Business Advisory Group – Share IT – Free training for startups

The other, other, other project of mine. After my second BarCamp I started to think that there were so many people there asking the same questions that were asked at the first BarCamp. Whatever is happening between the Enterprise Boards, and EI and other groups and blogs there appears to be a slight knowledge gap of some sort. To fill that gap I’m helping to organise training sessions run via the website called Share IT (name may change if it is already in use).

The idea is that trainers will train startup people, small companies and individuals in areas the trainers have experience in and which is of benefit to the people. All training is free, the trainers volunteer their time to do an hours training and pay their own expenses to get there. More details on this whole idea here.

The first training day will take place in Cork on March 24th in UCC. You have to apply to attend this as spaces are limited. See more on the website. Yes, don’t worry Dublin people, there’ll be one there in April sometime. Hopefully these will start going around the country.

Trainers will always be required so if you are willing to give an hours training in areas that startups need some training in, then leave a note over on the site.

The Business Advisory project itself stems from this idea here and hopefully the “advisory board” will start to take shape during the summer.

Big thanks to Walter, Jenny, Krishna, Conor, Laurence, Richard and Donagh for giving up their saturday and traveling to this.

Also thanks to TJ, Piaras and Joe who are volunteering to do sessions at the Dublin Share IT training day.

7 Responses to “Business Advisory Group – Share IT – Free training for startups”

  1. […] Damien has just announced the Share IT Free Training sessions which he has organised under the umbrella of This is a fantastic idea where those with expertise in certain areas give training for free to those who are seeking it. […]

  2. Congrats on getting this off the ground, it definitely fits into a gap as you’ve pointed out. Sounds great.

  3. […] Damien Mulley has launched Share IT, a training program for startups, where trainers give freely of their time to help get other startups of the ground. […]

  4. Darren says:

    Depending on when the date is for Dublin in April, I’m happy to lead a session on any one of the follow permutations:

    Social media marketing
    Media relations for startups
    Cheap and free marketing for startups
    Google AdWords for startups

    Or anything in the PR/marketing vein that people are interested in.

  5. MJ says:

    I’m kinda curious where this fills a niche?

    I was talking this over recently with some colleagues and we came to the conclusion that for people who want to work or who want to start a company, there’s a plethora of places they can get training and funding for training. Every Enterprise park in the North offers the InvestNI Start a Business course which inclides some free IT training. There’s heaps of other places. These people are catered for.

    Likewise if you come from a nasty part of town and your weekend pursuits involve stealing cars then it’s trivial for you to glom free training off the state and become a film director/editor or whatever your heart desires.

    The sectors which are not catered for are the disabled, the elderly and frankly people who are currently in employment and who just want a change or the ability to do something productive with their lives. All of these Web 2.0 innovations are bypassing the common man. Wouldn’t you think that 37Signals Backpack should be heavily marketed to the elderly? Campfire for retirement homes?

    Also….with software being effectively free these days….and now training being free, is the common or garden IT business going the way of the dodo?

    But heck yeah – count me in for some free training, both on the giving and receiving.

  6. Hey MJ

    Unfortunately we (in the South) cannot match your training availability in the North. For businesses under 10 employees there are 35 County Enterprise Boards and each offers training courses for their area.

    Unfortunately the internet/technology side of things is badly catered for by them and there is not yet (may change soon with the ICT audit scheme) a national scheme for addressing this need.

    So initiatives like this fill a definite gap – nice one to all concerned.


  7. > I’m kinda curious where this fills a niche?

    Like you say there are lots of places to get training and funding but..

    I was very disappointed with the state-assisted training that I received for a number of reasons:

    – The training was being given to business start-ups generally not IT specific (despite being run by managers of a tech incubator) so it was so broad as to be mostly ineffective.
    – To be blunt state assistance is being controlled by civil servants who might not always be experienced in starting up small tech businesses.
    – Particulary in IT, even if outside expertise is brought in on these courses, invariably it is from people who are indeed very experienced in multi-national scenarios which is typically where most Irish IT professionals have cut their teeth over the last decade but often lack the small startup skills.

    On the funding side of things its probably as bad. The funding for technological innovation in Ireland is mostly controlled by Enterprise Ireland who seek to fund high potential startups. Great initiative, but it does nothing for smaller tech startups who have to go through the Enterprise boards who frankly, through no fault of their own, don’t have a lot of experience in small tech startups.

    The Enterpise Ireland funding is meant to foster technical innovation in Ireland but more often then not I’ve seen it happen that they much prefer a large investment in a sure thing which may have no technical innovation rather than risk smaller amounts of money on more innovative and therefore riskier investment. Personally I think that is the wrong approach in the longer term.

    So who would I prefer to listen to? From people who are up to their necks dealing with their own tech startup who are giving up their weekend to help others in the same situation or civil servants and paid consultants who probably have never been in a similar situation?

    Thanks Damien, and everybody else who’s contributing, for going to the trouble of organising this.