“That job is me!” Niamh Bushnell thought when she read the email describing Dublin’s first Commissioner for Startups.
The email was sent out to entreprenati earlier this year when the city was seeking candidates for the position.
“Here’s a job, please push it out to your networks,” she recalled reading.
“I didn’t push it out to anyone,” she quipped.
Speaking at UCD’s Innovation Academy last night, Bushnell (@NiamhBushnell) told of how her role is still new and is still being developed. She has been in the job for less than two weeks at this point.
But she said the time is right for a Commissioner. “It’s an entrepreneurial role. I call my office a startup.”
“I’ll be shining a light and promoting all the amazing things happening in Dublin,” she said. “We’re going to put the megaphone ion anything that’s good.”
While praising the entrepreneurial energy and amount of startups in the city, Bushnell said there are some areas that need further development.
Herself a successful serial entrepreneur, angel investor and former Enterprise Ireland VP of Software, Bushnell, said startups could hone their Sales and Marketing skills.
Meanwhile, there are a lot of government bodies in the startup sphere, and she will be doing more to encourage collaboration among them.
Bushnell was asked later about the Irish attitude where a startup failure was treated more like a punishable offense than a rite of passage.
“Is that true though?” she replied. The consensus seemed to be that it had changed. But another audience member from Germany said that was still the case in his home country.
Bushnell agreed the attitude had moved on in Ireland, and then joked, “I will make it illegal to be nasty to to a person who has failed.”
Image of Niamh Bushnell taken from Innovators.ie.