More information about our Speakers:


















DAVID MCWILLIAMS is one of Ireland’s leading economic commentators and was the first economist to identify the Irish boom as nothing more than a credit bubble, warning of its collapse and the consequences for the country. His objective is to make economics as widely available and easily understandable on as many platforms as possible.

He is a writer, journalist, lecturer, broadcaster and documentary maker and has written four bestsellers, presented award-winning documentaries and brought a sell-out, one-man economics stand-up show to the stage at Ireland’s renowned national theatre, the Abbey.  He writes two economics columns a week in the Irish newspapers and is the co-founder of the world’s only economics festival - an eclectic combination of economics and stand-up comedy, described by The Australian as “Davos without the hookers”.

David developed an online economics course – “Economics without Boundaries” – partnering with Udemy and a series of animated economics videos – Punk Economics – viewed by 700,000 people so far. He is also behind Ireland’s “Young Economist of the Year” competition aimed at getting teenagers interested in economics.

Once upon a time he had a real job working as an economist first in the Irish Central Bank and later in the financial markets with UBS and Banque Nationale de Paris. He studied economics at Trinity College Dublin and the College of Europe in Bruges.











PAULO ANDREZ is an angel investor. He is Vice-President of FNABA (Portuguese Business Angels Federation), President of Cascais Business Angels, Member of the Board of DNA Cascais (BIC). He chaired (2010-2012) the EBAN Research Committee, which produced the first EBAN Co-Investment and Tax Breaks reports, in cooperation with BDO.

Paulo Andrez was chairman of the World Business Angels Leaders Forum (Estoril, 2007) that decided to create the World Business Angel Association, and participated under FNABA scope in the design of the first Business Angel co-investment fund in Portugal. In 2010 he also participated in the design and implementation of the first Business Angels Tax Break in Portugal.

Paulo Andrez has a background as serial entrepreneur and has created several companies in areas like IT software, training, real estate and industrial resins. In 2000 he participated as entrepreneur (seller) in the IPO in Euronext, of Novabase, the largest national IT provider in Portugal, with more than 1900 employees, working in 33 countries and from then he became Business Angel, helping entrepreneurs to achieve results. He is an IT Engineer and has a MBA from Nova University in Lisbon.








GER O’MAHONY is an entrepreneur who has accumulated significant experience mainly in technology but also in other industry sectors. He has been involved in a number of successful technology start-ups including being the founder of the software business Engage Technologies Group and its subsequent sale to NorthgateArinso (a FTSE 250 company) and also being the co-founder of the networking systems integrator Bridgecom Group and its subsequent sale to Denis O’Brien’s Esat Telecom.

He has completed funding rounds, identified and successfully completed and integrated company acquisitions and negotiated company disposals during this period. Recently Ger has focused on helping established technology companies to scale and grow both in Irish and International markets. These include the high growth businesses Action Point Technology Group and Voxpro Communications both of which have achieved revenue growth in excess of 50% year on year over the past two years.





JOHN MULLINS is CEO of Amarenco, a company which is focused on solar asset development, financing and ownership in Europe and the US. John was CEO of Bord Gáis from Dec 2007 until the end of 2012. During this time, BGE established a significant electricity business, renewable and conventional generation assets. He has held senior management positions with ESB, ESB International, NTR plc. Group, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (UK). He is a Fellow of Engineers Ireland and the Irish Academy of Engineering and is a member of the UCC Governing Body. John has served as Chairman of the Bord Gais Pension Fund and now serves as Chairman of the Port of Cork. He holds a Bachelor and Masters degree in Electrical Engineering and an MBA from the Smurfit Business School,  UCD, Dublin.






CHARLES GARVEY was CEO of Horizon Technology Group from 1990 to 2003. Horizon started life as a small Apple Computer reseller in Cork with 7 employees and grew to become Sun Microsystems’ largest partner in Europe and Cisco’s largest training partner in Europe. The company completed 13 acquisitions and disposals and in 1999 was listed on the main board of the London and Dublin stock exchanges and was sold to Avnet Inc in 2009.  At its peak the group was worth over €1b and employed 720 people in 5 countries through 13 separate companies. Currently Charles is CEO of NitroSell, an eCommerce company focussed on web enabling bricks and mortar retailers.  NitroSell's online retailers offer 1.6m products for sale and have over 6.3m registered customers between them.









JIM COSTELLO, CEO, SouthWestern, previously spent 15 years in the Information Technology and Outsourcing Sectors in Ireland and Internationally. He was Finance Director for Unisys Corporation in Europe, General Manager of Managed Services in France and Global Managing Director of the Unisys/Dell Managed Services Alliance, a $120m managed Services business. In 2003 he joined SouthWestern when the company had 35 staff working exclusively on IT processing for the Department of Agriculture.  Since then, the company, led by Jim as CEO, has grown through the delivery of true value-add to all existing and new customers, in Ireland and beyond.  In 2007, SouthWestern opened its first international operations centre in Lodz, Poland, then, in 2011 the UK centre was launched in Milton Keynes. In August this year, SouthWestern was sold to Capita in the UK for €35m and currently employs over one thousand people. Through this experience, Jim's career has been involved in delivering “mission critical” solutions for large and major customers around the world, where excellent service has always been the benchmark. In addition Jim studied Business Excellence models in University of Ulster and Stanford University, California.  











ARUN KAPIL, Founder and Managing Director, Green Saffron completed a three-month cookery course at Ballymaloe Cookery School in September 2004 and subsequently worked as a cook in Ballymaloe House. Keen to jump on the opportunity of the first ever Mahon Point Farmers’ Market in Cork, Arun called his cousin in India, got some spices sent over, bought a coffee grinder, a couple of coloured markers and developed the first Green Saffron sachets. Determined to offer premium produce, he based the project's ethos on sourcing the most beautiful ingredients with utter integrity to offer added value products in a simple way so as to make them totally accessible to anyone and everyone who'd dare to try something a little different. The company was founded on Arun’s chef’s wage, his and his wife Olive’s pure passion and enthusiasm and a great deal of support from local and international suppliers. It wasn’t until March 2007 the company became a limited entity and rented a property in Knockgriffin, Midleton. Green Saffron is still based in Knockgriffin and has plans to expand in the area. Over the last 7 years, Arun has become well-known in food circles and is a regular contributor to Irish and UK TV, radio, newspapers & publications. 




KEVIN O'LEARY has been with QUMAS/BIOVIA since its inception and was responsible for the original design and development of the company's first product release. Kevin has worked within regulated industries since 1987 and has extensive knowledge of regulatory compliance solutions. He established the company's presence in the United States in 1997 and now serves as the company's chief executive officer. Having originally majored in computer science, Kevin pursued further studies in industrial management and now works closely with regulators and industry organisations to ensure that QUMAS’ solutions meet the compliance needs of regulated companies. Kevin was a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2009 Award. In 2013 Qumas was acquired by Accelrys.


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