Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Wexford, Ireland
Tom Banville is the Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in Wexford County Council. Tom has over 20 years’ experience working with start-ups and small businesses. He runs a team of 10 people and an annual budget of €2millionto focus on enterprise and economic development in the county with a strong focus on sectors such as Food, Tourism and Technology. LEO Wexford is part of a network of 31 Local Enterprise Offices located in every county of Ireland. Local Enterprise Offices offer business advice and information, business training and mentoring, business networking and grant aid, typically to start up and small business with 10 or less employees. Tom has had notable successes in helping to start and develop such companies as Donedeal, Innovate, Sonru and Scurri in the Technology sector.
“Don’t start a business from your kitchen table!”
Of course, it’s not a bad idea to start a business from your kitchen table – many have done and many more will do. It’s cheap and convenient, the commute is easy, the dress code is at your discretion. However, is the kitchen table the right environment for the modern tech focused start-ups – probably not. Co-working spaces and workbench labs seem to be popping up everywhere. They offer a variety of desk options from hot-desking to full time desks. More importantly they offer access to people and funding that you simply cannot access get from the kitchen table. They offer an environment which is creative and energetic and potential synergies with other start-ups or existing businesses which you cannot possibly re-create from home. I will be looking at the phenomenon of co-working and asking the question why should you leave the kitchen and enter the lab.