Archive for March, 2010

Applying for charitable status in Ireland

March 31, 2010

I've been part of the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland network since 2008. A large number of the discussions which arise in our internal discussion forums revolve around the issues of charitable status. Helene Hugel is a level 2 awardee from 2008 who founded Helium – a children's health and arts company.

"Helium connects children, their families, friends, and healthcare staff on creative common ground to achieve healthcare goals, which might otherwise be far more difficult. Helium’s team of artists offer the opportunity for innovative interventions for children in healthcare across primary, tertiary and community services. Such interventions have been shown to reduce the negative effects of hospitalisation and poor health while giving the children a voice, ownership, and responsibility for their own well-being."

Now Helene has written a short guide on the process of applying for charitable status in Ireland, one which she'll continue to update as she continues to demystify the process.

"Applying to revenue for charitable status has nothing to do with Creativity and Social Entrepreneurship.  In fact, there is nothing creative about this task at all.  Being new to this system, it feels to me like a giant puzzle with missing pieces, and at times the wrong pieces of information. This is partly to do with the fact that the CRO require a certain structure and the Revenue another structure, and the challenge is in understanding how these two structures fit together so everyone is happy." 

Social Media Training for Business in Limerick

March 22, 2010

I got a note from Mark Cahill about some Social Media Training for Business he's running in Limerick in April –

   1. Blogging for Business
   2. Twitter for Business
   3. Facebook for Business

To book:

Mobile: (087) 9497083

Course details:

Twitter for Business

Course outline:

    * Introduction to Twitter.
    * How to set-up a Twitter account.
    * Twitter layout and functionality.
    * Find the right people to follow.
    * Twitter etiquette.
    * Twitter tools to enable you to work efficiently and effectively.


When – 7th of April 2010 – 9:00am to 12:00

Where – Clarion hotel Limerick

Cost – €150

Class size limited to 14 places for quality purposes.


Facebook for Business

Course outline:

    * Introduction to Facebook.
    * Statistics on Facebook usage.
    * What businesses are using Facebook?
    * Anatomy of Facebook.
    * Facebook fan page.
    * Facebook Ads.
    * Facebook applications.
    * Facebook connect.
    * Facebook insights.
    * Building and retaining a community around your business.


When – 7th of April 2010 – 13:00 to 17:00

Where – Clarion hotel Limerick

Cost – €150

Class size limited to 14 places for quality purposes.
Blogging for Business

Course outline:

    * Introduction to Blogging.
    * Uses and benefits of a business blog.
    * Some examples of successful business blogs.
    * Blog Search engines.
    * RSS
    * Reading and commenting on blogs.
    * Setting up WordPress.
    * Preparing your content and scheduling it in.
    * Optimising content for search engines.
    * How to promoting you blog
    * How build a community around your blog.
    * Blog metrics


When – 29th of April 2010 – 9:00am to 16:30

Where – Clarion hotel Limerick

Cost – €400 – Lunch included

Class size limited to 14 places for quality purposes.

Bytes ‘n Pieces

March 21, 2010

A Job isn't just a Job. No-one says it like Robin. Make sure to catch up on as many of his recent blog posts as possible while you're there and pick up the pearls of wisdom from a young entrepreneur whose experience belies his years. Did you ever wonder what it would have been like to read the diary of a Denis O'Brien or a Michael O'Leary in the years when they were building their world beating businesses? Well here's your opportunity because I've no doubt Robin Blandford will write a best selling biography in 20 years time.

Workshops on Design Thinking sound interesting. "This practical two day workshop using design thinking principles will guide you on looking at your company and markets in new ways and show you exercises on how to transform your business, allowing you to generate new revenue models for existing and new markets." Companies should realise that though these workshops will be using the example of the Civil Security sector as the
industry used to develop new business ideas the principles work for
all industries. More details on the Innovator website.

– It was good to come across Trinity Entrepreneurial Society on Twitter during the week. And congratulations to them on winning a Society of the Year Best Event award for Dragon's Den 2010. I can't remember if there was an Entrepreneurs Society in University of Limerick when I was there but if there was I wish I'd gotten involved at the time.

– Speaking of which, Mark Cahill delivered a guest lecture to the second year MBA students at the Kemmy business school, University of Limerick as part of their module on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The question he addressed was “Entrepreneurs – born or made?"

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Interested in a Dublin co-working club?

March 20, 2010

I see there's a few people interested in setting up a Dublin based co-working club. If the idea appeals to you please connect with them on Twitter. And keep an eye on the #CWCD tag.

Learning on the Beach, Mayo, June 8th – 10th 2010

March 19, 2010

"Learning on the Beach 2010" is a three day event in Mulranny in the west of Ireland from June 8th – June 10th 2010 –

"The aim for the lob10 unconference is to explore some of the core issues that underpin active learning approaches. A key outcome for the event will be the drafting of some principles to inform the future design of outdoor learning events. Perhaps there is too much chair and too much heads down at times in some formal learning situations. What we want to explore is what opportunities accrue when we break free of desks and chairs. The plan is that there will be little sitting down at this event – unless you want/need to. Solivitur ambulando will be our watchword – "it is solved by walking"

"For fear Thy very stones prate of my whereabout" clever of Shakespeare
to anticipate the RFID tag so succinctly . We will be using some tags
and QR codes on the beach to explore and annotate environment and build
a narrative that others can access after we have gone and our shadows
play no more across the strand.

Over time what we start here may grow into a yearly conference some space and time each early June to read the runes, laugh share and plan for further delight in learning – we shall see. If it does we hope to keep it true to the founding principles of :

    * an Atlantic west coast gathering
    * free exchange of ideas and activities
    * a focus on getting active in learning for all
    * a gathering without chairs
    * beachmeet open to all comers(ta to @eyebeams:)
    * a digital ceilidh
    * and only grid reference and a time for the first meeting

Co-Working – the end of offices

March 17, 2010

It’s four years ago now since Conn O’Muineachain and myself started meeting in Limerick’s Clarion Hotel for informal ‘geek meets’ – just a chat about tech and business and whatever else was in the news. We kept blogging about them and posting photos, and slowly but surely more people started showing up.

A year later the OpenCoffee Club ‘movement’ was born and we gladly re-branded our geek meets under that label. Shortly thereafter we moved to the Absolute Hotel and have been happily meeting there ever since, with attendances in the 20 – 30 range.

Yesterday Pat O’Hora and myself spent much of a day in The Bailey
Bar in Limerick
sussing out its suitability as a co-working location.
And to say we were well impressed is to put it mildly. Semi-private mezzanine, comfortable seating, power points, speedy wifi, great food, a nice ambience and friendly, welcoming staff and management.

It’s important to re-iterate – co-working is not OpenCoffee. The latter is mostly about casual networking over coffee while the former is mostly about work. Having said that, it’s not all about work, or there would be no point in meeting up. The idea is to give freelancers and independents the opportunity to work in a less isolated environment than a home-based office and to network with, and bounce ideas off fellow professionals.

Pat and myself put together a few draft guidelines (not rules) that we thought might make it clearer what Co-working Club Limerick is all about (by the way we’re looking for a snappier, less stuffy name – suggestions very welcome in the comments below).

Co-working Etiquette Guidelines

1) These are merely suggested guidelines, certainly not rules.

2) Headphones on = ‘do not disturb’. It’s not rude, it’s the best ‘social gesture’ to convey that you’re in work mode. And co-working is primarily about working.

3) Having said that, if it was all about working then there would be no point in meeting up. Be sociable when not in work mode.

4) There’s a quid-pro-quo relationship with the venue – don’t be a leech. Buy enough teas, coffees and lunches to pay in-kind for the use of the facility. You are the judge of how much is ‘enough’.

5) Sit aside from the the ‘work table’ when eating and drinking if others are in work mode.

6) Don’t leave the work area (laptops, etc.) unattended – if you’re the only one there wait until others come back.

7) It may take some time before there is a large enough pool of co-workers to have a co-working gathering every day so use Plancast (I’m eirepreneur) twitter (tag #CWCL), etc., to signal your intention to attend a co-working session, and more than likely you’ll get a few to join you.

Philip Rosedale, founder of Linden Labs (creator of Second Life) recently stepped down from his position as CEO to launch a new company called Love Machine Inc. Despite the hippy-dippy name this startup has some fascinating ideas about, and products for, a new generation of workplace. Or indeed non-workplace. For Rosedale wrote a very interesting blog post a few days ago “On the end of offices” – 

Ryan and I have been wandering San Francisco, working fulltime out of coffee shops, hotel lobbies, and bars for the past 2 months or so.  Sometimes we have been joined by other LoveMachine teammates for meetings or just fun.   After giving it careful consideration, we’re going to strive never to have a central office, regardless of how many people are working at LoveMachine.   It’s definitely the future – I predict that many companies are going to give up offices, here are some of the reasons…

Read the full post for those reasons, all of which make absolute sense to me. And convince me that Co-Working Club Limerick will continue to grow from humble beginnings just as OpenCoffee Club did.

3Dcamp – May 29th 2010 at Institute of Technology, Tallaght

March 15, 2010

3Dcamp is a Barcamp-like event which has been held for the last two years in the University of Limerick. This year we're delighted to announce that we're going 'on tour' to the Institute of Technology, Tallaght.

As in previous years 3Dcamp offers an opportunity to learn more about, and network with people interested in, the following topics –

  • 3D modelling (Blender, Sketchup)
  • Mapping mashups, GPS
  • Location based Services (LBSs)
  • Haptics and augmented toys (eg. Wiimote hacks),
  • Augmented reality
  • Virtual Worlds (Second Life, the Metaverse)
  • Mirror worlds (Google Earth and Virtual Earth)
  • Interactive art installations
  • Robotics
  •  …and all things 3D.

2009 was of course an amazing year for 3D culminating in the release of Avatar, the record breaking movie which has put stereoscopic 3D firmly back in the spot light. And 2010 kicked of with a Consumer Electronics Show dominated by 3D TV announcements. Not to be outdone, Augmented Reality has been equally basking in the hype – a technology which is all about overlaying the real world with useful information services.

The information technology world is rapidly moving beyond the limitations of the 2D windows desktop. And 3Dcamp is all about the new horizon. We hope to see you there.

Co-Working Club Limerick – kicks off on Tuesday

March 13, 2010

Co-working, Digital Nomads, Cafe Working,…. whatever you want to call it it’s something I’ve been writing about now for far too long. So it’s time to actually do something about it and after having a great chat with Pat O’Hara of Spoon Safari I’m delighted to say that we’re kicking off the brand new Co-Working Club Limerick (Twitter tag #CWCL) next Tuesday 16th at The Bailey Bar on Patrick Street. And you’re very welcome to join us.

[Aside: Why The Bailey Bar? Because we got a really positive and welcoming response from them on Twitter. And the facilities look ideal]

The Wikpedia definition of co-working is: “a style of work which involves shared office space yet independent activity. Unlike in a typical office, those
coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. Typically
it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent
contractors, or people who travel frequently who end up working in
relative isolation. Coworking is the social gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share values, and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space.”

Just replace the word ‘office’ with ‘café bar’ and you’ve pretty much got the definition of CWCL. See you there. browser does not support JavaScript. This media can be viewed at undefined