We had the great pleasure of supporting the recent AIB Startup Academy Summit in Belfast’s Life Church, which was the final leg of the all-island networking series for local entrepreneurs. Over 250 local startups joined various expert advisors for a night of networking as well as information and inspiration sharing. And it was truly inspiring on many levels.
On the night Diane Roberts, from startup experts, Xcell Partners told us that she has the best job in the world. Why ? Because she is surrounded by optimists every day, of course. You have to be an optimist to be a successful entrepreneur, according to Diane. She has a point and maybe that’s one reason as to why the positivity, energy and forward thinking that was so clearly abundant in the room was in such stark contrast to much of the current political rhetoric and election campaigning that currently abounds across Northern Ireland. While the political challenges did feature during some of the discussions, it was largely to express a sense of frustration with the current situation. On a night full of positivity, it was hard to escape the notion that many of our politicians may be playing catch up with much of society here, and that there is a large proportion of people in NI who are more focused on the future and less concerned about the past.
If there was any doubt that things can change, one of the expert panel, Bill Wolsey, of Merchant Hotel fame reminded everyone about Albert Einstein’s reported definition of Insanity – which is ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’