When did you first get interested in technology?
One of my first recollections of experiencing technology was as a child growing up in Wicklow. My father was one of the first in our area to have a Motorola car-phone, which was bleeding edge at the time. I’ll always remember the spectacle of our neighbours gathered around his Renault 19 van in disbelief that the phone, without a landline, could actually work. A preposterous idea at the time! He had to prove to a crowd of over 30 people gathered around the car, parked outside our home, that he could hear my mother’s voice who was dutifully calling him from inside the house. God bless the 80’s!
Innovation cycles are getting shorter and shorter. Fintech applications we see as extraordinary today will inevitably meet the same fate as my father’s trusted Motorola. Staying ahead of the curve has never been more important.
How did you get started in the world of business?
I studied Commerce at UCD (BComm) which provided me with a solid foundation in the fundamentals of business . After graduation and on the sage advice from a mentor, I spent my first year out of college gaining direct experience in sales and business development. I joined a tech company called Bitbuzz (subsequently acquired by Virgin Media) which operated a Wi-Fi network across Ireland. I learned early on that focusing on the value that technology enables and delivers, rather than the technology itself, is key to commercial success.
From there I went to Accenture and spent five years as a Management Consultant working in Dublin and London on projects ranging from Strategy Development to Operational Excellence. This experience within Financial Services made me realise just how challenging digital transformation can be for larger organisations to implement, which was a key insight during the formative days of ID-Pal when aligning on our mission.
You also volunteered to work in Uganda?
During my time with Accenture I was fortunate enough to spend six months working for Plan International developing the strategy for an economic empowerment programme in rural Uganda. At the core of this strategy was to foster strategic partnerships that would address social issues and stimulate economic activities for disadvantaged youths. This programme has since been successfully implemented and consequently rolled out across Eastern & Southern Africa.
Blue Sky Thinking
What has always appealed to me is the process of developing strategies and more importantly, translating them into meaningful change. After my time in Uganda I wanted to continue exploring the power of partnerships and cross-sector collaboration, which led me to joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation on The Isle of Wight in the UK
What is the Ellen MacArthur Foundation?
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works with business, government and academia to accelerate the transition to a circular economy i.e. one that is restorative and regenerative by design and intent. My role there as Global Partnerships Manager involved working with influential corporate organisations (i.e. Cisco, Google, Philips, Renault & Unilever) across key sectors of the economy to demonstrate how this framework can be used as a driver for innovation at scale.
How does this all relate back to ID-Pal and what’s next?
When I look back now I can see that the insights gained from working with so many great people over the years has shaped my thinking when it comes to ID-Pal.
I am very fortunate and proud to be part of an awesome team that makes the complexity of identity verification simple, whilst relentlessly focusing on value creation for our customers. Our partners are key to delivering exponential growth as we expand ID-Pal’s offering into new markets and geographies, and we look forward to sharing more exciting developments on this front in the not so distant future.