Seasoned Entrepreneurs


Seasoned entrepreneurs who have confirmed their participation at the 2015 Entrepreneur Experience®:


JIM BARRY, Managing Director of Barry Group which has grown from a once local business to now one of Ireland’s leading wholesale distribution groups. Barry Group employs 240 people at its company headquarters in Mallow, Co. Cork.


LARRY BASS, CEO of Screentime ShinAwiL established ShinAwiL Productions Ltd in 1999 before forming a joint venture with Screentime Australia in 2003, and forming Screentime ShinAwiL, now one of the largest independent production companies in Ireland.


JIM BREEN founded PulseLearning in 1999 and is the driving force behind the company’s high standards of excellence and it’s rapid progression as a globally dominant organization. Jim was invited to join the board of CorkBIC in 2010 and is Chairman of the Entrepreneur Experience®.


PETER CROWLEY, founded Crowley Services and started Dyno Rod in Cork in 1975. Between 1978 and 1985 Dyno Rod expanded into the rest of Ireland and in 1990 Peter started BioFlow, a fats oil and grease (FOGs) management service to food serving establishments (FSEs) and is now the Industry leader.


SHEMAS EIVERS is co-founder and Managing Partner of Avnet Client Solutions, which was acquired by Horizon in 2001 and subsequently by Avnet in 2008. He is now in his 20th year leading the team in Avnet Client Solutions and has recently been working with Ascendant EMEA to merge the best traits of both organisations. He has founded several other businesses over the years ranging from Video shops and Karting tracks to Investments funds. He is also co-founder and is chairman of the National Software Centre in Ireland (birthplace of the Coder Dojo movement) and a co-founder of IT@Cork.


JOANNA GARDINER, Managing Director, Ovelle Pharmaceuticals, has led the company through a significant period of international growth since 2011. Taking on new investment, & implementing new sales and R&D strategies, resulted in the company’s innovative dermatological skincare brands Ovelle and Elave building on their success in Ireland opening up new markets in the UK, Europe, China and the US markets.


CHARLES GARVEY is CEO of Metabolomic Diagnostics, an innovative medical diagnostics company developing technologies for the early detection of a woman’s risk of complications during her pregnancy. From 1990 to 2003 Charles was CEO of Horizon Technology Group. Horizon started life as a small Apple Computer reseller in Cork with 7 employees and grew into a large pan European IT group, listed on the Dublin and London stock exchanges and completing 13 acquisitions and disposals along the way.  At its peak the group was worth over €1B and employed 720 people in 5 countries through 13 separate companies.  


PATRICK HICKEY, is MD of Rothco, an independently owned Irish advertising agency which he formed with his partners in 1995. Rothco took a decision at the start of the economic downturn not to let any of their team go and to instead focus on growing their business internationally, something that had never been achieved in the sector. Clients include Tiger beer global account; the Hailo global account;  Pfizer, Unilever and Aer lingus. Currently Rothco work is running in 32 countries around the world. 


GER O'MAHONY, has been involved in a number of successful technology start-ups; founding Engage Technologies Group and subsequent sale to NorthgateArinso (a FTSE 250 company) and co-founding Bridgecom Group and its subsequent sale to Denis O’Brien’s Esat Telecom. Recently Ger has focused on helping established companies like Action Point Technology Group and Voxpro Communications to scale and grow.


COLUM O’SULLIVAN (Sully) set up Cully & Sully in September 2004 with Cullen Allen from Ballymaloe House. Cully & Sully supply over 1,500 shops nationwide, and is exporting to both France and the UK. Cully & Sully were the first Irish company to win an=award at the Sial d’Or awards in Shanghai and then went on to the Global Sial d’Or awards in Paris.

KEVIN O'LEARY, CEO QUMAS,  has been with QUMAS since its inception and was responsible for the original design and development of the company's first product release. Kevin established the company's presence in the United States in 1997 and now serves as the company's chief executive officer.


ASIER RUFINO, Deputy Director of Tecnalia Ventures, is focused on entrepreneurship and innovation by providing business development, strategy and coaching services to start-ups and SMEs. Asier most recently worked at the Basque Institute of Competitiveness (Orkestra) in projects such as the Business Angels Crecer+, the most successful business angel network in the Basque Country.

PETE SMYTH, Captain of the 2015 Entrepreneur Experience®, founded Broadlake Capital in early 2009 with a view to providing capital and support to growing companies. Previously, Pete was Chief Executive of Noonan Services Group, which was sold in 2008, at the time the company had an annual turnover of €120m and employed 5,500 staff.

DR JOHNNY WALKER, a diagnostic imaging specialist, founded Global Diagnostics in 2002, a simple digital tele-radiology solution. Global Diagnostics, now headquartered in Dublin,  recorded revenues of €26M to June 2012 and 200 Staff internationally. Johnny was a finalist in the 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.


Contact CorkBIC today to talk about starting your business and turn your ideas into reality! CorkBIC will supply you with a step by step guide on starting a business.

We use cookies to improve your experience on this website.