Connecting Business – Growing Opportunities

A Spotlight on Start-ups and Entrepreneurs Networking Event



Our Young Professionals Committee invite you to join them for an interactive networking event aimed at putting the spotlight on start-ups and entrepreneurs!

This exciting and inspiring networking event will be co-hosted by Megan Harkins and Saoirse Stankard, members of Causeway's Young Professionals' Committee, and will have a panel of guest speakers, at various stages of their entrepreneurial journey, from Ireland and Scotland, sharing their insights and experiences.

At this event you will:

  • Hear experiences and tips from incubators, start-ups and scale-ups

  • Have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in the discussion

  • Through breakout rooms, have the opportunity to network, and promote and showcase your business to an audience from both sides of the Irish Sea

Guest speakers:

  • Jane McCulloch, Consul General of Ireland in Scotland
  • Lorraine Bowen, Entrepreneurs Academy, Ireland
  • Veronica Ferguson, Edinburgh Innovations, University of Edinburgh
  • Gregor Hofer, Speech Graphics, Scotland
  • Seany McCleary, Streat School, Ireland
  • Philip Mackey, St Andrews Brew Co, Scotland

Please register for this event and we will send you Zoom access details nearer the time. 

For further enquiries about our events and sponsorship opportunities, email


Gregor Hofer, Speech Graphics


Gregor is the CEO and co-founder of Rapport. He holds a PhD in Informatics from the University of Edinburgh, and previously served as a research fellow at the School of Informatics. In addition, he spent time as a senior researcher at the Telecommunications Research Centre in Vienna where he successfully commercialized a text-to-speech prototype that now powers several government websites. Gregor has also co-authored grants worth £1.5MM to fund the commercialization of technology. Through his leadership, Rapport has become the leading facial animation software used by 9 of the top 10 video game publishers.

Lorraine Bowen, Entrepreneurs Academy


As Head of Innovation and Impact at the Entrepreneurs Academy Lorraine Bowen is passionate about supporting enterprise development and leadership development in Ireland. She specializes in building partnerships that result in innovative training and mentoring supports for micro enterprises and SMEs. Lorraine has created supports for businesses across every sector for entrepreneurs of all ages Lorraine has extensive experience working in education and was an active member of the DCCOI mentoring and training panel for over 15 years, providing advice and training to creative businesses nationwide. In 2010 she was appointed by the European Commission as a Mentor and member of the European Network of Mentors for Women Entrepreneurs. Lorraine has also lectured in design at The National College of Art and Design Dublin and as a guest lecturer and speaker on entrepreneurship throughout Ireland and Internationally.

Seany McCleary, Streat School, Ireland


After Graduating in Ireland in 2012, in the midst of the recession, Seany Mc Cleary and his partner Nikita (both 22) headed straight for the airport. Little did they know they would spend the next five years working and travelling their way through 25+ countries. They worked the bar, restaurant & hotel scene mostly in NYC, Melbourne, and ski resorts in New Zealand. They would spend the off-peak seasons travelling South East Asia, South America and the Caribbean, as their obsession with street food grew stronger. In late 2016, the pair began to concoct their own business plan and a strategy to move back to Ireland. The Idea for "Blasta Street Kitchen" was Born (Blasta-Gaeilge word for Tasty), global street food inspired by travel with a "Farm To Food Truck Twist". Within two years, the new company had won multiple awards, including Ireland's Best Street Food, Regional Finals of Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur & dozens more. It was then in early 2020, Seany and Nikita, established StreatSchool, a one stop, Street Food Sales and Consultancy company. In just over 12 months they have set up a whopping 35 Street Food Businesses (They sell brand new food trailers, menu planning, branding and all advice needed). StreatSchool, let's get your EATS to the Streets..

Veronica Ferguson, Edinburgh Innovations


Veronica Ferguson has been working for Edinburgh Innovations since January 2019 as an Enterprise Executive, contributing towards the promotion of enterprise and entrepreneurship to the staff base of the University of Edinburgh; delivering tailored business creation support and services to entrepreneurs and other clients at the University of Edinburgh in accordance with the Company Formation Strategy drawing on the resources available both internally and externally; contributing towards the development and maintenance of resources available to entrepreneurs at the University of Edinburgh; facilitating relationships between entrepreneurs at the University of Edinburgh and internal and external partners in the enterprise network. Prior to this, she worked for the Converge Challenge supporting hundreds of early stage entrepreneurs from within the Higher Education system, and has held a range of project management positions across the private, public and voluntary sectors, gathering experience to support individuals to achieve their full potential.

Phil Mackey, St Andrews Brewing Company


Phil is an entrepreneur, investor and business development specialist with over 20 years experience as a management consultant . Phil is Managing Director of The St.Andrews Brewing Company which brought the trade of brewing back into the heart of the ancient town of St. Andrews after a gap of over 100 years. He is also Managing Director at Consulted Ltd, a specialist management consultancy offering support and advice to the public and private sectors based on their knowledge and experience of policing and law enforcement. And at Numitor Limited, Phil is the Commercial and Projects lead where the core innovation team are now working on a new Big Data and Internet of Things solution. In addition he is an active member of the EOS Angel Investment Syndicate based in St. Andrews.

Date & Time

Thu, 25 February 2021

16:00 - 17:30

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