Who We Are_

Skillnet Innovation Exchange

Skillnet Innovation Exchange was launched in February 2022 to facilitate collaborative innovation in Ireland. Over 500 companies have engaged with the programme to date, and by 2025 over 1000 companies will be part of Skillnet Innovation Exchange. It is an initiative of Skillnet Ireland and is managed by Furthr.

Skillnet Innovation Exchange is a structured and managed ecosystem that connects innovators with innovation seekers, facilitating collaboration between companies and creating opportunities for business development and commercial success for all involved.

It is a marketplace where large corporates facing innovation challenges are connected with ambitious solutions providers with the skills to solve challenges and fast-track innovation.

Large corporates get access to collaboration opportunities with Ireland’s most talented SMEs, accelerating their digital transformation. There are currently 27 corporate members of Skillnet Innovation Exchange, including Ryanair, Glanbia, ESB, AXA Insurance, Microsoft, IBM and IDA Ireland.

Scaling technology companies get an instant sales pipeline as well as access to prospective customers, market intelligence and the capability to sell to large corporates via bespoke training. Our SME members have deep expertise in emerging technologies such as AI, process automation, robotics, cybersecurity, digital communications and IoT.

Meet the team

Conor Carmody

Programme Director

Conor is a highly experienced business executive who has held senior management positions across all commercial disciplines in telecoms and retail functions. He is a highly professional, results-focused individual with strategic, operational and entrepreneurial qualities.
His core area of expertise is developing and implementing business strategies, mentoring and developing teams to deliver success with a clear focus on results. Conor has held a number of senior director level roles in the Irish Telecom Sector, heading up Marketing functions in Vodafone, Meteor and Eircom.
He is highly experienced in the areas of Business strategy, Commercial Strategy, Business Start Up, Marketing and Communications, People and Program Management.

Oonagh Fox

Head of Communications

Oonagh works on strategy and communications for The Innovation Exchange. She is focused on policy and research and is committed to ensuring that The Innovation Exchange continues to increase its impact and influence to enable it to deliver results for members. She is a corporate communications advisor and has worked closely with Furthr over the past ten years. She previously held a client director role at Drury Porter Novelli, Ireland’s leading public relations consultancy.

Sinead O’Riordan

Head of Channel Partnerships

A senior business leader who has gained broad experience working with start-up’s, SME’s and multinationals. Specifically focussed on driving individual, team and company performance, she has a track record in developing and executing company-wide Strategic Programs. Key strengths include Strategy Development, Operational Management, Innovation Programs and Partnership development. Sinead has graduated with a BA (Econ & Maths), DCS and an MBA.
Anne Martin-Bohan

Marketing Manager

With more than a decade of experience in Media, Marketing, and Operations, Anne thrives on leveraging her versatile skill set to drive success for Skillnet Innovation Exchange. Through her prolonged collaboration with startup executives, Anne possesses an acute understanding of the nuanced needs, aspirations, and hurdles faced by our SME members. With her tenure as a pivotal member of the Operations team, Anne has profound insights into the contemporary challenges confronting corporate entities.

    Rachel Hubble

    The Innovation Exchange Programme Coordinator

    Rachel joined The Innovation Exchange in September 2022. She has three years’ experience working with Start-up’s and SME’s having worked with Meath Local Enterprise Office in delivering a wide range of business supports.
    Rachel holds a 1st class honours degree in Accounting and Finance from DCU and a Level 8 Certificate in Business Analysis from NCI. Rachel’s current role is working with The Innovation Exchange as a Programme Co-ordinator.

      Andrea Butterly

      Deal Flow Manager

      Kevin O’Donnell

      Deal Manager

      Kevin is an experienced Business and Technology leader specialising in Digital Transformation and Technology Strategy. As a former CEO and Business Owner of a Technology SME who engaged successfully with Skillnet Innovation Exchange, Kevin understands and appreciates the opportunities it brings.

      Kevin joins SIE in the role of Deal Manager, assisting and advising SME’s throughout the lifecycle of the Challenge and Deal process.

      Eugene Smyth

      Director Corporate Relationships

      Eugene leads our engagements with large Corporates in Ireland that are on the Innovation and Digital Transformation journey. Eugene has a strong background in Technology Investment and Enterprise Development. Following a career in FDI with IDA and Telecoms with Amdocs, he has been a management consultant in the Venture Capital industry for over 20 years and is a consultant on a variety of European Commission initiatives, including acting as a Jury Member for the European Innovation Council.

        Sean McGrath

        Corporate Partner Manager

        Sean is an experienced Retail, Telecoms and IT executive who has held senior management positions in Ireland, UK, and Central / Eastern Europe.
        Sean’s core strengths include sales / revenue growth, business strategy development, transformation leadership, and coaching / people development.