Minister Mitchell O’Connor at Fitbit EMEA HQ for official opening and jobs announcement

 

Fitbit, Inc. (NYSE: FIT), the leader in the connected health and fitness category, today announced the opening of its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) headquarters in Dublin, Ireland and appointed a new Managing Director, Des Power. Ireland’s reputation for being a centre of innovation and providing top technology talent were important factors for Fitbit and will enable the company to further expand in the region as part of its global growth strategy.

Making the announcement this morning Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, said: This is further recognition of Ireland’s appeal as an international hub for successful companies such as Fitbit. Fitbit is one of the world’s most popular and fastest growing health and wellness companies, and I am delighted that they have selected Ireland as the location for their EMEA headquarters as it will provide exciting employment opportunities for our skilled workers. I wish Des Power and his team the utmost success in the coming years.”

The new Dublin office will serve as Fitbit’s EMEA headquarters and will house the strategic business functions for the region, including senior management roles, sales, marketing, operations, finance and customer support staff, which will provide targeted support to the millions of Fitbit users across the region. The company hopes to grow to approximately 50 people by the end of the year and has room for up to 100 by the end of 2017. With 150% year-over-year revenue growth in the European region in Q2 2016 compared to Q2 2015 and the ability to support five European languages across the Fitbit platform, the company’s new Dublin office comes at an ideal time to support Fitbit’s rapid growth and expansion while taking advantage of the highly skilled labour market in Dublin.

Speaking today at the opening of Fitbit’s new EMEA headquarters location on Baggot Street in Dublin “We’ve seen Dublin become a strategic hub for the technology industry as a centre for innovation and sourcing top talent in the region, and we look forward to building a strong team here to complement our offices around the world,” said Fitbit CEO and Co-Founder, James Park. “I’m excited to welcome Des to the team and back to his native Ireland. I have great confidence in our ability to further expand our business and help people across EMEA lead healthier, more active lives.”

As part of his new responsibilities, Des Power is tasked with expanding the company’s presence across the region. Des brings over 30 years of experience of leading teams and driving strong regional and global performance across Europe, the Americas and China. Previously, Des held various leadership roles at Philips and Harman International, and spent much of his career driving regional and global strategies across a range of popular consumer products from flat screen televisions to consumer audio products.

Fitbit pioneered the connected health and fitness market starting in 2007, and since then, has grown into a leading global health and fitness brand, shipping over 48.7 million devices globally as of Q2 16. As part of the Fitbit platform – consisting of devices, apps, social and motivational features, advice and personalized coaching – the company’s products help people lead healthier, more active lives by making behavioural changes such as exercising more, eating smarter, tracking their sleep and managing their weight.

About Fitbit, Inc. (NYSE: FIT)
Fitbit helps people lead healthier, more active lives by empowering them with data, inspiration and guidance to reach their goals. As the leader in the connected health and fitness

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor opens SE2 Waterford Office

se2 3

The Minister announced 65 new jobs in se2, the leading third-party administrator for the North American life and pensions industry, in Waterford, IDA’s Technology Park. The company has an existing fulltime team of 70 and hope to fill out its 135 seat office space over the next 3-4 years. There are currently opportunities to join the existing team for both experienced professionals and for those wishing to start a career working on se2’s award winning technology platforms.

The project is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation through IDA Ireland.

Speaking at the event, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’ Connor said: “It is great to see se2 growing its company and expanding its workforce in Waterford. I am delighted that this project is supported by my Department through IDA Ireland. The South-East is now the fastest growing region outside of Dublin. As Minister, my priority is to ensure an environment for job growth is developed right across the country and in particular in the regions of Ireland. Having such a highly regarded company as se2 in Waterford is a great boost to the region and will help us attract other high growth tech companies here. I want to wish all at se2 continued success.”

Photos from the opening below:

se2 1 se2 2

200 New Jobs and €10,000,000 Investment for Carrick on Shannon

Photo Today, VistaMed, the leading Irish catheter and extrusion provider to the global medical device industry, announced the creation of 200 new jobs at the official opening of its new state-of-the-art Research and Development facility in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. The announcement is part of a new investment programme of more than €10million, supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland.

This will bring the total number of jobs at the medical device company to 525 comprising a mix of positions, from engineering staff to product builders. VistaMed is also expanding its current manufacturing facility in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim by a further 45,000 square foot.

Recruitment for the 200 positions is ongoing with 37 of these jobs now in place. All positions are expected to be filled by the end of 2018.

Welcoming the announcement in Co. Leitrim today, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said: “Today we see the evidence that a rural county such as Leitrim can be home to successful international companies like VistaMed and can provide them with the community, infrastructure and resources that they need to thrive and grow their businesses. To announce 200 jobs for an Irish-owned, highly innovative, global supplier of medical technology out of County Leitrim, sums up why we can be ambitious – indeed, must be ambitious – in our plans for regional development and job creation. This is a further sign of a momentum for job creation in our regions following recent regional jobs announcements” .

The new investment programme is in response to increased demand in the global medical device market for services provided by VistaMed.

Managing Director of VistaMed Patrick Mulholland said: “VistaMed was founded on being a solution provider for technically challenging Catheter and Extrusion products for a worldwide medical device market. This new Research & Development facility will allow us to further enhance the rapid project ‘turnaround’ times currently experienced by VistaMed’s global customer base. Combined with the addition of sophisticated equipment, this will enable us to continue to offer a world class service to the global medical device industry and expand our talented technical resources”.

The 45,000 square foot expansion of the Carrick-on-Shannon facility includes 22,000 square foot of cleanroom. This will facilitate the growing demand for diverse braided catheter systems, together with the expansion of the existing area providing thermoplastic extrusions which is recognised as best-in-class for the stringent catheter tubing requirements for today’s challenging minimally invasive applications.

Tom Kelly, Head of Division, Industrial, Lifesciences & Consumer, Enterprise Ireland said: “Ireland is home to leading world-class medical technology companies like VistaMed who will be joining us on our Lifesciences Trade Mission to the US in September. The medtech sector in Ireland has evolved and grown dramatically over the last two decades and employs close to 27,000 people. Enterprise Ireland is committed to continued growth and creating jobs in this dynamic and innovative sector”.

Peter Barry RIP

Peter Barry

 

 

 

 

It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of former Tánaiste, Minister and Deputy Leader of Fine Gael, Peter Barry, who passed away in Cork this morning.

My thoughts at this time are with Peter’s family who have lost such a dear loved one. To his children Deirdre, Tony, Donagh, Peter Junior, Fiona and Conor, his brother Tony, and to all their families I send my deepest condolences and sincere sympathies. May he rest in peace, reunited with his late wife Margaret.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

 

Two million people now in employment in the State

Red dress desk

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor today (Tuesday) welcomed the latest Quarterly National Household Survey figures from the Central Statistics Office, showing that for the first time since Quarter 4 2008 there are now two million people employed in the State.  All regions of the country saw a fall in unemployment in the past year. Since 2012 when the first Action Plan for Jobs was launched 176,000 more people are at work.

The figures from the CSO also show that there is strong and continued employment growth in all regions of the country.

Employment has grown in 12 out of 14 economic sectors with largest increases recorded in construction, manufacturing and accommodation and food service activities.

Speaking today, Minister Mary Mitchell O’ Connor said:

“These figures today from the Central Statistics Office are very encouraging and continue to show that the numbers of people employed in full time jobs is increasing steadily and I am particularly pleased to see that all regions of the country are seeing employment growth.  Having two million people now at work will also give a boost to the State as only a strong economy supporting people at work can pay for the services needed to create a fair society.  

My role as Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is to ensure that this positive job growth continues and I am determined that we continue to put in place the right conditions for employment to grow across all counties in Ireland.”

Search for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’ Connor has launched the latest search to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE). With a €2 million investment fund available, the enterprise initiative from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country, supports young entrepreneurs through training, mentoring and direct financial investments.

Young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 are now being encouraged to apply, before the closing date of Friday, October 14th 2016.

Announcing the start of this year’s programme, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D. said:

“The quest to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur is one of the most exciting initiatives to create new businesses and new jobs in recent years. IBYE generates that “can-do” spirit in which young people excel.  I want to foster that spirit and to demonstrate that there is help out there for any young person that wants to take a risk and start their own business. The first-stop-shop to get advice and support on starting a business is your Local Enterprise Office.  I want to congratulate the Local Enterprise Offices on rolling out IBYE and I look forward to meeting Ireland’s young entrepreneurs up and down the country.   I would encourage all young entrepreneurs, between the ages of 18 and 35 to talk to their Local Enterprise Office about the IBYE programme and discuss their business ideas.”

The initiative is co-ordinated by all 31 Local Enterprise Offices and begins with a nationwide competition across three categories at county level: Best Idea, Best Start-Up Business and Best Established Business. A total of around 450 applicants, across every Local Authority area, will be invited to regional ‘Entrepreneur Bootcamps’ in November, to help them develop their business and new venture ideas.

With an available IBYE investment fund of €50,000 each, every Local Enterprise Office will award six investments to three category winners and three runners-up at county level. The local winners in the Best Start-Up and Best Established Business categories at county level will receive investments of up to €15,000 each and the two runners-up will each receive up to €5,000. The Best Business Idea winner at county level will receive an investment of up to €7,000 and the runner-up will receive up to €3,000 of investment. These winners at county level will progress to Regional Finals early next year and the national IBYE finals will be held in March 2017.

Sheelagh Daly of the Local Enterprise Offices explains: “The substantial investments available under IBYE are a very important part of the programme and will help more young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and create more jobs. Other business supports, such as management training, networking and one-to-one mentoring are also at the heart of IBYE. Last year, 450 young entrepreneurs benefitted from these business supports, so the rewards are there for participants, as well as for the winners. Taking part in IBYE will help Ireland’s young entrepreneurs to move their businesses to the next level, whatever stage their business is at.”

IBYE is now in its third year and last year’s winners were James Foody of Ayda in South Cork (Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur for 2015 and Best Start-Up Business), Blaine Doyle of GlowDX in Kilkenny (Best Business Idea) and James Wood of Rathwood in Wicklow (Best Established Business). The inaugural winner of the competition in 2014 was Eamon Keane of Xpreso Software in South Dublin.

To enter, young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 inclusive are being asked to visit the IBYE website at www.ibye.ie, to submit their entry online. The closing date for entries is Friday, October 14th 2016 and there is no entry fee. Further information and details are also available from the 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide.

 

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Local Enterprise Office

Phone: (01) 204 7083

Address:
First Floor, 1 Harbour Square
Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu: 9:00 – 5:00
Friday: 9:00 – 4:30

Lunch 1.00-2.00

Saturday-Sunday:
Closed