading advocates for start-ups. Putting his money where his mouth is, Caulfield has backed numerous Irish companies and despite being a busy man, is always on hand to offer advice to both fledgling entrepreneurs and established ones. Read our interview with Brian Caulfield here