Limerick business leaders highlight sports technology opportunities

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SportsTech Ireland founders Emily Ross, Grainne Barry and Martina Skelly. Photo: Paul Mullins

THREE Limerick businesswomen have given over some time from their busy work schedules to champion Ireland’s attractiveness as a location for sports technology and innovation.

And they highlighted the rewards and challenges of establishing new enterprises in the SportsTech sector at a recent event hosted by Network Ireland Limerick and supported by the Limerick Local Enterprise Office (LEO).

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Grainne Barry, Martina Skelly and Emily Ross, who are co-founders of SportsTech Ireland, shared their collective and individual experiences of running their own business and what it takes to be an entrepreneur. All three agreed on the importance of having a clear mission statement and values.

“Know what you want, narrow down the people you need to meet and be specific in your asks and your objectives,” said Gráinne Barry, EMEA Operations Director, with Limerick -based STATS Data and Technology Ltd.

She was joined at the event by Martina Skelly, Co-founder and chief executive of software company YellowSchedule and Emily Ross, founder and chief executive of InkVine Consultants in a fireside chat facilitated by Gillian Horan of Limerick branding agency, The Pudding.

According to Emily Ross, the opportunities for start-ups in the SportsTech sector are huge.

“Data and the interpretation of data is hugely important in all sports and there are plenty of opportunities to exploit that and develop innovative products,” she explained.

The three entrepreneurs also highlighted the importance of having mentors and advisory panels with specialist expertise to guide start-up businesses on their journey and to provide a sounding board.

Network Ireland Limerick President Valerie Murphy said it was particularly encouraging to hear the emphasis on mentoring.

“This is something that Network Ireland has really focused on in the last year and provides a free mentoring programme for all members. All three speakers caught the imagination of everyone at the event. Their openness and honesty about their highs and lows was refreshing and insightful. ”

Network Ireland Limerick provides a forum where women in business, the professions and the Arts can exchange business ideas and increase their business contacts.