IGNITE has access to the Cork Business Mentors Programme which will provide participants with a temporary business adviser, known as a ‘mentor’.

  • Mentors are experienced business people willing to help entrepreneurs overcome the challenges faced in the early years of business.
  • Entrepreneurs are carefully matched with a mentor who it is felt is best suited to help them achieve their business objectives.
  • Before commencing work, each mentor is required to sign a confidentiality agreement. This ensures that any information divulged will be kept in the strictest confidence.
  • The mentor is then assigned to work with the entrepreneur for a specific number of hours for the duration of the project.
  • The role of the mentor is to listen, advise, identify problems and suggest possible solutions regarding the business.

‌Liam Casey

Liam Casey is the founder and CEO of PCH International, a venture-backed supply chain management company focused on the consumer electronics, personal computer, medical device, and telecommunication industries. PCH’s clients include industry - leading multinationals based in Silicon Valley and across North America.

Liam founded PCH in 1996 and has grown the business to well over $100 million in revenue and over 800 employees in PCH’s operations in China, Ireland, UK, US, and South Africa.

Liam is widely recognized as a business thought leader on international trade and business in China, earning him the nickname “Mr. China”. In 2007, he was awarded Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in Ireland. He is a frequent guest speaker at corporate leadership events, trade shows, and Asia and Ireland-focused business forums. Liam is currently the Mayor of the People’s Republic of China on FourSquare.


‌John Flaherty

John Flaherty, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2008,    established the C&F Manufacturing Group in Ballybane, Galway in 1989. It commenced as a small specialist company focusing principally on import substitution in the supply of tool making services to Ireland’s established base of multinational companies.

The company has since expanded its Galway interests to a purpose built facility in Athenry and progressed to a global solutions provider to the sheet metal industry with overseas operations now in the UK, Czech Republic, the Philippines and most recently China where Flaherty opened a manufacturing plant in July of this year.

The company counts some of the world’s largest multinational companies amongst its client base including household names such as IBM, EMC, APC, Ingersoll Rand, Glen Dimplex, Sanyo and Hitachi Koki. Sales revenue for C&F has risen consistently over the last five years and for 2007 reached $53 million in Ireland and $100 million globally.


‌Fergus Hurley

Fergus Hurley is an Irish mobile Internet entrepreneur and product designer based in San Francisco. He was the Founding CEO of Focal Labs which developed the patent pending real-time, GPS-based photo sharing platform behind Clixtr.com and PicBounce.com, which have been featured in TechCrunch, The Washington Post, Venture Beat and The Irish Times.

Clixtr won the 2009 Silicon Valley Business Journal Emerging Technology Award for Social Networking and the 2010 CES Mobile App Showdown. Focal Labs was recently acquired by RadiumOne, an internet company headquartered in San Francisco where he is now Director of Products.

He has spoken at conferences in USA, Asia & Europe and secured venture capital funding from top tier investors. He was recently selected as one of the ITLG Silicon Valley 50 Irish Americans in Technology 2011.

Fergus Hurley has a Bachelor of Engineering degree from University College Cork Ireland, a Masters in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT and he studied at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.  He is currently on leave from his PhD in EECS at MIT.


‌Dermot Carbery

Dermot Carberry has held senior executive positions with a variety of industries over the last 20 years both domestically and internationally.

He is managing director of successful consultancy company Internal Solutions, which offers extensive experience to SMEs and multinationals for business development, implementing change, sales and marketing, development and franchising.

He is also chairperson of the IEA for the Cork/Kerry region, and is involved in several projects internationally. He has studied with the Irish Management Institute, Marketing Institute of Ireland (MII) and FETAC.


‌Ron Connell

Ron Connell, MBA, MMII has been an Entrepreneur for more than 20 years and founded businesses as varied as Design, Marketing, Financial Services, Publishing, Telecoms, Training and Consulting.

Ron describes himself as a “Business Doctor” assisting Entrepreneurs tackle every day challenges including Sales, Marketing, Finance, IT, the Web and more. Although a hands on businessman, his work on Entrepreneurship is highly regarded.

Coventry University stated it “significantly contributed to management philosophy and practice and adds to our understanding of an important business topic.” Working with private clients and CEBs providing mentoring.


‌Brian Crumplin

Brian Crumplin has mentored over 80 companies and start ups in Ireland. Also 12 corporations in Russia and Eastern Europe on behalf of the European Bank (EBRD) the largest employed 2,700.

The fastest growing Irish start up company achieved an annual turnover of US$ 10 million within two years. Brian is an engineer and marketing graduate with 53 years industry experience including 26 years at CEO level.


‌Pat Humphreys

Pat Humphreys set up PHMS Ltd in 2007 to provide general and operational management services to the Owner Manager and SME sectors. With twenty-two years experience as a senior manager with multinational / international companies specialising in the areas of operations, manufacturing, supply-chain and HR.

Also as a Group Leader of Plato he has completed a number group leader assignments, each of two years duration. As an example, some of this work was in the demanding area of “second generation / family” Owner Managed companies.


‌Conor Hyde

Conor Hyde founded Bullseye Food Marketing in 2001 to service a growing demand for expert, best practice, business marketing support for owner-managed FOOD companies on an outsourced basis. ( www.bullseye.ie )

Bullseye Food Marketing is a full service marketing & training consultancy which offers “real world” experience of marketing fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) on national and international markets to Multiples, Wholesalers, Convenience chains, Independents, and the Foodservice Sector.


‌John McCarthy

John is currently undertaking a part-time research based masters, in the Department of Government at UCC, on the topic of banking regulation. He is a Chartered Accountant by profession and is an advisor to a number of businesses.

He has worked with start ups over a long period and is certain that they will be a critical component in the recovery of the Irish economy. He believes a focused approach that matches experience with good ideas will help to build robust investment grade companies.

John specialised in corporate finance and business assessment and worked for many years with Ernst & Young, Cork. 


‌Anne Moore

Anne Moore is an experienced, results-oriented marketing professional with 23 years’ experience in sales and marketing. Before setting up her own marketing consultancy business 3 years ago, Anne held a variety of marketing roles while working for a multinational company.

Her most recent senior role before leaving to set up her own business was as European Marketing Manager where her sales and marketing skill set were instrumental in driving record sales and profit growth.

Anne is highly analytical & organised with a history of accurately identifying business opportunities & developing effective strategies, plans & initiatives that drive positive business results.


‌Damien Mulley

Damien Mulley runs Mulley Communications, a Cork and Dublin based communications company that specialises in online communications. He works for SMEs, corporates and organisations in Ireland and the UK and helps to train them to handle their own social media projects.


‌Neil O’Brien

Neil qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant (C.I.M.A.) in 1990. In the past he worked for companies such as Pfizer and EMC. He started his own business in 2003.

Neil has run the following courses for the Enterprise Boards in West Cork and South Cork since 2007;

  • Grow Your Business
  • Pricing your product or service
  • Finance for non-finance managers
  • Mentoring

Over the past four years, I have mentored approximately 126 different businesses in finance, sales and marketing for the Enterprise boards in Cork.


‌Billy O’Connor

Billy O’Connor is Managing Director of The Discovery Partnership Limited, a network of experienced, professional business advisers and consultants working throughout Ireland with SMEs and other organisations.

He is a commerce graduate from UCC who qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG. Billy’s early career saw him working in banking, financial services and business advisory/consultancy.

Recent developments have seen The Discovery Partnership appointed as main contactors, administrators and service providers of Enterprise Builder.


‌Pat O’Flynn

Pat is an entrepreneur with over fifteen years experience ranging from operational management to strategic leadership roles. He has successfully built businesses from inception and has a proven track record.

He has managed successful joint-ventures most notably with and Dutch Utility Company AVR (2001) to form AVR-Safeway Ltd and subsequently sold it to International Utility Company Veolia (2008).

Pat was a finalist in the 2008 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and is a principal in the OFactum Group


‌Collette Quinn

Collette been successfully running her own market research & consumer insights consultancy for 6 yrs. Also, Associate Partner at ThinkTank, a strategic brand & marketing consultancy in Cork & research partner for MCCP a strategic marketing consultancy based in Dublin.

With over 16 years experience in market research & consumer insight gathered here and abroad (UK, Germany & central & Eastern Europe).

Has worked with blue chips as well as small to medium size enterprise to bring real insights into identifying new opportunities, improving customer relationships and driving revenue growth.

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