By @SimonCocking. We spoke with John Phelan, FutureScope co-founder, National Director of HBAN and successful Irish entrepreneur to find out a little more about the event.
Firstly we asked him what the elevator pitch for FutureScope would be. John said “there are two key themes of FutureScope. Firstly we bring together thought-leaders who will share current trends and future insights with our audience, to help identify where future opportunities will emerge. Secondly FutureScope is about encouraging engagement and collaboration within the Irish tech / startup ecosystem”.
We asked John how he came to be involved in the event. He explained “my main interest is the data. I want to know what’s coming down the track, so that we can learn from this and identify future opportunities. In my own career I have benefited greatly from previous events like this where I have met really influential and helpful people, who helped me to develop my own business ideas. Events like this help people to expand their network. I want to bring people together to network and realise the benefits that this can bring.”
We asked John to explain how long the event has been going. “FutureScope is now into it’s 5th year. This will be the second year at the National Conference Centre, but the previous three years of the ‘Silicon Strolls’ helped to establish the value of bringing together many people from the Irish tech and business ecosystem.” John emphasised the value of so many good companies in Dublin, with valuable cross fertilisation possibilities when you bring them together. He explained “when we began we had people from Google, IBM, and Paypal, it was all about making the connections, bringing the people together. The idea then grew from there”.
— Dublin BIC (@BICDublin) March 20, 2017
The FutureScope event is curated to ensure the topics covered are interesting and relevant. We asked John to tell us about this in more detail. “For example we have one panel covering the topic of scaling versus revenue generating. We want to focus on what you need for real world success not the hype. The aim of the event is all about sharing, networking, and creating value between startups and multinationals. Other topics we will be covering are the connected world, funding / scaling, humans versus machines. We challenge the presenters to give the audience relevant insights and context about these topics.”
The aim of the event is to separate the hype from the actual possible business opportunities. “In two topics close to Irish Tech News’ hearts for example Fintech and the IoT connected world we want to challenge the audience to think about this. IoT already has real commercial opportunities beyond the hype cycle statements. Similarly with Fintech, we want to show where are banks going to be with blockchain and all the other exciting innovations being developed.”
Overall the goal is to offer innovation insights. DublinBIC’s aim is to get companies investor ready. Last year CISCO gave a future trends presentation, showing how it was helping companies to grow. This year we will have Mastercard explaining how they’re moving to be a tech company. They are also working with an Irish AI based company who illustrate that things are changing very quickly.”
We asked him who should attend? “Multinationals should come to see what’s coming down the track. Scaling up companies will find it useful too, to see who else is scaling and to reach new audiences. It will also be beneficial for early stage guys for the networking benefits, especially as we will have investors, funding sources, and the local state supports. Overall there will be a lot of networking, with people looking for talent, and new business.”
Finally we asked him what advice he would give to those starting out, and his younger self. “Listen to those who have made all of those mistakes. I wish I had listened to the advice I had been given, it would have saved me loads of money and time that I wasted on the wrong things. If you’re getting advice from someone you trust, don’t keep charging on doing the wrong thing, believing ‘I’m always right’. Make sure though that you’re getting well informed advice, rather than just well intentioned advice, as it is an important difference.”
We then concluded by asking him if his younger self would have listened to these wise words. He laughed wryly and said ‘hindsight is a great thing!
If you’d like to see more about FutureScope or buy a ticket see here