Guest Speaker Alan Quinlan ‘Start-Up To Scale-Up’
Alan Quinlan enthralled students when sharing his experience of investing in start-up businesses to students, as part of the GROWTHhub SETU guest speaker series last week. Alan explained how you need to be optimistic, confident, irrational, and excessively positive in this line of work! To become successful, you need to know yourself and be able to identify your skills as a commercial and financial thinker. Alan graduated from WIT (SETU) in 2001 having completed the BBS Degree in Economics and Finance. He went on to work for large companies like Canada Life, Zurich and Westpac in Australia, where he caught the start-up bug. He has since gone on to co-found 4 businesses across multiple sectors and geographies (Financial Services / Fintech / Life Sciences). Alan has over 20-years experience in business, which started off like any normal student who had the desire to do something unique in the start-up world. The journey from his first start-up, ‘Resource super’ a pension fund resource, to his current growing start-up, ‘Dimpley’ showed students how there are lots of opportunities to do something different, if they have the motivation to act. Alan discussed how his time in Australia allowed him to see areas in finance that were absent in the Irish market. Alan is the CEO of Dimply, a prominent start-up at the moment. Dimply enables you to provide personalised, relevant experiences to your customers at scale. They do this by connecting experiences to what people need in their financial lives in real-time. It is now operating for 2 and a half years with 26 employees and almost 2 million in revenue. When asked how to go about starting a business Alan replied, ‘there is not one-way”. Alan explained you need to talk to people about your idea in order to validate it. Communication and people skills are essential for this type of work so having a team member with these characteristics is essential in start-ups. Alan now works with academic start-ups that are looking to commercialize their intellectual property, using his experience to bolster their academic expertise.