Biomedical Sciences Institute at Trinity College Dublin features Five Nobel Laureates as Key Note Speakers

The symposium, entitled ‘Medical Research at the Cutting Edge’ jointly organised with the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Five Nobel Laureates delivered keynote addresses at a medical research symposium showcasing advances in the fight against inflammatory diseases and cancer at the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI).

The Nobel Laureates included geneticist James Watson, biologists Aaron Ciechanover and Jules Hoffmann, immunologist Bruce Beutler, and chemist Ada Yonath.

James Watson won the Nobel Prize (Physiology or Medicine) in 1962 for his part in discovering the double-helix structure of DNA.

The five Nobel Laureates spoke about their research in the context of the improvement of human health and the development of new medical advances.

Also speaking at the symposium was Marc Feldmann, the 2003 winner of the Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research and 2014 winner of the Gairdner Prize, for the discovery of anti-TNF therapy for rheumatoid arthritis.

The symposium  started on the evening of Sunday, July 27th, with an opening address given by the president of the Royal Irish Academy, Professor Mary Daly. There was an official signing of a Memorandum of Understanding about the planned cooperation of Trinity College Dublin and the Weizmann Institute of Science.

The symposium was the joint initiative of Professor of Biochemistry at Trinity and Academic Director of TBSI, Luke O’Neill, and Professor David Wallach of the Weizmann Institute of The symposium concluded with a special session on the commercialisation of breakthroughs in biomedicine research. Speakers included Mark Ferguson of Science Foundation Ireland and Director of Trinity Research and Innovation, Diarmuid O’Brien, who is responsible for commercialisation of intellectual properties at TBSI.  Mudi Sheves, the Weizmann Institute’s vice president for technology transfer, also spoke about the Institute’s highly successful technology transfer mechanism.

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Key Words:

Technology transfer, biomedical research, commercialisation of intellectual property, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, health, medical research.

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Renowned US Angel Bill Payne talks about trends in pre-money valuations and sourcing funding for seed investment and start-ups.

Bill and his wife visited Ireland, Russia, Estonia and Finland, from mid-March to mid-April (2012), sharing experiences in angel investing through lectures, discussions and workshops.

Bill Payne

Bill Payne

On Thursday 19th, Bill spoke to entrepreneur groups at both the National Digital Research Center and the DIT Hothouse on subjects of fundable companies, trends in funding, business plans

I was lucky enough to attend Bill’s excellent lunch time talk and had an opportunity to chat with him afterwards.

In Ireland, he spent 19 hours in front of audiences, delivering eight lectures and workshops to 162 entrepreneurs and 190 angel investors.

Bill covered a number of topics including that business plans have many forms. When entrepreneurs come to the attention of potential investors, they may be invited to make verbal presentations to a select group of investors. This is commonly accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation.

Here is the content that Bill emphasised should be included in your investor pitch

A Cover Slide: Company name, business one-liner, your contact information (doesn’t count as one of the 10).

1. Market – What solution does the product/service provide to customers that they absolutely cannot live without – a “must have?” Investors do not fund products that are “nice to have.” What is the size of the addressable market? (Assuming all customers purchased the product, what would be the annual revenues?)

2. Solution – Describe the product(s), the features and benefits of the product, the intellectual property that precludes the competition from immediately copying the product and the customer feedback that validates the market demand. What is unique about your solution?

3. Competitive Position – Who are the competitors, what are their strengths and weaknesses, and what are your advantages over the competition.

4. Marketing /Sales /Support – How will you make customers aware of the product? What is your value proposition to customers? How will you establish a recognizable brand? How will you sell the product (describe sales channels)? How will you provide product and technical support to your customers? How long is your sales cycle?

5. Business Strategy – Most of us know how to find the first customer for a product. But, it is more difficult to describe how to grow the business. What partnerships, team members, facilities and capital will be required to achieve the five-year plan?

6. Financial Projections – The usual spreadsheets: Income statements, balance sheets and cash flow projections for the first five years of operations.

7. Funding Sought – How much money do you need to achieve early milestones? How much additional funding will be necessary to achieve positive cash flow? Will even more money be required to maintain optimum growth? From what sources to you expect to raise these funds?

8. Management – What is the relevant background and experience of the existing team? Describe the characteristics of additional team members that will be required to achieve positive cash flow. Describe your advisors and board of directors.

9. Milestones – Investors want to know how this round of funding will increase the value of the company. What accomplishments can the company achieve with the currently sought capital and how will that increase the valuation of the company?

10. Exit Strategy – IPOs are no longer a rational expectation for startup companies. Yet, investors are keenly interested in achieving a positive return on investment from startup ventures.

Which large public companies might be interested in buying this company and why? What does the company need to achieve to attract potential acquirers?

Bill Payne is an active angel investor, board member, and advisor to entrepreneurs. He assisted in founding four angel groups: the Frontier Angel Fund (2005),   Tech Coast Angels (San Diego – 2000), Vegas Valley Angels (2003) and Aztec Venture Network (1999).

Bill Payne

Bill Payne

For three decades, Bill Payne has successfully founded or invested in over 50 start-up companies.  He served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence to the Kauffman Foundation for twelve years.

While there, he directed the development of the Power of Angel Investing education series for entrepreneurs and angel investors.  He has served as lead instructor for over 100 seminars in seven countries.

In 2009, Bill was named the Hans Severiens Award winner as the “outstanding angel investor in America.”

Related links

  • If you are interested in learning more about Bill Paynes system for ensuring you are investment ready check out his website on
  • Click here for a download of his slides: pdf the slides and have as a down load. Put a front end baily on it though CTA slide at the end to get their e mail

Further Reading

Key words

Angel investing entrepreneur, business plans, seed finance, start up, Bill Payne, valuation, sourcing capital

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International Council for Small Business – World Conference on Entrepreneurship 2014

The 59th Annual International Council for Small Business World

Conference took place in Dublin, Ireland from11-14 June 2014 at Double Tree by Hilton Dublin

Last week as part of ICSB 2014 World Entrepreneurship Conference I attended a dedicated Entrepreneurs Day on Wednesday June 11th organised by the Dublin Institute of Technology. This day was titled Standing out from the crowd; funding innovation and leadership

This event was targeted at those entrepreneurs who wish to learn first-hand how successful entrepreneurs have grown their businesses from start-ups to commercially thriving operations. The day focused on creativity, funding, leadership innovation  as well as  social media as it is applicable business.

It was a very comprehensive series of talks which included addresses from Raomal Perera on how to raise money through successful crowd funding campaigns and Nigel Newman from the DeBono Foundation encouraging lateral thinking and reimagining success by helping to release and realise creativity within organisations.

Serial entrepreneur Noelle O’Connor and Dragon’s Den star Gavin Duffy  also gave their insights into building successful businesses in Ireland

The final address of the day was given by Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey who are serial entrepreneurs, industry reformers, successful brand builders, and co-founders of hugely successful Barefoot Cellars.

It was a great forum for entrepreneurs to talk practically with fellow entrepreneurs and I certainly left with a better understanding of good leadership skills, new problem solving techniques and a fresh approach to social media for success.

Thanks to the DIT for organising and I along with my fellow entrepreneurs certainly left with several new ideas that will be readily implemented.

Key words

Entrepreneurship, funding, innovation, leadership, Serial entrepreneur, crowd funding, brand, success, social media,

Related links

Further reading

Twitter handles to look at


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Dr John McKeon joins prominent speakers and recognized experts, as key note at Asthma Society of Canada’s 40th Anniversary Summit, For Life and Breath.

Prominent speakers and recognized experts, including the federal Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, met in Toronto earlier this month for the Asthma Society of Canada’s 40th Anniversary Summit, For Life and Breath.

The event looked at the link between health and the environment, particularly respiratory health and air quality.

Click here to read the final event agenda.

The summit audience heard from a variety of speakers on topics ranging from air pollution and its affect on asthma and allergies, indoor air quality, new treatments and technologies for people with asthma and allergies, regulation of pollen, and much more!

Additionally, the Asthma Society celebrated the contributions of three key individuals, whose work has dramatically helped improve the lives of Canadians with asthma and respiratory allergies.  These individuals received inaugural For Life and Breath Innovation Awards in the fields of:

  • Public and Population Health Research – Dr. Michael Brauer
  • Industrial Design – Sir James Dyson
  • Public Policy – Elizabeth Witmer

Additionally, Dr. Brauer was awarded the first-ever Bastable-Potts Asthma Research Prize. Read More…

Most speaker presentations will be made available in the near future.

We hope to see you at 2nd annual event in 2015!

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The Real Wolf Of Wall Street- Jordan Belfort Entrepreneurship and Innovation Seminar in Dublin

Jordan Belfort

Jordan Belfort

On May 27th I attended Jordan Belfort giving his seminar The Truth Behind The Success Of The Real Life Wolf Of Wall Street, in Dublin.

Jordon inspired the Hollywood blockbuster The Wolf of Wall Street delivered a great talk courtesy of including his formula for success and creating wealth.

Belfort, who had made more than $50 million by his mid-twenties and had raised over $1.5 billion in venture capital, started up multiple companies also revealed the eight skills he feels you must know for business, sales and entrepreneurial success.

The businessman’s autobiographical book, The Wolf of Wall Street became a New York Times best seller sold millions, sparking interest from Hollywood. The movie, directed by Martin Scorsese, was based on the motivational speaker’s book. It grossed over $375 million worldwide and landed lead Leonardo DiCaprio an Oscar nomination.

Jordon was speaking in Dublin as he is convinced now is the “greatest time” in Ireland for start-ups to make their fortune.

“The greatest opportunities are after the cataclysm – but very few people will really take advantage of them,” he said. “Those who do it are the vulture guys – who will swoop in when things are at the bottom. “Jobs are created and wealth is created that way, so I would really try to encourage an entrepreneurial mindset,” he said.

Now, a decade after his conviction and after serving 22 months of a four-year prison sentence and being ordered to repay $110.4 million to a victims’ compensation fund, Belfort has turned his notoriety into a business as an entrepreneur

Through his company, Jordan Belfort Global, he is an author and a motivational speaker based out of Manhattan Beach, California.

Interestingly his Ex-partner Porush, has started a successful medical supply company in Florida after doing his prison sentence.

Here are some lessons from Belfort’s entrepreneurial path from his recent blog post.

  1. Listen to wise men: Belfort came up with the idea to write a book about his life from his cellmate who happened to be Tommy Chong, of Cheech and Chong fame. Chong was in prison for some entrepreneurial activity of the illegal variety: serving time for selling bongs over the internet. Chong found Belfort’s stories hilarious and urged him to write them down. Belfort read and studied Tom Wolfe classic The Bonfire of the Vanities while in jail to figure out how to write his own story.
  2. Know how to verbalize your story: Dan Alonso, a former federal prosecutor who handled Belfort’s case, was so impressed with Belfort’s speaking chops that after he got out of jail, he invited him to the Manhattan district attorney’s office, where Alonso works now, to give a speech to prosecutors in that office. He also goes to dinner regularly with the FBI agent who made the case against him, who told New York magazine that Belfort “was a reprehensible” guy from a moral perspective, but today, Belfort now 51, can still entertain with his stories.
  3. Think rich: As a motivational speaker, Belfort focuses on teaching people about wealth creation. “I believe in total immersion, if you want to be rich, you have to program your mind to be rich,” he said. “You have to unlearn all the thoughts that were making you poor and replace them with new thoughts—rich thoughts.”

Further reading

Jordan Ross Belfort. (2014). The website. Retrieved 12:52, May 30, 2014, from

Key words

Entrepreneurship, Sales, Innovation, persuasion, communication, venture capital, wealth, success, business skills, small business owners, start ups.

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Innovation Master Class by Darrell Mann one of the world’s most prolific inventors

Why do 98% of Innovation projects end in failure? Today in Dublin he gave a master class on his approach called Systematic Innovation.

28th Feb 2014 

Dr John McKeon with Darrell Mann

Dr John McKeon with Darrell Mann

Darrell was at IMI today speaking at the Industry Research & Development Group (IRDG) conference on Systematic Innovation.

‘Systematic Innovation’ is all about helping organisations to construct a repeatable formula for success.

Based on an analysis of over 3.8 million innovation attempts across every sector of human activity, the likelihood of successfully turning a novel idea into sustainable shareholder value is currently slightly worse than the odds of winning at roulette. Close to 98% of all innovation attempts end in failure.

Those attempts fail because organisations: – Ask the wrong questions – Deliver the wrong solutions – Inadequately protect their IP – Mis-handle the communication with customers & stakeholders – Take on projects inconsistent with the capabilities of the organisation – Give up too soon.

Darrell examined each of the above failure reasons to provide us with proven, deployable strategies appropriate to the context of our own enterprises.

In the workshop, Darrell addressed each of these modes of failure in their R&D context, and extracts from the 3.8 million datapoints the strategies and principles uncovered by the 2% of innovation attempts that end up being successful.

Successful innovations also come through understanding your customers (and those that aren’t yet your customers) better than they understand themselves.

True understanding of customers means anticipating their current and future needs. It also means understanding intangible and unspoken desires as well as their known tangible ones.

The programme is the outcome of over 2000 person years of research into the DNA of creative success. It is the only philosophy, method and toolkit capable of tackling and generating breakthrough solutions in today’s challenging and increasingly complex business environment.

Key Topics Darrell covered were

1) Big Picture – Why so much R&D results in so little innovation

2) Understanding Customers Better Than They Understand Themselves

3) Generating Breakthrough Solutions – Finding & Eliminating Trade-Offs

4) Bulletproofing IP – Predictable Evolution Directions

5) Innovation Capability

6) Putting It All Together – Top 5 Things To Do Differently Tomorrow

About Darrell Mann

Featured in Who’s Who in the World, Darrell Mann is recognised as one of the world’s most prolific inventors and has generated over a dozen patents and patent applications. He has spent much of his working life trying to understand why 98% of Innovation projects end in failure and has come up with an approach called Systematic Innovation.

He now implements this approach with clients including Intel, Hewlett Packard, Procter & Gamble, General Motors, Nestle, & Mahindra, MindTree, Samsumg, Telekom Malaysia, Hong Kong government & many more. His early career was spent in various R&D roles at Rolls-Royce before he became chief engineer responsible for the company’s long-term military engine strategy.

About the IRDG

 The Industry Research & Development Group (IRDG) is a non-profit, business-led Innovation Network of member companies, working together to drive excellence in Innovation within Ireland’s industry to create growth, jobs and prosperity.  Membership of the IRDG is extensive, including indigenous and multinational organisations, of all sizes, across all sectors of industry.  The common theme that brings all members together is their interest in progressing their business through Innovation & R&D. We took the opportunity to catch up with Darrell between international flights to ask him about extending his advice to the broader business community… in just six words of course

About the IMI

IMI is a membership organisation that reflects a spectrum of Irish industry, from the smallest micro-organisations to the world’s largest multinationals. For sixty years IMI has pioneered the development of executive education in Ireland. Thousands of senior executives attend developmental programmes at IMI annually, ranging from NFQ level 9 Masters and Diploma qualifications to one and two day master classes. IMI also acts as a “business partner” for organisations that are looking to align comprehensive learning and development strategies to support the execution of business growth strategies.

Key words

Innovation, Marketing, Technical, R&D, Leadership, IP, intellectual property, patent, Systematic Innovation

Further reading

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Researcher Night at the Innovation Academy

On the 27th September, Trinity College will open its’ doors to the general public to promote research across college. The Innovation Academy in 3 Foster Place will be transformed by PhD researchers demonstrating their research in fun, interactive ways.  The aim is to give the public the opportunity to meet researchers and experience activities, hands-on demonstrations, digital displays, games or just plain old-fashioned talking. We are inviting all of our industry contacts, contributors, students past and present, the wider college community and the general public.

Discover Research Dublin @ The Innovation Academy
The full Innovation Academy programme can be viewed here Please feel free to share with your own networks.

The evening kicks off at 18.00 with what promises to be an engaging industry/academia panel trashing out the real value of doctoral education titled ‘“Research Assembly Line – the mission of PhD education in Ireland?”

Researcher-Night-at-the-Innovation-Academy-panel7pm – 10pm: Life’s a Pitch dives into the life of a PhD student and how they spend their day (and night!). Everything from fancy laser shows, Herod the Great to ancient Crustacea will be on show. It is a perfect opportunity to find all you ever wanted to know about PhD life. The evening will be spotted with fun Lego Challenges and Treasure Trails. Fun for everyone guaranteed!

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Irish Times Innovation Cities Roadshow

Hosted by NUI Galway, in conjunction with the Whitaker Institute, the Innovation Cities Roadshow, Galway, will impart expert insights into leading business issues and practical ideas on how you can develop your business performance.

Workshops and Talks include:

  • INNOVATION IN PRACTICE, Dr. John McKeon, CEO, Allergy Standards Ltd.
  • WHAT INNOVATION MEANS FOR BUSINESS, Dr. James Cunningham, Director, Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, NUI Galway.
  • FUNDING INNOVATION, Mr. Joe Greaney, Director, WESTBIC.
  • INNOVATIVE MARKETING, Dr. Ann Torres, J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics and the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, NUI Galway.
    Head of Enterprise Marketing at Vodafone Ireland.

Provided by Organization:
Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change

Irish Times Innovation

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Philip McKiernan Lunch and Learn Talk


Philip McKiernan

Following our spring talk by Prof Robertson our summer lunch and learn was given by Philip McKernan, the well-known coach, speaker and author who gave a great talk fuelled with passion and meaning.

Philip, originally from Dublin has established himself as in demand speaker in North America and works around the world with individuals and companies. Last year he worked with the Canadian Olympic team in advance of the London games.

In his 1-hour lunch and learn talk Philip explained how we are conditioned to strive toward goals based on what our mind believes we “should” be doing, rather than following our intuition and thus living a happy and an authentic life.

During his talk Philip drove home his message about what he calls the “Authenticity Code” and how you can stop living in your head, and start living based on your intuition.

From an entrepreneurship and innovation point of view “intuition” may sound a bit ‘left brained’ however if business is about persuasion clearly an authentic blue print is a necessary business skill along with trust and integrity.

To prove the point a quick Google found that as recently June 15th 2013 at the Stanford Graduate School of Business John Donahoe, eBay CEO, told a group of degree candidates during the graduation ceremony, at the Frost Amphitheater. “For me, creating a life and career filled with impact and meaning is about leadership,”

John, who received his MBA from Stanford in 1986, encouraged his listeners to focus on “being an authentic, purpose-driven leader, to learning throughout your life, to building character during the tough times, and to having a career and a life that is fully enriching and rewarding.” Echoing exactly many of the messages that Philip gave during his talk.

As well as authenticity Philip teaches people to become more intuitive and not to rely on the mind, so people ‘know’ as opposed to ‘think’ they are on the right path. He has created a way of living called Soulset, which allows our lives to flow.

Thanks Philip to contributing to another great TTEC lunch and learn talk.

Thanks also to Philip as he has made an e copy of his book available here. Click here to download.

Other events coming up

With thanks again to Jane from

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The Winner Effect: The Neuroscience of Success and Failure

Lunch Time Talk given by Ian Robertson, Professor of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin
by Dr John McKeon

John McKeon, Ian Robertson & Bridget Noone

John McKeon, Ian Robertson & Bridget Noone

Trinity College’s very own Prof Robertson was on the John Murray show yesterday on RTE radio one speaking about how the effects of power can influence brain chemistry and behaviour.

The context was the recent ‘Anglo tapes’!

As we prepare for our next Lunch and learn on Friday 12th July 2013 I wanted to take the opportunity to recap on the excellent lunch and learn that Prof Robertson gave back on March 20th of this year.

As you may well know Professor Ian Robertson is Professor of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin and was the founding Director of Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy.

Ian Robertson is also author of “The Winner Effect: The Neuroscience of Success and Failure” so you can see why he was asked by RTE to comment on the culture issues we have recently heard in the banking world!

Ian gave a wonderful talk to a packed audience in the Science gallery about how to leverage the science of success to get more success with particular reference to brain chemistry.

The content, strategies and tactics of the talk were all extremely relevant to entrepreneurship and new enterprise growth. Wearing a red tie at business meetings and the mystery of the cichlid fish were favourites of mine. Read his book to find out more!

In his key note address Prof Robertson asked questions like; What makes a winner? Why do some succeed in business, and others fail? And why do a few individuals end up supremely powerful, while many remain powerless?

Ian explained that the ‘winner effect’ is a term used in biology to describe how an animal that has won a few fights against weak opponents is much more likely to win later bouts against stronger contenders.

Success changes the chemistry of the brain, making you more focused, smarter, more confident and more aggressive. The effect is as strong as any drug. And the more you win, the more you will go on to win. But the downside is that winning can become physically addictive.

By understanding what the mental and physical changes are that take place in the brain of a ‘winner’, how they happen, and why they affect some people more than others, he answered the question of why some people attain and then handle success better than others.

With particular relevance to early stage business he also explained what makes a winner – or a loser – and how we can use the answers to these questions to understand better the behaviour of our business colleagues and employees.

This coming Friday 12th July 2013the Trinity Enterprise Network will be hosting Philip McKernan for a Lunch and Learn at The Tower, Trinity Technology & Enterprise Campus – 12.30 – 2.00 pm. Phillip will be giving his talk on The Authenticity Code

Further reading:

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