The Business of Literature – €1.9 million Fund Set to Unlock the Potential of Literary Tourism sector

  • Three-year literary tourism pilot programme launches across four Northern European countries this Autumn
  • €80K Fund Available to Support Literary Tourism Enterprises in Ireland
  • Organisations and businesses encouraged to sign up to November workshops.

The untapped potential of literary tourism is the focus of Spot-lit, a new three-year project spearheaded by the Western Development Commission in Ireland, that aims to grow the literary tourism sector in the Northern Periphery and Arctic region. The new programme will support organisations and businesses in this culturally-rich region to grow, collaborate and better engage audiences together.
Literary Tourism is an emerging niche sector within the wider cultural tourism sector, where places with literary heritage offer author and fiction-related literary tourism opportunities along with opportunities arising from literary festivals, trails and book shops. In Ireland, this would include literary rich locations such as Sligo, synonymous with the poet WB Yeats, Seamus Heaney and Bellaghy in Derry, Cuirt International Festival of Literature in Galway, Doolin Writers’ Weekend in Clare.
Funded by Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme 2014-2020, the regions participating in the Spot-lit programme area are the West of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Eastern Finland and South-West Scotland. Collectively, the region is home to world-class literary icons and landscapes, however, research suggests there is potential for this sector to work together and grow significantly. Current low levels of joined-up literary tourism activity in the Northern Periphery and Arctic Region make it a sector that is ripe for development.
Spot-lit addresses the need for shared development and marketing of existing assets and the development of new ones, which respond to emerging literary and cultural consumer needs. This will result in a better cultural tourism offering and deliver greater economic impact than projects developed in national isolation.
The programme will include the development of a cluster network across the regions, a series of support workshops, the development of 20 new literary products or services and shared learning and transnational marketing.

In November, Spot-lit Partner, the Western Development Commission will deliver a series of workshops for businesses interested in Literary Tourism product development:

  • Building successful Literary Tourism experiences for visitors
  • Designing and developing your Literary Tourism product or service
  • Knowing and growing your market

Visit Spot-lit.eu to find out more.

Following on from the workshops, businesses will be invited to participate in a Literary Business Support Programme. The programme will be open to SMEs, social enterprises, community groups and literary associations with a unique idea for the development of Literary Tourism in their area. This bespoke programme will involve a series of monthly engagement workshops, learning journeys, business advice clinics and individual mentoring supports. The programme will engage with and support 5 businesses and will include €10,000 business development support. The focus of the business idea/product will be for the development of Literary Tourism through literature, place and performance.

In tandem with the Literary Business Support Programme, a new Literary Tourism Model will be developed and will include a €25,000 business support – the model will be developed by identifying a programme of potential performances linked to the Wild Atlantic
Way and its literary assets.

Speaking on the launch of the SME Businesses Support Programme, CEO Tomás Ó Síocháin of the Western Development Commission said:
‘The west has a fantastic story to tell; an area of arresting physical beauty, centres of innovation and economic growth, however Spot-Lit is an opportunity to focus on some of the stories as yet untold. I would urge communities, groups and SMEs to engage with the Literary Business Support Programme, one aspect of the work of the WDC in supporting the Creative Economy.’

The project launched on September 25th with a new website at www.spot-lit.eu, dedicated social media channels @spot_lit_eu. The NPAP region in Ireland includes all coastal counties from Donegal to Cork. Literary businesses and organisations in these counties are encouraged to register their interest for upcoming events and workshops.
The project will run until September 2021.

The Business of Literature – Major Literary Tourism Initiative Set to Enhance Commercial Capacity in Northern European Region

Major new three-year literary tourism pilot programme set to launch across four Northern European countries this Autumn.

Spot-lit is a new three-year project that aims to grow the literary tourism sector in the Northern Periphery and Arctic region by supporting the organisations and businesses in this culturally-rich region to grow collaborate and better engage audiences together. Literary Tourism is an emerging niche sector within the wider cultural tourism sector, where places with literary heritage offer author and fiction-related literary tourism opportunities along with opportunities arising from literary festivals, trails and book shops.Funded by Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme, the regions participating in the Spot-lit programme area are Western Ireland, Northern Ireland, Eastern Finland and South-West Scotland.

All share a number of common features such as low population density, low accessibility, low economic diversity, abundant natural resources, and high impact of climate change.
Collectively, the region is home to world-class literary icons and landscapes, however, research suggests there is potential for this sector to work together and grow significantly. Current low levels of joined-up literary tourism activity in the Northern Periphery and Arctic Region make it a sector that is ripe for development.

Spot-lit addresses the need for shared development and marketing of existing assets and the development of new ones, which respond to emerging literary and cultural consumer needs. This will result in a better cultural tourism offering and deliver greater economic impact than projects developed in national isolation.

The programme will include the development of a cluster network across the regions, a series of support workshops, the development of 20 new literary products or services and shared learning and transnational marketing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the Spot-lit partners at a recent partner meeting in Scoltland (left to right) Filip Sever, Mary Keaveney, Minna Mustonen, Helena Aaltonen  Marlene Kohllechner-Autto, Shane Campbell.

Speaking on the occasion of the launch of the project, CEO Tomás Ó Síocháin of the Western Development Commission said: “We are delighted to launch this programme today following an extensive period of research and development. Spot-Lit has the capacity to deliver tangible benefits to under-tapped regions across Europe through the literary tourism sector which we know has the potential to be a major economic driver. We encourage any organisation or business in the literary tourism sector to visit our website and sign-up for our information roadshows in early October.”

This Autumn, the Spot-lit partners in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Finland will deliver a series of workshops for businesses interested in Literary Tourism development.

Workshop 1: Building Successful Literary Tourism Experiences for Visitors
Workshop 2: Designing and developing your Literary Tourism product or service
Workshop 3: Knowing and growing your market

Following on from the workshops, businesses will be invited to participate in a Literary Business Support Programme. The programme will be open to SMEs, social enterprises, community groups and literary associations with a unique idea for the development of Literary Tourism in their area. This bespoke programme will involve a series of monthly engagement workshops, learning journeys, business advice clinics and individual mentoring supports. The programme will engage with 5 businesses in each country and will include a €10,000 innovation voucher. The focus of the business idea/product will be for the development of Literary Tourism.

The project will officially launch on September 25th with a new website at http://www.spot-lit.eu, dedicated social media channels @spot_lit_eu, followed by a call out for literary businesses and organisations to register their interest for upcoming events and workshops.

grow remote conference

Grow Remote Conference in Sligo meets Ireland’s first Smart Community

Ireland’s first Smart Community, Tubbercurry & South Sligo, is delighted to welcome the Grow Remote conference to Tubbercurry on Tuesday 16th of April 2019. This one-day conference features speakers from across Europe and American and aims to discuss the opportunities that exist for remote working in Ireland and the benefits it can bring to employees, employers and local communities.

Joann Hosey, Chair of Smart Community Tubbercurry said, “Our ambition is to bring remote workers together and to create a new community of people with common interests and purpose, a community that will help the economic prosperity of our town, a community that will help Tubbercurry to thrive”.

The conference will play host to remote workers, international employers and local town groups who each have an interest in remote working.

grow remote conference

Galway-based remote worker Daniel Fahy

The conference will have over 15 speakers who will share their latest thinking on the technology, management supports and opportunities that exist for remote working. It will also showcase community case studies and will transform two buildings in the main street to show how remote working can have an impact locally. Currently, it is estimated that over 216,000 people work remotely in Ireland.

The emergence and activation of new community spaces across Ireland is a key motivator for this event as communities begin to provide the infrastructure needed in the regions to make remote work possible. Regions of collaborative ecosystems and clusters, offering global value, skills, and quality of life are the regions that will succeed. An effective Smart Working model is an important element of this vision and success.

This year’s conference will see speakers who are professionals in the remote working community such as:

  • Angela Piper of Scrapinghub, a technology company that turns web content into useful data for your business. Scrapinghub is a 100% remote working company with people in every corner of the world.
  • Paul Savage, the Chief Operating officer at NearForm. NearForm is a technology company that sources talent from all over the world. They hire without borders, casting the net far and wide to attract the finest to their industry.
  • Laurel Farrer is a distributed operations consultant. Laurel collaborates with the world’s top remote friendly companies.
  • Lorcan Roche Kelly, who works remotely from his farm in Co. Clare as editor on Bloomberg markets.
  • Marcus Wermuth, the mobile lead at Buffer, based in Munich Germany. Buffer makes it easy for businesses and marketing teams to schedule social media posts, analyze performance, and manage all their accounts in one place. Buffer is a fully remote team spread across the World.
  • Rachel Craig is a remote worker based in Barcelona. She previously worked remotely from Inishowen in Co Donegal. Rachel is a search engine optimisation consultant with Canirank.com.
  • Ryan Mesches is a well experienced remote worker. He is currently working for Teamwork.com and is in the process of building his own remote working team.
  • Tammy Bjelland is the founder and CEO of Workplaceless, a company which provides training to workers, leaders, and organisations on working remotely.

“I am really looking forward to speaking at GrowRemote and show local communities the impact Remote Work can have. I’ve seen it at Buffer what good it can do and what it means to hire people all around the world. Remote Work is the future!” Marcus Wermuth, mobile lead Buffer.

“We, at Shopify, are delighted to share our work from home story with others at the Grow Remote event on April 16th. In less than 4 years, we have built a team of over 300 fully remote workers in Ireland, spread across all 26 counties. Remote and work-from-home initiatives are the best way for Ireland to address the combined needs of breathing life into rural Ireland and enabling people to live where they want to live.” John Riordan, director of support at Shopify.

Tracy Keogh founder of Grow Remote said, “Grow Remote is a group of community developers who want to use remote work as a way to enable our communities to thrive as remote work can be a great equaliser for communities. For us, Tubbercurry was the perfect location, they have an award-winning community team, a vibrant community, and even the world’s fastest running kid! When your career isn’t tied to one location, it’s the assets Sligo, and Tubbercurry have, that make a place worth living in”.

The event is supported by Sligo County Council, Western Development Commission, Bank of Ireland, Blacknight, ICBE, Smart Community Tubbercurry & South Sligo and An Chroi South Sligo Enterprise Centre. Tickets start at €40. More details at www.growremote.ie

LookWest.ie is delighted to support Grow Remote; we will be live streaming talks and interviews from the event on Tuesday 16th of April 2019. Watch our social media channels for more.

galway food tours

A Taste 4 Success with Galway Food Tours

How you too can develop a Food Tour Business in Ireland

The award-winning Galway food Tours is heading back to the classroom this May.  The Galway company in conjunction with Taste 4 Success Skillnet is launching a training programme that will teach you how to Develop a Food Tour Business.

The program of work will cover a range of food and business-related topics. The course will provide an in-depth analysis of what a food tour business is, how it runs and what are the professional and personal traits required to translate the success of the Galway Food Tours business model to other parts of Ireland.

The course will outline the process of setting up a food tour business, it’s operational details, nature the business and opportunities created through the local and national food and beverage scene.

If you have an entrepreneurial like-spirit and have dreamed of starting your own business working with food and people, this is the course for you.

“We are looking for a ‘People Person’ with strong connections, passion and knowledge of local foods, producers and businesses. We are looking for people who have a knowledge of local history, telling stories and who can showcase the Irish Culture,” said Gosia Letowska of Galway Food Tours.

“There are so many elements to running any small business now but with Food Tours is really need to be a good communicator with excellent people skills, able to engage a group of tourists, domestic or international customers. You should have a creative personality, think outside the box and have a flair for business, marketing and social media, “explained Sheena Dignam of Galway Food Tours.

Bridie Corrigan-Matthews of Taste4success said, “This course has been created to attract candidates looking at taking back control of their lives. People who are unemployed, motivated, curious and have a sparkle for adventure who want to get back into the workforce.”

A Taste for success, developing a Food Tour Business will run on 7, 14, 21, 28 May and the 4th June at the Clayton Hotel, Ballybrit, Galway.

This course is fully funded by Skillnet, but there will be an interview process in order to attend. For more information or to book your spot contact Breda on 043 6687289 or email info@taste4success.ie.

 ‘Angel Investing in High Potential Enterprises, is it for you?’

‘Angel Investing in High Potential Enterprises, is it for you??. Event takes place in the McWilliam Park Hotel, Claremorris, Co. Mayo on 6th March, 2019 at 5.30pm. This training seminar and networking event is aimed at increasing the number of private / angel investors regionally, particularly female investors, and provides an introduction to angel / private investing and crowdfunding.  At the event, speakers and experts will talk about their experiences of angel investing, both as investors and investees, leveraging their networks and the experience of private investment and syndicate investment groups.

This is an ESIL (Empowering Early Stage Investors Launchpad) event run in conjunction with the Local Enterprise Offices in Mayo, Galway and Roscommon and supported by WestBIC, HBAN, WDC and the Empower Programme.

 

https://www.europeanesil.eu/

https://www.localenterprise.ie/

 

Agenda:

  • Networking and Refreshments
  • Introductions – John Magee, Mayo LEO / Ultan Faherty, ESIL/HBAN
  • Keynote speaker – Victoria Hernandez of the Early Stage Investing Launchpad (ESIL) on ‘Angel Investing in High Potential Enterprises, is it for you?’
  • Fidelma McGuirk of Payslip – Investee’s perspective on the investment process
  • Company Pitches
  • Conclusion
  • Close and Networking

Victoria Hernandez Profile

If you wish to attend then please register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/angel-investing-in-high-potential-enterprises-is-it-for-you-tickets-55572690413

 

 

 

landing space sligo

IDA Ireland Launches ‘The Landing Space’ in Sligo

IDA Ireland, in partnership with IT Sligo and Sligo County Council, have today officially opened a new fast landing property solution. The establishment of IDA Ireland’s first fast landing service at Embankment House, Sligo, to be known as ‘The Landing Space’, will provide an open plan, turnkey collaborative working environment for companies who wish to quickly and easily establish operations in the North West region. It is the latest strategic initiative by IDA Ireland to increase investments in regional locations by enhancing and highlighting the specific property attributes of individual regional urban centres.

Sligo is home to leading life science companies such as Phibro, Abbvie, and Abbott as well as tech companies LiveTiles, Overstock and E3 Retail.  These international brands help attract additional overseas companies to potentially locate to the Sligo area.

Attending today’s launch, Minister of State for Natural Resources, Community Affairs, and Digital Development Seán Canney said: “Sligo has benefitted greatly in recent months from the arrival of global companies like Phibro, LiveTiles and E3 Retail. It’s proof that everything that global companies require to establish and scale up their operations can be found here – such as talent, services, and infrastructure. The addition of this new fast landing space is another strong attractor, adding greatly to what Sligo has to offer. I congratulate all involved in developing this space. All of these developments also add to the work of the Atlantic Economic Corridor strategy as set out in the National Development Plan.”

IDA Ireland’s Executive Director Mary Buckley said: “This top quality, turn-key property adds significantly to the value proposition we can offer clients and will greatly assist our efforts to attract inward investment to Sligo.  The collaborative work of all local stakeholders represented here today, including IT Sligo and Sligo County Council, is really important and demonstrates that creating an attractive location for investment benefits greatly from a team approach.”

The availability of skilled workers and graduates in Sligo to service the North West’s growing international client base has greatly benefitted the region.  Commenting at the launch Dr. Brendan McCormack, President of IT Sligo said: “IT Sligo is delighted to be partnering with the IDA and Sligo County Council in providing this new facility for Sligo-based companies. This initiative will add to our on-campus incubation facility offering, which currently houses over 30 companies, allowing us to build on our extensive suite of enterprise and entrepreneur supports. These new office facilities will provide a soft-landing base for companies establishing a permanent presence in Sligo”

The location of Sligo as a destination for people in search of challenging careers and a positive work-life balance is well acknowledged as Ciaran Hayes, CEO, Sligo County Council said: “The availability of a fast Landing Space in the heart of Sligo contributes to a much sought-after quality of life where you can avail of 1 Gigabit broadband connection in an attractive urban centre, yet be only 10 minutes from surfing the Wild Atlantic Way or availing of the many mountain or coastal walks in the land of hearts desire.”

Gigabit Hub at the Landing Space
Siro and Vodafone are supporting The Landing Space with the provision of Gigabit connectivity, the most powerful broadband available in Ireland, as it becomes the latest participant in Vodafone and SIRO’s national Gigabit Hub Initiative, which offers a 1 Gigabit (1,000 Mbps or Megabits per second) broadband connection to qualifying business hubs in regional towns. Companies based in The Landing Space will benefit from the same level of broadband connectivity as available in leading international hubs such in locations like Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Speaking at the launch, Vodafone’s Enterprise Director, Regina Moran said: “I’m delighted to announce today that, through the SIRO Vodafone partnership, we have reached yet another significant milestone in terms of providing connectivity to regional areas of Ireland.

“The Gigabit Hub initiative is providing vital infrastructure at pace across the country and in doing so is helping to promote regional parts of Ireland as destinations for international business. These hubs will create employment opportunities for the people of Sligo and surrounding communities and help to stimulate the local economy. We very much look forward to seeing the ambition we established two years ago support the local people and businesses in Sligo in the most tangible way, as they look to compete irrespective of location.”

SIRO CEO John Keaney added: “The Landing Space is the latest example of how SIRO is reversing the digital divide in Ireland by giving Sligo the same level of world-class broadband connectivity as Tokyo and Hong Kong. Doing business online is fundamental for every business today, from start-ups, SMEs to large multinationals.  Our 1 Gigabit service is now available to 200,000 homes and businesses around Ireland and clients of Landing Space companies won’t be able to tell the difference whether they are based on the West Coast of the United States or the West Coast of Ireland when they log on. As a result, when the next Google or Microsoft decides to open an office in Ireland, Sligo will be as appealing as Dublin.”

More from IDA Ireland here.

Energise Your Business – how to take your innovation to the next level

You are cordially invited to
FREED Project Event
Tuesday 16th October 2018

9:30am – 2pm
Registration & Refreshments from 9:30am | Event Start 10:00am | Lunch & Networking 12:45pm

DETAILS
Is your start-up business or SME struggling to get an energy innovation to the next level? Then join us to hear from companies that have succeeded in this with the help of the  FREED Project.
Getting your ideas from the blueprints into the markets can be a long, difficult journey, which all innovations and companies are not be able to complete. Various business support organisations and enterprise agencies offer support for starting entrepreneurs and companies, but they do not target energy innovations in particular. However, these are the ones that are sorely needed, as energy is a key driver of climate change.
Funding Resources for Innovation in Energy Enterprise Development (FREED) is a three year project funded under Interreg’s Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme. FREED has been supporting SMEs and start-ups working on energy innovations with the aim of getting the innovations faster into the real world, where they can make a difference. The experiences of these SMEs and the support mechanisms developed in the project can help other innovations make it too.

During this event you will hear from:

  • SMEs who have been receiving support from the FREED Project and how it has helped them progress
  • Public Funding Specialist Ian Brannigan (Western Development Commission)
  • Business Angel Investor Nick Lyth (Green Angel Syndicate
  • You will also learn about the FREED Service platform – a funding match-making platform for SMEs, Investors and Enterprise Agencies.

To attend this event please Register HERE

work remote conf

Irish Towns Compete to Host Remote Working Conference

Towns and villages around Ireland have until August 25th to avail of the opportunity to host the inaugural Grow Remote www.growremote.ie conference that will take place on September 27th.

The one day conference, which features speakers from across Europe aims to kickstart momentum around the remote working community in Ireland, with specific emphasis on leveraging it to support the town teams and digital hubs.

Commenting organiser Rose Barrett said “We have a full speaker line up and event management team organised for Grow Remote. Rather than being predictable and hosting in a city centre conference location we want to be true to the objective of the conference and encourage towns and villages to tell their stories of remote working and to pitch their locality as the venue for the conference. Events like this typically bring €20,000 in to local communities and all is takes is a simple form on the website.”

Huge interest has already been received from hubs and town teams across Ireland with the closing date of August 25th for submissions.

The first of it’s kind, the conference will play host to remote workers, remote working companies and town groups. The conference already has 10 speakers from across Europe and beyond set to attend. Speakers will share the latest thinking on the technology, management and opportunities for remote working. Currently it is estimated that over 216,000 people work remotely in Ireland.

Gabe Karp, Director of Europe at 10up will be speaking at the event as 10up is continuing to grow across Europe said: “We’re excited to be involved with Grow Remote, as a remote digital agency, we believe strongly in the power of remote teams. As we continue to grow, we would love to find great design and engineering talent in Ireland. We need an active community in this space to make that happen and this is a great event to kickstart that”

The emergence and activation of new community spaces across Ireland was a key motivator for this event as they begin to provide the infrastructure needed in the regions to make remote work possible.

Remote working is becoming more of a viable option for large companies. Ryan Mesches of Teamwork.com said, “it’s a no brainer for us; we’ve built a huge business with over 23% of our workforce working remote. Hiring remote staff allows us to continue to lead in our market by remaining more agile and flexible – and our employees love it too!”

Town teams are encouraged to apply at growremote.ie/nominate before August 25th and winners will be announced late August.

The event is supported by the WDC, Bank of Ireland and Abodoo with tickets starting at €30. More details at www.growremote.ie

west of ireland start up guide

LookWest.ie Start-Up Guide To Promote Entrepreneurship in the West of Ireland

How much do you know about West of Ireland startups? Which startups have the most buzz?

For anyone intrigued by the start-up world – or already a part of it – the LookWest.ie West of Ireland Start Up Guide includes an overview of the leading lights in the West of Ireland start-up scene.

If you’re thinking of starting-up on your own or are already in business, check out this great overview of the companies already making waves in the West. We showcase companies across the industry clusters including the ICT, medtech, creative and food sectors.

 

We also show the accelerators, VCs and investment funds as well as the meet-ups, and co-working spaces that have sprouted up across the West.

The guide aims to celebrate and promote West of Ireland entrepreneurship, while offering a 101 guide for anyone visiting the Western Region or starting out in their career.

It covers the most successful West of Ireland startups and companies on the rise, industry clusters, accelerators and meetups, resident VCs, and the story of how our homegrown industry began. 

Ian Brannigan, Acting CEO of the WDC said ‘The Western Region of Ireland is fast developing a reputation for being the location of choice for aspiring businesses and individuals intent on thriving both professionally and personally. As it has done for almost 25 years the Western Development Commission (WDC), seeks to work with partners to facilitate this evolution . Thus I am delighted to welcome the creation of the Lookwest.ie  “West of Ireland Start up guide”. This updated version of the guide carries on the success of its predecessor in supporting Western businesses to flourish through practical and concise information and advice on establishing a business in our community. The West of Ireland is fast becoming a true networked economy and one which evermore invites the business community to grow within”

If you have a suggestion to add to the list, tweet @lookwestie or drop us an email!

View the West of Ireland Start Up Guide

Download the West of Ireland Start Up Guide

Digital Transformations Funds 10k Digital Society Bursary

Details of a major award for writers and artists, creative professionals, developers and designers to be launched in Ballina on 19 May 2018.

This year-long bursary provides a significant opportunity for practitioners of any discipline (visual, performing, musical, literature, media, technology) to deliver a project responding to the emerging digital society. The bursary will be open to individuals and groups in Ireland and abroad and the recipient will be launched at the Digital Transformations conference in Ballina on the 19th of May.

An information session for potential applicants will form part of the conference programme.

The purpose of the bursary is to increase awareness of the digital society and to make artistic responses to it a more central part of the debate.

The winner of the bursary will be required to consider the themes of the digital transformations conference in developing their work: Digital Human, Networked Personality, Art for What’s Sake, and Manifesto. Studio, rehearsal and accommodation space at the Ballina Arts Centre in Mayo will be made available and the recipient will be required to provide some educational outreach and workshops at the centre.

“I’m thrilled to be offering this bursary as a way of supporting people who want to explore the digital society in their work, and to put that response centre stage in the debates happening today about what kind of society is emerging via digital technologies,” said conference director Scott Coombs. “Enriching human contact and the human voice is essential for this transformation to be beneficial,” he said “and this artistic response needs to be heard not just on the street, but in classrooms and boardrooms as well. The digital society is throwing arts, policy, education, culture, media, technology and business together in ways that only the arts can really fathom.”

See digitaltransformations.org/busary for full details.