Ireland has always punched above its weight. It has given the world Oscar Wilde and Conor McGregor, and everything in between and no longer feels the need to apologize for Bono. A forward-thinking, liberal society has replaced the dogmatic, nun-fearing Ireland of old, and with these great social changes has come wealth and innovation.
A competitive corporate tax regime and an educated workforce are two of the reasons cited for Ireland becoming an unexpected tech hotbed since the noughties. Google, Facebook, Paypal, Intel, LinkedIn and Microsoft all have their European headquarters in Ireland, and the country boasts an enviable quality of life for those who can afford to live there. It is not surprising that this small island on the edge of Europe, once the poorest country in the EEC, is a hub for emerging technologies from AI, IoT to Med-Tech.
Below is a list of people who are making waves in the world of blockchain who are based in Ireland.
Morgan Pierce – ICO Adviser, Speaker, Entrepreneur
Morgan describes herself as a “Cryptocurrency Evangelist”, and she has been very busy spreading the word. She currently advises on five ICOs and provides coaching sessions and workshops for Digital Wealth Coach, converting the business masses to blockchain. Morgan has been involved in over 30 successful startups and is an accomplished public speaker
Connor Cantwell – Partner in Cosimo Venture Partners
As the head of the Irish wing of Cosimo Venture Partners, Connor is a good man to know if your startup is short of a dollar or two. Earlier this year, the Irish Times reported that Cosimo, which has offices in Dublin and Boston, had invested $3 million in Oneiro. This followed hot on the heels of the $1 million Cosimo invested in Dundalk based Gecko Governance. Connor told the Irish Times: “We are actively targeting blockchain and crypto projects and expect to announce further investments in early stage companies during the year.”
Simon Cocking– Top ranked ICO advisor on ICObench and Number 1 Person of Blockchain, Speaker, Journalist, Advisor
The number 1 ranked ICO advisor on ICO Bench, Simon is also the Chief Editor of Irish Tech News. He is an accomplished public speaker, having presented at blockchain and tech conferences and summits all over the world. With 120,000 followers on Twitter, Simon is Ireland’s most widely-read influencer and it is no surprise that ICOs turn to Simon for advice. He has overseen the successful launch of over 110 ICOs in the past six months.
Reuben Godfrey – ICO Advisor, Founder of Crypto Coast
Reuben has advised over a dozen ICOs in the past twelve months, Confideal, BitIndia, Playkey, Coin Metro to name but a few. He is the co-founder of the Blockchain Association of Ireland and in December 2017 launched Crypto Coast, a “collective of technical, creative and pioneering cryptographic businesses from all over the world” with a view to attracting blockchain entities to the east coast of Ireland, away from the congested and expensive capital city. As he told CryptoCoin.News recently: “Last year again we claimed the place of the second largest exporter of computer and IT services in the world. We are known as the heart of ICT in Europe. It is no mistake that nine out of the top ten ICT companies in the world are located in Ireland.”
Charlie Sherlock – Founder and CEO, Verifymymeds
Before co-founding Checkitsreal, Charlie launched Verifymymeds. Clearly Charlie dislikes the space bar key almost as much as he hates counterfeit products. But with almost 30% of all medicine purchased online fake, this is a project worthy of support. And the great thing is that purchasers won’t have to foot the bill, as it is the pharmaceutical companies that will pay for the unique authentication barcode provided by the company.
Loughlin Nestor – Founder of Blocknubie
Blocknubie recently raised over $5 million in a private pre-sale for its decentralized start-up ecosystem. The company’s aim is to simplify the process of launching blockchain startups by using AI to simulate highly personalized roadmaps, monitoring the startup’s progress and bridging the gap between their team and the off-chain business universe. Think of it as a centralized platform to facilitate decentralization. Nestor hopes to raised $5 million more in its public pre-sale in April 2018, followed by a further $25 million hard cap in its public sale later this year.
Christopher Karatzinis – Founder and CTO of Checkitsreal
Christopher is currently using his considerable business experience to launch a blockchain-based solution to combat the problem of counterfeit commodities. Checkitsreal allows manufacturers to securely tag their products using patented technology to tag genuine articles as real. The company launches its ICO in April 2018. Christopher was a founding director of Compisol, the creator of Ireland’s first online stock exchange before he went on to launch Stratus 5, a company which provides a set of services that enable partners to easily scale, deploy, orchestrate, and even automate monetization of blockchain applications, and nodes.
Jillian Godsil – Influencer, Broadcaster, Speaker, PR, Journalist, Author
Jill, one of the 50 most influential women of Blockchain, is a Jack of all trades. A well-known speaker on the global crypto and blockchain summit circuit, Jillian is also a lead news reporter for CryptoCoin.News. When she’s not running her international PR company, Practice PR and Events, or advising ICOs, she presents a weekly radio show on social justice issues on Dublin City FM.
Rick Nassar – Blockchain and IoT Startup Analyist, Advisor, Facilitator
Rick has become a well-respected speaker at tech events in Ireland and beyond. As well as founding his own tech companies, he is a sought-after advisor, currently lending his expertise to Blockchain Reactor, and an academic (he is currently working on a Phd on IoT’s power to revitalize rural areas). Check out Rick’s Youtube channel, in which he interviews other blockchain entrepreneurs and reviews products.
Conor Nolan – Entrepreneur
Another member of the Blocknubie team, Conor was listed in Sunday Independent’s Top 30 under 30 in 2015 at the tender age of 21. The listing was prompted by the success of Wattspot, his cell-phone charging hotspot company, which he started at 19. He is currently the Business Development Manager of Kontainers, which is working on the digitization of the shipping industry. Now 24, it is likely we will be hearing lots more from Mr Nolan over the coming years and decades.
Joe Arthur and Deirdre Arthur – CEO/President and Co-Founders of Mingo
Mingo describes itself as a “sneaky crypto app”. It combines a mobile crypto wallet, a gaming platform and an instant messaging aggregation app to bring crypo to the masses. The Mingo-Coin will be used to purchase plug-ins, provided by partner merchants, that will enable the user to shop, game or do whatever the plug-in provides. With all instant messaging services in the one place, Mingo hopes that users will no longer need to constantly cross check their instant messaging apps to see what they’ve missed. Joe and Deirdre are the co-founders and are developing this exciting product along with their team for a launch this year.
Alan Donohoe – CTO, Bittex.ie; Lead Developer, Blockchain.ie
Alan is the founder and CEO of the AllCom Group, a successful tech repair company. He is using the fruits of his labors to invest in blockchain startups. He is also CTO of Bittex, Ireland’s first bitcoin exchange, and blockchain.ie, Ireland’s premier Bitcoin Explorer.
Shane Brett – CEO Gecko Governance
Gecko Governance uses a suite of blockchain-integrated products to assist financial services to meet their compliance requirements. This seems to suggest that banks have thus far been failing in their compliance obligations… surely not? Shane has a background in Hedge Fund management and has written dozens of articles for peer-reviewed hedge fund publications. Gecko is shortlisted for the “Best Tech Startup” and “Best Fin-Tech Startup” in the Bank of Ireland Startup Awards.
James Lloyd – Speaker, Asia-Pacific Fintech Leader-EY
James is originally from Dublin but has spent the past five years in Hong Kong where he is Ernst and Young’s Asia-Pacific Fintech Leader. With almost a quarter of a million followers on LinkedIn, James is among the most influential Irish people working in Fintech. He sits on the Financial Services Development Council and is a regular at tech events throughout the region. If Asia is where the future of Fintech lies, Ireland will claim one of its sons as the driver of the great changes expected over the coming years.