“A place of innovation, risk & creativity” – Interview with Digital Hub CEO, Fiach Mac Conghail
As the former director of Ireland’s national Abbey Theatre, Fiach Mac Conghail knows all about balancing disparate elements for optimum impact – skills he’s been putting to good use for the past year as CEO of The Digital Hub.
“The Digital Hub is the largest cluster of digital and tech companies in Ireland,” he explains. “It’s not a co-working space as such, but it does offer companies community around their businesses. Similarly, it’s not an accelerator, but it is all about scaling and dynamism and supporting our enterprise companies through a regular programme of networking and thought leadership talks.
“It’s a place of risk, innovation and creativity.”
Who are the Hubsters?
Launched in 2003, The Digital Hub is now home to close on 100 companies with a total of around 720 employees – from the single-person start-up to outfits with dozens – and a roughly 50:50 mix of national and foreign companies.
“It’s rooted in a historic, accessible, economical part of the city with a down-to-earth vibe,” says Mac Conghail. “It’s better than a regular office space: there’s invaluable peer support and networking constantly on tap; we have flexible and competitive commercial leases and you have the opportunity to grow your space as your company grows – the online and mobile software development company Square 1 has grown up here; and because The Digital Hub was set up by the government in a really old, historic and respected area of the city, there is an endorsement value in belonging to it.”
Does this mean there’s a selection procedure at work when it comes to applying for space within The Digital Hub?
Yes, says Mac Conghail. “We have criteria in place to ensure diversity. My job is about maintaining diversity and curating the series of companies that best represents what is happening globally on the tech scene.”
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