Friday 31 October 2014

Chairman doesn't do things by half

Published 13/01/2014 | 02:30

BE prepared for a lot of work if you go on a group headed up by Sean O'Sullivan.

Best known to the public as an investor on the 'Dragons' Den' TV show, the entrepreneur and venture capitalist doesn't do things by half.

When he was appointed as chairman of the Enterpreneurship Forum by Jobs Minister Richard Bruton, he took the role pretty seriously.

Mr O'Sullivan set up an internet file storage account, on the Dropbox website, for members to regularly read and share detailed documents.

Ahead of one meeting, he couriered out copies of a book -- 'The Startup Playbook: Secrets of the Fastest-Growing Startups From Their Founding Entrepreneurs' by David S Kidder -- to the members and told them all to read it right away as he wanted to discuss some of its content. "He was almost evangelical about start-ups and entrepreneurialism," a source close to the forum said.

Mr O'Sullivan's track record in business made him a perfect candidate to head up the group.

In his career to date, the software engineer has founded or invested in 20 technology firms. He is best known in the technology world for co-founding Mapinfo, a firm worth $200m (€146m), which popularised street maps on computers in the 1980s. Mr O'Sullivan was also credited by the MIT Technology Review as being the co-creator of the term 'cloud computing'.

Based in Kinsale, Co Cork, the Irish-American from New York has interests including his venture capital fund SOSventures and Avego Ltd, a transport efficiency software firm with bases in Cork, the US and China.

Irish Independent

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