Galway Technology Centre (GTC) has, today, announced a major rebrand and shift in direction, with the launch of its new vision and regional remit as Platform94.
Unveiled at a ceremony in The Connacht Hotel, in Galway City, this morning (Wednesday), Platform94 will move beyond a physical location in Galway, supporting businesses across the West and delivering scaling expertise for firms in Mayo, Roscommon and Galway.
The largest and longest established social enterprise centre for the technology sector in the West, GTC was founded in 1994 to meet the needs of an emerging cluster of ICT companies outside the capital. Platform94 will build on this legacy, empowering Irish businesses to scale globally whilst creating employment opportunities regionally, nationally and internationally.
Platform94 is owned by Galway Chamber and WestBIC and supported by Enterprise Ireland. It aims to help create 505 direct and 323 indirect jobs over the next five years. It is estimated that this will bring a Gross Added Value (GVA) of over €62.4 million to the regional economy, annually. In addition, across the next 15 years – through connecting expanding technology companies globally – the organisation plans to generate 1,535 direct forms of employment and 982 indirect roles, resulting in an estimated GVA impact of over €190 million.
Today’s launch in Galway has set the platform and conditions for regional collaboration and robust growth across the West. Carrying the tagline ‘Global Ambition, Local Support’, Platform94 will provide leadership and knowledge transfer to scaling companies, enabling them to elevate their business to the next level. In addition, it will drive employment growth in client companies, and advocate ‘Brand West’ as a choice location for investment and clustering.
Platform94 provides a pathway for companies to scale by offering exclusive access to vital connections and expertise. This includes funding support, tech communities, local and global networks, office space, scaling education, and events.
This morning’s event featured a panel discussion from industry experts, who reflected on the organisation’s proud history in supporting exciting technology firms. Well known entrepreneur, Newstalk presenter and Dragon, Bobby Kerr, led an interesting and topical panel entitled “Innovation trends and the future of technology”. The discussion featured key insights from Finian Nally, Head of Microsoft Cloud Solutions at ActionPoint, Denise Tormey, President and Co-founder of PlanNet21 Communications, and Mike Conroy, Director of the European Digital Innovation Hub at ATU.
Technology in Ireland is a fast-growing, advanced and dynamic sector, with data from the European Commission showing Ireland among Europe’s best performing innovators, scoring significantly higher than the EU average. Additionally, the West is quickly becoming a digital haven, providing an ideal entrepreneurial environment, with figures from Enterprise Ireland showing that by 2024, over two-thirds of the jobs created will be in locations outside of Dublin.
Speaking at this morning’s rebrand event, Platform94 CEO and entrepreneur Oliver Daniels said: “We are incredibly excited to announce the launch of our new brand, Platform94. We are building on the great work that has been done over the last 30 years, and expanding our reach across the counties. We want to spread the word that Platform94 is the centre of excellence for scaling business in the West of Ireland, and a place where businesses can access expertise and supports to help them scale effectively and create more high skilled jobs within the entire region. We are excited to support the next generation of tech businesses as they launch themselves on a global stage.”
Congratulating the Platform94 team, Brendan McCormack, Senior Executive Manager, Regional Funds, Enterprise Ireland, commented: “Enterprise Ireland is proud to support Platform 94, which represents an engine of growth for the West of Ireland. It provides a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and businesses with global ambition to nurture, navigate and scale their business ideas. Platform94’s commitment to fostering innovation and growth in the West region is unwavering, and Enterprise Ireland believes that Platform94 will play a pivotal role in helping to scale technology businesses, in today’s changing world.”