International investors will swap Maui for Achill this weekend when a major business networking and kite surfing event takes place on the County Mayo island.
The Achill event has been organised by Galway man and founder of Pubble, Philip McNamara, an entrepreneur and kite surfing enthusiast who moved to Silicon Valley three years ago.
A number of major international sponsors have been secured for the event, including Silicon Valley Bank, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Beauchamps Solicitors.
Fine Gael Galway East TD and Minister of State at the Department of Education, Ciaran Cannon, is taking part in a 60km bike ride as part of the event, which is inspired by the MaiTai Kite Camp held in Hawaii every year, will bring together Irish entrepreneurs and international investors, many of whom are attending the Dublin Web Summit, to network, do deals and kite surf.
Minister Cannon said: “This weekend’s event is a wonderful opportunity for Irish start-ups and innovative companies to meet with major investors, mostly from the US and Israel, to talk about possible investments. With this comes the potential for job creation here in Ireland, as our indigenous companies do deals and grow their business.
“The MaiTai Kite Camp was set up by Bill Tai, one of Silicon Valley’s biggest investors, and the professional kiteboarder Susi Mai. Attendees of the annual event in Hawaii are of a serious business calibre, generating billions in business deals every year. Irish entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to get a slice of this investment this weekend in Achill.
Philip McNamara said: “We’re holding this event in Achill this weekend because it’s a great way for start-ups and investors to meet in a relaxed atmosphere.
“By mixing sports and networking, we want to encourage interaction between diverse groups of people from all over the world. Our choice of Achill in the west of Ireland is a natural one, as it features some of the best conditions for kitesurfing in Europe.