Barry Egan

How does the City support business?

Supports are in abundance in Galway. A significant amount of good level collaborations exists between all relevant Galway agencies, resulting in a positive level of networking and business relations. Galway has a brilliant eco-system in terms of setting up a business. A skilled base of companies are presently at incubation stage in GMIT and Galway Technological Centre, with several companies in the process of building their businesses.

What is encouraging here is that businesses are present at all levels, be it beginning or advanced, and in similar situations; giving a sense of community and stability economically in the City.

In addition, there are significant number of networks operating in Galway which is an important feature for any budding company with intentions to tap into like minded people on a functional basis, whether it is for marketing or accountancy, HR etc. Each business additionally has access to Galway Chamber, I TAG,  an MBA network and SkillNets. There are an abundant amount of supportive magnets to entice people to come to this vibrant City, and remain.

What Advice would you offer to a business considering the City of Galway as a location?

Galway has critical mass and it is an existing gateway location making it the major hub for the West of Ireland. The city has a significant population already with a huge amount of people traveling to Galway every day and in addition, you have two excellent third level colleges, GMIT and NUIG, with NUIG seen as a world class focal point. At this time of the year, NUIG is the size of a small town in Ireland with over 20,000 students on campus and between 7,000 and 10,000 in GMIT. The significant student population offers a great range of talent, not to mention a capable graduate workforce.

The city is relatively small in terms of getting from a to b, with superb development of business parks around the city. Galway is seen as a world class cluster for medical devices with a strong ICT existence. There is a vibrant feel and a strong mix of different activities here making it a very creative and attractive venue for artists. During the summer months, there is an array of festivals with a colossal inflow of tourists and other individuals offering a zealous and vibrant feel to the City. It is only 2 hours from Dublin, and an hour to the nearest international airport in Shannon, offering easy access for business relations, networking and other services.

How would you describe Galway to someone who has never been here?

Galway is a jewel in the crown. The city offers world class education from primary to third level institutions, which are recognised internationally. Galway has an excellent housing stock, brilliant hospitals, a significant quality of life, an amazing social scene, an overflow of culture; that people all over the world hope to experience. There is a fantastic lifestyle in Galway, with it being a city beside the sea with close access to fantastic countryside, so rare for a city to posses. Copious internationally recognised companies already are based in Galway and have made the decision to remain and grow here.

Even through the strife and difficulties that Ireland has been facing economically, the last 12-18 months have shown that a significant pipeline of companies are expanding in Galway, and a manifold of others choosing to start up and grow here. There is a continuous flow of new investments taking place, which is positioning the City very strongly, not only nationally, but in an international context also. When people come to visit Galway, they are instantly galvanised by the beauty, history, culture and lifestyle.