Venture Academy Coaches


Our Coaches & Judges who have worked with the companies prior to the Venture Academy


JIM BARRY is the Managing Director of Barry Group, one of Ireland’s most respected wholesale distribution groups. The company employs over 230 people at its state of the art headquarters in Mallow, Co. Cork.


BRUCE CLIBBORN has been an active angel investor with angel investment syndicate Boole Investments for the past 4 years. 



BRIAN CLUNE is an Angel Investor and Consultant Engineer with over 20 years experience in providing automation and project management expertise to the Life Sciences Industry.

BRIAN CROWLEY - Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the staffing, social care and healthcare industry. Skilled in International Business, Healthcare Management, Social Services, Recruiting, and Executive roles. Entrepreneur from the age of 25, loving it ever since. 


PETER CROWLEY, founded Crowley Services and started Dyno Rod in Cork in 1975. Peter is currently working with CIT and Nimbus on two separate projects to develop new technologies in FOGs management and control and the pipe and drain cleaning and maintenance area.


TERESA CHAMBERS is an angel investor with the Boole Angel investment syndicate.  She has over 20 years’ experience at Director Level, leading Supply Chain and Operations, in-house and at Contract Manufacturers, in the Pharmaceutical industry.

MARCEL DRIDJE is currently the Sophia Business Angels President EMERITUS, EBAN Board Member, Mentor at The Camp in Aix en Provence & ISA CorkBIC Ireland. A seasoned European Sales senior Executive, Marcel has substantial field experience helping IT and Telecom startups in the US and EMEA. 



SHEMAS EIVERS is an experienced IT Services professional who has been an owner manager of several companies since founding one of the early PC services companies in Ireland upon leaving college and is currently Chairman of Client Solutions Ltd., a company he co-founded with Teddy McCarthy and which was re-acquired in an MBO deal from TechData in 2018. 

KARL FLANNERY is a business leader and technology enthusiast. As recent Chair of the Irish Software Association he is firmly committed to advancing the profile and needs of the Irish Software and Digital Technology sector in the national and international arena. Karl has over 30 years’ experience in the ICT industry and in 1995, Karl co-founded Storm Technology, taking the company from a startup operation to a well-respected, profitable company.

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 which started life as a small Apple Computer reseller in Cork and grew into a large pan European IT group.



PAUL HANDS - A successful business graduate with more than 30 years experience in the technology and business sector. He is recognized for an outstanding mix of strategic vision, global management skills and the proven ability to scale a business across several continents. Paul has successfully completed funding rounds over the past fifteen years with numerous national and international investment companies and organizations.

GRAINNE KELLY is the CEO and inventor of BubbleBum UK Ltd, manufacturer of the world’s first inflatable car booster seat for kids. BubbleBum was founded in December 2009 and has rocketed to success, winning major worldwide awards. Grainne has already been named the Belfast Telegraph Business Woman of the Year 2010, EY Entrepreneur of the year finalist 2011 and Women In Business Award winner 2013.

PEACHES KEMP co-founded Itsa with her sister Domini in 1999.  Starting with one bagel shop 16 years ago, the Kemps now have 17 outlets including itsa at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, The Hugh Lane Gallery, The Tearooms at Dublin Castle, and Harvey Nichols.  She won Image Businesswoman of the Year in 2009 and was a finalist in the EY Entrepreneur of the year programme in 2011.  She is on the EY EOY Alumni Board and has recently joined the board of ICE (Inner City Enterprise), a non- profit private charity.

PAT MCINTYRE graduated as a Chemical Engineer in UCD in 1985. He worked with a number of Pharmaceutical Multi-nationals and Engineering consultants on numerous capital projects and was Director of Operations and CEO for the DPS Engineering Group. Over the past few years Pat has shared his business and operations management experience with others including early stage start-up companies. He takes a pragmatic, straight forward but highly structured approach to moving businesses from concept to viability and growth.


FRANK MADDEN founded Crest Solutions in 1998. Prior to that Frank played an integral role in the team responsible for manufacturing at Apple Computers in Cork. He also spent time in Concurrent Ltd. and Alps Electric. Frank is a graduate of both the Cork and Sligo Institutes of Technology where he studied Electronic Engineering. As CEO of Crest Solutions, Frank is dedicated to providing leading vision and traceability solutions and services to regulated manufacturing and packaging industries in Western and Northern Europe.

JOHN MULLINS is the Executive Chairman of Amarenco Solar, a company established in 2013 to source, structure, finance and asset manage large scale solar PV plants across Europe. The company has built up a French portfolio of over 100MW in that period. They are active in the UK, France and Ireland.


CARMEL O’CARROLL is a highly experienced Entrepreneur and coach with a track record of building SME businesses over the past 30 years, operating as a consultant and in Non-Executive board positions. Senior adviser and mentor to growing and early stage businesses dealing with growth and turn around challenges. 

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. 


JOE O’SULLIVAN, is the founder and CEO of Ophir Mfg Solutions, a Singapore based company that provides Virtual Operations for both startup and mature companies introducing new technology, primarily in the wearables space.  Joe has over 30 years of Global Operations, Manufacturing and Procurement experience. Joe held the positions of Vice President, Consumer Products & Asia Operations at Apple, COO at InFocus, and most recently COO at Intelligent Energy.


ANTHONY QUIGLEY is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 30 years' experience developing, managing and leading successful businesses. He is a senior board-level advisor to venture companies and start-ups. Anthony founded and led Digital Marketing Institute (which was acquired in 2017), the global certification standard in digital marketing, with courses taught in over 80 countries. 



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