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gateway to europe

Ireland Gateway To Europe – Trip to California 2017

gateway to europe

Last week a team from Sigmar Recruitment lead a delegation of 25 companies to California to promote Ireland as an investment location for US companies that are considering internationalising. This was the 7th annual Ireland Gateway To Europe trip to the US.

Palo Alto – 26th September

On Tuesday morning the group headed to the Sheraton Hotel in Palo Alto to address a tech audience from Silicon Valley. Following a welcome by Sigmar CEO Adie McGennis, the first panel discussed the post-Brexit European economic landscape,  GDPR, and how will US policy changes affect transatlantic trade? Panelists were Gareth Keane, Snr. Investment Manager, Qualcomm Ventures; Gerald Brady, Managing Director at Silicon Valley Bank; Deirdre Ceannt, VP Foreign Direct Investment at Bank of Ireland; David Carthy, Partner at William Fry. The panel was moderated by Ashlinn Marron, President of the Irish Network Bay Area.

The 2nd panel was moderated by Sigmar CCO Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig, who discussed the challenges and opportunities of operating and scaling in Europe with Paraic Hayes, VP Emerging Technologies at IDA Ireland; Julie Kinsella, VP Enterprise Sales Development at Salesforce; Ananth Avva, COO & CFO at Wrike; and Ryan Pittington, Operations Manager at Asana.

Following the event, the delegation went on to take part in a masterclass in design thinking at the D School at Stanford University. The group then headed to Google HQ in Mountainview for a tour and talk about culture at the company before heading back to San Francisco for dinner.


San Francisco – 27th September

On Thursday morning the group held another “Scaling In Europe” breakfast event in the newly refurbished Hibernia Bank in downtown San Franciso. The building was kindly offered the group by Dolmen Property Group.

The first panel moderated by Ashlinn Marron, who discussed the european economy and upcoming data protection legislation with Sean Randolph, Senior Director at the Bay Area Council Economic Institute; Gerald Brady from Silicon Valley Bank; Conor Brogan from AIB and Andrew McIntyre who heads up William Fry’s San Francisco Office.

The 2nd panel was again moderated by Sigmar CCO Robert who talked about how easy it is for US companies to set up Ireland with Deirdre Moran, VP Emerging Technologies at IDA Ireland; Julie DeBuhr, Director at New Relic; and Jim Kelliher, CFO at Actifio.

The group then spent the evening at the offices of accountancy firm  EisnerAmper on Market Street for drinks and discussion around building transatlantic culture. Consul General Robert O’Driscoll welcomed the group which was made up of alumni of Trinity College’s MBA programme, alumni of Boston College as well as the Ireland Gateway To Europe delegation.  Robert from Sigmar had a fireside chat with Patty McCord, former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix, about her much famed culture deck which she co-authored and has been viewed over 16 million times. They were then joined by Geraldine Finn from Twitter and Shane Murphy from Adroll who had a lively and interesting discussion about the similarities and differences in workplace culture on both sides of the pond.


 A big thanks to our speakers, hosts and delegation for making it such a great week.


Posted by Jamie Harnett, Associate Director Marketing & People Engagement on 7 December 2017

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