New Chairman at NISP Connect

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NISP Connect

One of Ireland’s most successful technology entrepreneurs, Dr Chris Horn, has become Chair of the NISP CONNECT programme, it has been announced.

Dr Horn, former Chair of IONA Technologies PLC and current Chair of Sophia Search, Cloudsmith and Gridstore, will help steer the NI Science Park-based programme towards even greater success in 2013.

“Northern Ireland reminds me of where Dublin was 15 to 20 years ago,” said Dr Horn. “We have the talent, we have the people, but there is a need for more experience.  Some notable technology successes have already come out of here and I expect there to be many more.

“I would like to see the development of a technology sector which replicates what has been happening in the South – the emergence of strong indigenous companies and strong multi-nationals, all with good Government support.  I hope to be able to help accelerate this happening.”

 NISP CONNECT is an independent, non-profit organisation which fosters entrepreneurship by accelerating the growth of promising technologies and early stage companies.

The programme organises the highly successful 25k Award, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, as well as the VC Forum, Frameworks, the Knowledge Economy Index report, Enterprise Forum, Generation Innovation and the US-NI Mentorship Programme.

Director Steve Orr said: “We are delighted to have someone of Chris’s calibre on board to Chair the NISP CONNECT programme. He is not only one of the tech stars of his generation, but has a genuine commitment to helping other young local businesses to flourish."

“NISP CONNECT encompasses a whole raft of projects, all of which are aimed at fostering the indigenous growth of entrepreneurial young companies and helping them accelerate the introduction of promising technologies to the global market place.

“One aim is to persuade Government to take a new approach to risk capital intervention. A transformation along the lines of the CONNECT vision would have a profound impact on the Northern Ireland economy, generating an additional £5bn per annum in GVA and resulting rates of economic growth would surpass that experienced during the last boom.”