RESTART: Learning from Entrepreneurial Experiences

Supporting second-time, currently struggling as well as aspiring entrepreneurs to learn from past experiences.


7th June 2017
Starting at 1.45pm


Aviva Stadium, Dublin

Join this free event! Booking is essential.

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Key reasons to join

Learn from real entrepreneurs

Two true entrepreneurs will share their stories and highlight what they have learned from facing setbacks during their entrepreneurial journey. Read their stories below!

Hear what the RESTART project has to offer

For the last two years, we have dedicated our time to create support for second-time, struggling and aspiring entrepreneurs. Learn more about what we accomplished in the RESTART project and how you could use the outcomes in your work.

Engage in lively discussions

Rather then offering an entirely speaker-centred session, we will engage in discussions with panel members but also the audience to further discuss how we can learn from entrepreneurial exeperiences.

Proud Winner Of


Our line-up


Irish Entrepreneur (Canopi Sleeves)

Sandra Walsh

When recession hit Ireland Sandra Walsh, owner of Sands Boutique, was forced to re-evaluate her business in the previous lucrative retail sector in Dublin’s Ranelagh. Sandra took the heartbreaking decision to close the business which she had spent many years building. Undeterred by her previous experience she decided to set up a new company and bring an idea to fruition that had been germinating in her mind for a while. Her company Canopi Sleeves is now thriving internationally in the top-end department stores such as Harrod’s and Brown Thomas and also online. Her creative marketing and clever formation of alliances has ensured that her product now forms part of the uniform of the Irish Chamber Orchestra.


Founder and MD Carambola School Lunches Sorted, Ireland

Colm O'Brien

Colm O’Brien’s first business failed! He is a Dubliner who moved to Limerick in 1998 to operate the well-known Bewley’s Café Franchise, the ultimate closure of which in 2005 led to his founding Carambola – School Lunches Sorted that now supplies packed lunches to 23,000 school children daily all over Ireland from Letterkenny to Tralee, Dundalk to Wexford. Carambola has a turnover in excess of €6.5m annually and employs over 100 people. His best-selling book, ‘Feeding Johnny – How to Build a Business despite the Roadblocks’, is a popular favourite amongst those looking to get more out of life and business. Colm is a naturally relaxed public speaker and motivator and uses the ups and downs of his own Carambola story to inspire the listener to take one more step towards the Life and Business they really wanted all along.


Associate Professor in Innovation & Enterprise at Flinders University in Australia

Margaret Ledwith

In her role as Associate Professor of Practice and Program Director, Margaret is leading the delivery of Flinders University's unique, experiential education program in innovation and enterprise. Designed to deliver a personalised innovation and enterprise journey for ALL students, this program ensures students develop the mindsets, knowledge and bias-to-action needed to thrive in their personal and professional lives in the 21st Century. As both a practitioner and educator, Margaret draws on a wealth of international experience from across the corporate, academic, industry and entrepreneurial sectors. She brings an in-depth understanding of university-led innovation and entrepreneurship education programs. At the Innovation Academy, University College, Dublin, Margaret was involved in designing and delivering innovation and entrepreneurship training and education modules for multi-disciplinary, academic and corporate students, using novel and emerging learning methodologies and helped build the Innovation Academy as a world-class destination for innovation and entrepreneurship education. Margaret also brings deep experience of innovation-led, enterprise growth, both at the SME and global corporate level to the role. Prior to relocating to Australia, she held a role in corporate innovation management at a global finance and investment company where she was responsible for developing an organisation-wide innovation culture, eco-system and training toolkit.


Director of Entrepreneurship, SFU Co-Champion, Technology Entrepreneurship@SFU Lecturer, Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Sarah Lubik

Sarah Lubik is a lecturer in Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Beedie, Co-Champion of the Technology Entrepreneurship@SFU Program and was appointed SFU's first Director of Entrepreneurship, aligning, supporting and accelerating entrepreneurship education and early stage incubation at SFU. She is also a certified expert business coach and a mentor at SFU's Venture Connection incubator.

In 2016, Dr. Lubik was named one of ten Canadian Innovation Leaders assisting with the Government of Canada's Inclusive Innovation Agenda. In 2014, Dr. Lubik was named one of Business in Vancouver's Top 40 Under 40. In 2016, she was awarded the TD Canada Trust Distinguished Teaching Award.


Director - Strategic Licensing and Programs at The University of Texas at Austin

Jitendra Jain

Jitendra Jain serves as Director, Strategic Licensing & Programs, for the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) at The University of Texas at Austin. In this role, he helps develop technologies by leveraging UT's intellectual assets and by fostering strategic partners. He also focuses on commercializing UT's software and copyrightable intellectual property (IP). Mr. Jain specializes in commercially assessing and valuating technologies, cultivating inventions, developing IP positions, guiding investments in patent prosecution, developing commercialization strategies, nurturing industry/venture-capital relations, marketing to prospective licensees, assisting in the formation of startups, and negotiating complex IP-based collaborative agreements to monetize IP. Mr. Jain brings over 20 years of domestic and international experience in academic technology transfer, product marketing, entrepreneurship, and business development spanning the computing, telecom, and semiconductor industries


Exec. Director & Distinguished Professor, Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise & Entrepreneurship at Wilkes University

Rodney Ridley

Rodney Ridley serves as Execuctive Director & Distinguished Professor at the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise & Entrepreneurship at Wilkes University in the United States.

Ridley previously served as director of Wilkes’ Division of Engineering and Physics. Under his tenure, enrollment in engineering programs grew by 50 percent and freshmen applications to the programs grew 100 percent. He also was responsible for expanding the engineering program’s Industrial Advisory Board, establishing significant new corporate partnerships and infusing the engineering experience with exposure to business and entrepreneurial practices.


Project Leader of the RESTART Project & Industrial Services Manager at LYIT

Padraig Gallagher

Dr Pádraig Gallagher is the Head of Knowledge Transfer and Industrial Engagement at Letterkenny Institute of Technology, located in the North West of Ireland. He is the grant holder and project manager for the RESTART project. Pádraig is an accountant by profession and is a graduate of the University of Ulster, Durham University, and University College Dublin and received his PhD in Educational Research from Lancaster University. His research interests involve graduate employability and SME competitiveness, with a social practice theory perspective. He has worked in Higher Education for 20 years and has gained a good understanding of the complexities and challenges of working and managing in this environment. Prior to entering the Higher Education arena he worked as a Financial Manager in a number of multi-national firms.

Event Schedule - June 7, 2017

Join the discussion


Registration & welcome coffee



The RESTART workshop is a stand-alone event within the University-Industry Interaction Conference. All participants will be welcomed by the organisers before moving into the workshop rooms.


Showcasing the RESTART Entrepreneurship tools and outcomes

Padraig Gallagher
Letterkenny Institute of Technology


Entrepreneur presentation 1

Sandra Walsh
Irish Entrepreneur (Canopi Sleeves)


Entrepreneur presentation 2

Colm O’Brien
Founder and MD Carambola School Lunches Sorted


Networking & Coffee Break



Margaret Ledwith
Associate Professor in Innovation & Enterprise at Flinders University, Australia


Discussion Panel

Sandra Walsh
Irish Entrepreneur (Canopi Sleeves), Ireland

Colm O’Brien
Founder and MD Carambola School Lunches Sorted, Ireland

Jitendra Jain
Director, Strategic Licensing & Programs at the Office of Technology Commercialization at The University of Texas at Austin, United States

Sarah Lubik
Director of Entrepreneurship, SFU Co-Champion, Technology Entrepreneurship@SFU Lecturer, Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Moderated by:
Rodney S. Ridley
Exec. Director & Distinguished Professor, Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise & Entrepreneurship at Wilkes University, United States


Wrap up

Padraig Gallagher
Letterkenny Institute of Technology

Did you know?

... that Bill Gates failed before starting Microsoft?
Whilst studying at high school in Seattle, a very young Bill Gates got together with friend, Paul Allen, to create Traf-O-Data, as they felt they could find a way to process traffic data cheaper and faster than the local companies were doing at the time. Although the company had only modest success, this experience was instrumental to what happened later in Gates’ life. Despite the fact that Bill Gates also went on to drop out of Harvard, he then built Microsoft and became one of the most successful, wealthy and most active philanthropists in the world.
... that Colonel Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, failed before starting KFC
Colonel Harland David Sanders’ early CV includes working as a railroad worker, a fireman, a lawyer, labourer, salesman and entrepreneur. In 1920 he created a ferry boat company which enjoyed immediate success. Sanders, however, decided to cash in his shares to establish a company manufacturing acetylene lamps, a venture which failed after Delco introduced an electric lamp that they sold on credit. In 1930, Sanders created the recipe for his famous Kentucky Fried Chicken and had it rejected by restaurants over 1,000 times before he finally set up KFC as a franchise at the ripe age of 65.
... that Evan Williams, founder of Twitter, failed before starting Twitter
Prior to starting up one of the largest social media platforms used today, Williams created podcast platform ‘Odeo’. It employed tools that enabled users to create, record, and share podcasts with a simple Adobe Flash-based interface. Very soon after, Apple introduced the Podcast feature of the iTunes store, halting Odeo’s potential growth overnight. This venture, however, led Williams to co-found Obvious Corp, and subsequently create Twitter.
... that Fred Smith, founder of FedEx, failed with his idea of FedEx in university
Whilst studying economic at Yale University, a young Frederick Smith composed a business idea for a class, outlining overnight delivery service in a computer information age. He presented it to his college professor who told him that, in order for him to get a C, the idea had to be feasible. The obvious irony lies in the fact that Smith went on to found FedEx in 1971, and make an idea perceived unfeasible, a reality.

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Interested in becoming a partner and promoting the event? Get in touch with Prof. Kliewe

Location and Venue

Dublin, Ireland

The event will be held at the AVIVA Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.

AVIVA Stadium
Lansdowne Rd
Dublin 4

Please use the Podium Entrance, as indicated on the map.

Transportation to the event

The AVIVA Stadium website provides extensive information on how to reach the stadium:

  • by rail
  • on foot
  • by bus
  • by road
  • by air
  • by Ferry Dublin Port

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