My business vision – Richard Donelan, IrishStartUp.TV

Richard Donelan says there are no real barriers to building a global media business thanks to the advancements in technology and broadcasting.

I created IrishStartUpTV as a platform for small business leaders to share their ‘founder’ stories and as a place that could demystify what ‘doing a startup’ is all about.   

I want people, whether in business or not, to better understand what building a company is like. Having worked in the Dublin startup community for years, I know how difficult it is for new firms to find their voice in the noisy and competitive media environment.  

I saw by late 2014 that video was going to become huge, and I wanted to understand better that space, so I used my skills to build IrishStartUp.TV. I’ve largely funded the project by selling videography services and communications training to established companies and brands.

“Today, with the advancements in technology anyone with the creative ability and the desire and determination can start a business.”

Years ago if you wanted to produce good quality sound and audio you typically had to work in pods with a minimum of a camera operator, sound operator and producer. The equipment used was also incredibly bulky and very expensive, but perhaps the biggest challenge was getting the content out there.

That’s all changing now with lighter, cheaper equipment becoming available, thus democratising content creation, which is very exciting.  

Although, perhaps, the most important piece of this story is the evolution that we are seeing in broadcasting thanks to Vimeo and YouTube.

These platforms have changed distribution forever – no longer are content creators dependent on the studios, and television stations to share their content – anybody can now share their creations instantly with a global audience and at no cost.

This is mental when you think about it. One interesting example is Irish YouTuber ‘Jack Septic Eye’ who has over 8.5 million subscribers – that’s double the population of Ireland regularly watching him play computer games. Traditional broadcasters are obviously concerned.

Pundit Arena (video below) is an excellent example of one Irish media firm leveraging technology to become a global player in that space. Founded by two students shortly after they graduated, the platform has grown from a €80 investment to now having 1.4 million monthly users within two years. This is a staggering achievement.  

During a recent interview with their founders, I asked them if they thought they could have built such a platform ten years ago. “Definitely not,” was their answer.

If you decide to build a platform or use someone else’s technology, there are now a myriad of options available to help you to get access to a global market.  

Today there are no real barriers in the way of building a global business and thanks to technological advances the costs are falling all the time  – this democratisation of distribution is just so exciting and opens up a world of new opportunities.   

Katie Taylor

I want to build my company also. I recently launched Pitch Arena to allow better global access to the IrishStartUpTV platform.

I’m very keen to use this feature to build a global community of people who start businesses. I’ve also started to make more movies (shorts) beyond just the area of business and am excited to see where this creativity will lead.

It is rewarding when someone comes up to me at an event or on the street (that has actually happened) and says, “Hey you’re the IrishStartUpTV guy – man I love that video you did with so and so – what an inspiring story that really helped me one day I felt like giving up.”

“My criteria for featuring a startup is that I have to believe in the person or team behind it. Ideas are nice but the execution is King, so if you have the right attitude, and you work hard, you can grow a business.”

Many of the startups I’ve featured, such as PageFair, CurrencyFair, Nuritas, PiggyBack, KonnectAgain and CoolBeans had a very exciting 2015, and I look forward to keeping an eye on their progress this year.

I was fortunate from the very start to have worked with ecosystem players here in Dublin such as Accenture, Bank of Ireland, and Google. And in the regions with groups like Clare County Council’s Local Enterprise Office, Cork Innovates and Startupgrind Dublin. Also, internationally with Startupbootcamp Copenhagen and with the Danish Institute for Study Abroad.  

I look forward to continuing to develop these relationships in 2016 while developing more collaborations at home and abroad.  

Some of the national radio stations are visiting my platform to find cool new startups to feature on their business programmes. I’d like to explore further partnerships with newspapers and radio stations in 2016.

Pictured are Richard Donelan with Margaret Burgraff, VP at Intel (main image) and with Katie Taylor.