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Kells Enterprise and Technology Centre
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Kells Enterprise Centre

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How Kells aims to become a model for tech hubs outside Dublin

Posted in Category(ies):  Company News

'It's where the future is': How Kells aims to become a model for tech hubs outside Dublin

The project is nominated for a Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Award.


Image: YouTube

‘IF WE CAN CREATE high quality jobs outside of the cities, there is huge potential there. I’m very passionate about supporting similar centres around the country.’

When Manager of Meath Enterprise Gary O’Meara travelled to these enterprise hubs in places like Wexford, Galway, Limerick and Belfast to recruit for a new education programme, he gathered a buzzing community of 22 companies, most of which were based outside the capital.

Like a lot other regional towns in 2013, Kells had a problem. It had a state-of-the-art enterprise centre and tech hub but as businesses were struggling, they had no companies to fill it. O’Meara explains:

Kells Tech Hub was practically an empty centre in the middle of the recession. But it was perfect to showcase what the town had to offer.

In the same year, Bank of Ireland approached them to see if they would be interested in becoming the pilot town for their enterprise programme, using the impressive space as part of this.

The Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards aim to reward the Irish communities that have come together to encourage enterprise in their area, with a total prize fund of €157,000 to help grow these businesses.

The space in question was a 25,000 square foot enterprise centre which now includes a technology hub designed to support startups. It features 70 ‘co-working’ desks, high speed broadband with 500MB download and upload speed, free meeting rooms, lockers, tea and coffee and video conferencing facilities with smart TVs and cameras.

You can have a meeting with anybody in the world – it’s very high tech and available to everyone in the centre.

It also includes a 128-seater auditorium theatre with projectors and the capabilities to stream next door if there’s an overflow, amounting to a 250-person capacity in total. “Not a single business centre in the country has anything like it”, says O’Meara.


The 128-seater tiered auditorium in Kells Tech HubSource: DDNG Photography/Facebook

The idea of all of these features was to facilitate “peer-to-peer learning in a structured way” says O’Meara. One of these is EO Ireland, a global accelerator programme for small businesses which has been running for over a decade in 35 different countries with 250 companies.

And recently, Kells Tech Hub has been the backdrop of over 20 companies learning MIT graduate Verne Harnish’s model – a four-pillar strategy to grow businesses to €1 million euro. It involves peer-to-peer learning from real CEOs from around the world.


Within Kells Tech Hub, smaller companies are invited to workshops based on these learnings four times a year to continue to grow their business and have access to support and advice from these international trainers.

O’Meara sees their efforts at the hub as “a very powerful economic driver” and something that may have scope for other regions to mimic. In the future, they plan to build another state-of-the-art technology hub in Navan which will focus on what Irish businesses can learn from the likes of machine learning and AI.

It’s been five years since Kells was involved in the first Enterprise Town Awards and O’Meara describes entering the awards again this year as a “no-brainer”: 

 It’s kind of where it all began really, five years later we’ve gone from strength to strength and we thought, what better place to try and house entrepreneurship than in Kells.

Since then, O’Meara says the small Meath town has been invigorated by the likes of Men’s Sheds and The Smurfit Kappa Printing Works: “We’re doing a lot of good stuff and it was potentially kick-started by Bank of Ireland in 2013. It’s great to showcase how far we’ve come.”

“The town has a fantastic community spirit, even though it’s struggled over the years because of its location,” says O’Meara. “People will go as far as Navan but those extra miles are seen as a hindrance.”

For this reason, Kells was recognised by Europe on the Regional Aid Map which runs until 2020 and is designed to encourage large multinational companies to locate in Kells. O’Meara shares how they stand to get “10% – 30% rebates in tax paid.”

The Irish Development Authority too currently have a few projects in which they hope to have Kells as “a landing hub” for. As a result of encouragements like these, O’Meara says that the business park in Kells is full and that there’s a waiting list of companies waiting to get in.

And financial support has been huge in this: “Bank of Ireland and the role they play has been huge for driving that activity, along with the various consistent events they keep organising.” People have really engaged with these, says O’Meara.

For O’Meara, the town is a huge success story for the entire county: “Kells has found it tough in the past but all of a sudden it’s really putting itself on the map.”


Source: Meath Enterprise #MeathBiz/YouTube

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Posted on Wednesday, 30 January 2019  |  By KellsEnterprise  |  0 comments

Scaling ambition: EO Accelerator comes to Kells Tech Hub

Posted in Category(ies):  Company News

Scaling ambition: EO Accelerator comes to Kells Tech Hub

by John Kennedy


Louise French, chapter manager at EO Ireland, with Gary O’Meara, CEO of Meath Enterprise, at the inaugural EO Accelerator training day at the Kells Tech Hub. Image: Meath Enterprise

World-renowned accelerator puts entrepreneurs through their paces.

The Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO) Accelerator has launched in Ireland as part of a partnership with Meath Enterprise at Kells Tech Hub.

The first of its training events took place last October where international EO Accelerator trainer Mirik Castro delivered a strategy masterclass to 22 entrepreneurs from across Ireland.

‘This is collaboration at its very best and when people really engage in such a process, the benefits can be powerful’

This was complemented by the inaugural Scalable by Design Series where entrepreneurs and other enterprise champions from education and government discussed key strategic elements of building profitable companies.

Over the course of a day of training and evening events, more than 80 people immersed themselves in the lore of entrepreneurship.

EO is a global network for entrepreneurs that supports learning and personal growth through peer-to-peer learning, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and connection to experts. With more than 14,000 members across 65 countries, EO Ireland was established in 2013 and now has 50 members.

The accelerator is a successful EO programme that has more than 1,400 participants in 35 countries worldwide. The average number of employees in applicant companies is 3.3 and the average turnover is €450,000. Female participation is 29pc globally and the average age of all participants is 38 years.

Kells angels

Not-for-profit organisation Meath Enterprise is a local Government enterprise development body with a mission to drive regional and national enterprise development, including start-up and SME accelerators, investor networks, and scaling and incubation services.

One of these projects, the Boyne Valley Food Innovation District, aims to create a food cluster that will facilitate the scalable expansion of qualified food start-ups and SMEs into global market opportunities.

In May, the Kells Tech Hub was launched to foster a culture of entrepreneurship in the north-east of Ireland.

Gary O’Meara, CEO of Meath Enterprise, explained that EO Accelerator is a unique programme that encourages entrepreneurs to share experiences and knowledge in a structured way so that others can benefit from shared learning.

“This is collaboration at its very best and when people really engage in such a process, the benefits can be powerful. We are delighted to be partnering with EO Ireland to deliver EO Accelerator, and we look forward to further developing this relationship and building on the huge success of today’s training day and evening sessions, which were attended by over 80 people,” he added.

The next EO Accelerator training day, which will focus on people, will take place on 7 February in the Kells Tech Hub. In the meantime, accelerators will participate in monthly meetings with their accountability coaches (EO members) in regional hubs in Wexford, Limerick, Galway, Belfast, Dublin and Meath.

“This is a wonderful initiative and I would like to thank EO Ireland and their partners, Meath Enterprise, for all their hard work and commitment to supporting regional enterprises through the delivery of this world-class accelerator programme here in the Kells Tech Hub,” said Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development Damien English, TD, who attended the event last week.

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Posted on Wednesday, 30 January 2019  |  By KellsEnterprise  |  0 comments

Win a free Co-working desk in Kells Tech Hub for 6 months!!

Posted in Category(ies):  Company News



Calling all Tech Startups!

Complete this 10-15 minute survey and be in with a chance to win a FREE Co-working desk in the new Kells Tech Hub (Details Below)
Link to Survey -
Meath Enterprise have partnered with Startup Genome to carry out a Startup Ecosystem Assessment of the Mid-East Region (Meath, Kildare & Wicklow).
This project will assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of the region and help us to develop a framework to improve how we support enterprise more efficiently and effectively going forward. It will also provide exposure for the region on a global scale through its inclusion in the 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report which will be published in April.
Your voice here is critical.
We want the Mid-East Region ecosystem represented well in this popular report. Also, your input will help highlight aspects of our ecosystem that need to be addressed and improved. This is an opportunity for you to provide feedback to local leaders and stakeholders on what else the ecosystem can do to support startups.

Your help and support is much appreciated.
Meath Enterprise
In Partnership with Startup Genome.
Startup Genome keeps the responses strictly confidential and only publishes aggregate results, using the most secure technologies to protect founder data. 

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Posted on Wednesday, 30 January 2019  |  By KellsEnterprise  |  0 comments

Why the Mid-East Region of Ireland is a Fast-Emerging Startup Hub

Posted in Category(ies):  Company News


Why the Mid-East Region of Ireland is a Fast-Emerging Startup Hub

January 22, 2019 by Dane Stangler


In ancient Irish lore, the Hill of Tara was the place kings were anointed and from where, in some tellings, they ruled. Today, the area surrounding the Hill of Tara—the Mid-East Region—is looking to anoint the next generation of Irish scaleups. The region, comprised of Counties Meath, Kildare, and Wicklow, is teeming with entrepreneurial energy and efforts to help startups grow.

The Mid-East Region may still be considered by some to be a bedroom community of Dublin, where costs of living have risen rapidly since the housing bust a decade ago. Dublin is also the startup ecosystem best known outside Ireland. Yet the Mid-East Region offers more than a high standard of living and easy access to Dublin: it boasts a startup ecosystem that the rest of the world should know about.

We are delighted to include the Mid-East Region as a new Member of Startup Genome’s global ecosystem network.

If you’re a founder or startup executive in the Mid-East Region, you can help us tell the story by completing our survey, which is only live for a few more days.

So why is the Mid-East Region a great place to do a startup? And what makes it an attractive place for founders and startups from elsewhere?

Talent: I’m biased, because I was fortunate enough to spend a semester at Maynooth University in County Kildare, but the region offers ample talent, both young and experienced. Maynooth University itself hosts the Hamilton Institute, a world-leading research unit with a focus on drones, A.I. and robotics.

Nearby, in the lovely community of Leixlip, is one of Intel’s largest facilities. The company collaborates with Maynooth University on the Innovation Value Institute, and more generally serves as a large collection of talent for regional startups. Other multinationals, including Facebook, have large operations in Meath and Wicklow.

Food and Drink: All of these talented people need sustenance, and lucky for them the Mid-East Region excels in high-quality innovation on this front. Not only did one of the largest European food manufacturers (Tayto) start in Meath but also successful entrepreneurs have re-invested in the region. The entrepreneurs behind the Gleeson Group (since purchased) have established the Boann Distillery (also in Meath), which I had the pleasure of touring a few years ago.

More generally, the Boyne Valley Food Innovation District (BVFID) was created to help local food companies start and expand to global markets. The food sector in Ireland is already globally leading, and while the Mid-East Region is a hub, the BVFID aims to fully capitalize on local strengths. We expect there to be many more scaleups as a result of this effort.

Strategy and Support: Lots of places have strong collections of talent and, perhaps, delicious food and drink options. What really distinguishes the Mid-East Region is the local and regional leadership dedicated to making its startup ecosystem vibrant. Nobody is resting on the laurels of the multinationals that have been here for several years. No one is satisfied with simply being the Dublin suburbs.

Led by Gary O’Meara, Damien English, and too many others to mention, public and private leaders in the Mid-East Region know that the jobs of the future will be created by new companies started today. And, that there is not a moment to lose in investing in a support system for those startups.

You can help, too, by taking our survey. Why? Because that provides the information by which we are able to tell your ecosystem’s story in the 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report.

We will be able to compare the Mid-East Region to dozens of other startup ecosystems. This type of information will further help public and private leaders in their efforts to strengthen the ecosystem. For survey takers, upon completion you will receive an individualized assessment benchmarking your startup locally and against those in over 45 other ecosystems across the world. (Plus you’ll get discounts and special access to software and services.)


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Posted on Wednesday, 30 January 2019  |  By KellsEnterprise  |  0 comments

CoWorking Space in Kells

Posted in Category(ies):  Company News
Perhaps your business is not ready for a huge investment in a dedicated workspace yet? But you still require the freedom of a desk with great connectivity in a supportive environment that suits your needs?
You might be working from home and need headspace.
Your work might be travel based and sometimes in need of a grounded base for operational purposes.
If so, our co-working space could be the perfect solution.
  • All-inclusive cost that minimizes overheads
  • A prestigious business address
  • A modern and dynamic working environment
  • Access to mentoring on areas such as key aspects of business development, market research, and finance
  • Peer-to-peer learning from other ambitious start-ups located in our enterprise centre
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free car parking
  • Meeting room facilities
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Printing / copying / scanning facilities
  • Canteen facilities, providing the opportunity to meet other businesses
  • A chance to share ideas, opportunities and problems with fellow entrepreneurs
  • Business training, coaching mentoring services in conjunction with the Local Enterprise Office
  • Linkages to support bodies that can assist companies to grow their idea from concept to marketplace

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Posted on Monday, 28 January 2019  |  By KellsEnterprise  |  0 comments

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