Saturday 10 December 2016

Riverdance boss eyes €20m worldirish.com profit

Published 09/10/2011 | 05:00

INNOVATION: John McColgan
INNOVATION: John McColgan

Riverdance supremo John McColgan is eyeing profit of €20m per year from his innovative new social media start-up worldirish.com that launched at Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park on Friday.

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Worldirish.com will bring together Irish-centred social media content from Facebook, Twitter and other websites to create a massive online Irish community. It is seen as a key tool for attracting investment to Ireland, serving as a gateway to our culture, business, tourism and sporting sectors.

No other country has developed a similar social media portal for national content.

McColgan, who made a fortune from the enormously successful Riverdance show and investments in Today FM, came up with the idea at the Farmleigh event in 2009. It was one of the key initiatives to emerge from the forum two years ago. So far around €1.5m has been spent getting the social media firm to launch phase, with McColgan footing much of the bill.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent at the Irish Technology Leadership Group get- together at Dublin City University last week, McColgan cited Cybercom figures that indicated that his firm could be earning profits of €20m per year within five years.

However, McColgan cautioned that worldirish.com would not be an overnight success, suggesting that it could be "a two-year journey". The entrepreneur is to meet with US investors shortly as he seeks to raise between €7m to €10m for expansion.

Apart from McColgan, worldirish.com is backed by Dermot Desmond, Denis O'Brien and entrepreneur of the year Terry Clune of Taxback.com. The company is headed up by Irish internet pioneer Michael Branagan.

The Global Irish Forum at Farmleigh this weekend attracted 300 of the most influential members of the Irish business community from home and abroad, ranging from BA's Willie Walsh to U2's Paul McGuinness.

Sunday Indo Business

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