Looking on the BRITE Side

BRITE Accel Programme

For the last 18 months I’ve been a participant in a government funded programme which was setup to help small technology based businesses, mostly in the Dublin area. It provided heavily subsidised training, mentoring and networking opportunities. Yesterday, in the Digital Hub, we had our final graduating event.

Over the course of the many training sessions and networking events, which included topics like Business Planning and Negotiation and Conflict Management I was lucky enough to meet some really great people and learned a huge amount about running a business. I also managed to become ILM certified in the process.

Sound Business Advice

For me, starting out in business on my own was driven by a love of what I do, but nowadays being passionate or expert in a particular field isn’t enough. You have to know how to run a business as well. You have to be able to do all the other boring tax and admin stuff too. The BRITE programme has given me an enormous amount of help in this area.

In addition to the extensive training courses provided mostly by Optimum, it also provided 20 hours of one to one private business mentoring, which included consultancy with an IP specialist solicitor. I used my meetings with my mentor to discuss my business plan, some legal documentation, and also as a time to think strategically about where I’m going with my business.

YGOWYPI (You Get Out What You Put In)

Like anything I suppose, the more you give of yourself into something, the more you get out of it. It’s true in relationships, it’s true in business and it’s also true in learning. I came to the BRITE programme with an open mind and a willingness to learn and I took great value out of the different training courses I went to.

There was great tips on tax, public speaking, creating a business plan and long term strategy (to name but a few), but these things are only really useful if they are put into action. I think I’ve managed to put a good portion of what I learned into practice, but there is still a huge amount that I need to go back and look at.

The Real Social Network

Nothing compares to meeting people face-to-face and really getting to know them. During my time on the BRITE programme I’ve made great contacts, some new friends, and I’ve even gotten some new business out of it. The programme included three overnight networking events hosted in the Hodson Bay Hotel, the Marriott Johnstown House and the Dunboyne Castle Hotel. These helped enormously in getting to know the other participants. People always tend to relax a little after a few free rounds at the bar!

Moving On

Now that the programme has ended (for me at least, I think it’s set to run again next year) I’m looking for ways to continue what I started on the BRITE programme, to keep meeting new people within the technology sector in Ireland and to continue learning new ways to run my business.

I’m looking at a few different programmes right now, some are more involved than others, but all provide new ways to meet people, learn new business skills and help get your business out in front of the right people.

As soon as I’ve found my next networking programme, I’ll post it up here. In the mean time, I guess I’ll have to go back to paying for my own lunches.

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