Edited and prepared by Oscar Michel, Masters in Journalism, DCU

Interview with John Cleere. Competitive advantage for our customers using design.

Founder of  –  event 3/8/17 the founder of Red Lemonade. John introduces his upcoming event TechThursdaykk event. 

When is it on?
Event kicks off at 7pm sharp, 3rd August at the Medieval Mile Museum, Kilkenny City.
Free tickets can be booked at traveltechkk.eventbrite.ie

How many years has it been going?
Tech Thursday has been running for about 18 months now and steadily growing. It is run by John Cleere of the Kilkenny digital design agency www.redlemonade.ie
Twitter: @redlemonade

What was the inspiration to start it?
Kilkenny city is suffering a technology bypass. A jolt is required to attract new industry and skilled people to Kilkenny to build and scale new digital industries. Current Kilkenny city is heavily reliant on a vibrant service sector; tourism, hospitality and retail, while serving the city well they are typically low wage incomes. The worrying lack of IDA and EI investment and the regional South East Action Plan for Jobs (SEAPJ) indicates it performs the poorest of all regions in Ireland, this only adds credence to the fact that Kilkenny falls short nationally with regard to employment, tax returns and subsequently a brain drain from the city. Most 3rd level education students from Kilkenny do not return to live in the area. Of 8 regions in Ireland, Kilkenny has the lowest level of STEM related graduates living in the county.

What exciting things can people look forward to for the 2017 version?
Tech Thursday Kilkenny August event is all about the growing Travel Tech industry and with Kilkenny being a strong tourism capital it has attracted a bumper amount of interest. On the night we will have Cartrawler, Boxever, Ryanair the NDRC, Bank of Ireland Innovation, Indigo, TechIreland, theBizlocator and perhaps some more. We may even have some announcements for Kilkenny regarding the growing tech industry.

What tips would you give to people attending to get the most out of it?
Get there early it is going to be action packed with speakers and panel talks about the Travel Tech scene in Ireland and the potential Kilkenny holds in this industry. So if you are a start up, scale up or generally interested in finding out about the growing tech scene, this is the event for you. Kilkenny also had a rich history of design with the Kilkenny Design Workshops (see kdwapp.com) which put Kilkenny as a global leader in product and brand design. Design in tech is now a prerequisite for success so that will be explored.

How can people book tickets / when does it usually sell out?
The event will be in the newly opened Medieval Mile Museum in the heart of the city as we are expecting a very big turn out. There are some tickets left, its a free event, lots of refreshments and an after party. Based on current ticket bookings we expect this to be a sell out.

Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?
While the above is pessimistic regarding Kilkenny’s tech bypass there are still many reasons to be very positive about the potential of the city. Kilkenny is rated as one of the best places to live, has quality schools, vibrant service sector, low cost of living, a cultural capital with over 8 festivals per year and good infrastructure. As a place to build industry it is Ireland’s best kept secret. However framed against this economic backdrop this is no time for secrets. It is time to identify and exploit the city’s cachet – in devising a clear strategy to exploit its competitive advantage. We see an enterprise led (rather than government led) strategy to be the way forward. It can of course and should interact and cross pollinate with exiting government initiatives. Watch this space.


Event kicks off at 7pm sharp, 3rd August at the Medieval Mile Museum, Kilkenny City.
Free tickets can be booked at traveltechkk.eventbrite.ie

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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