Donegal TD Joe McHugh is hosting a trade delegation from Scotland in the county this week as part of efforts to build business links between the two regions.“I am delighted to welcome Linda Scott, chief executive of the West Lothian Chamber to Donegal over the next few days to show off what is best in our county and deepen trade links,” Mr McHugh said.“During a visit to Glasgow last month I formally invited the Chamber to come and see firsthand what we have to offer. “The interest that Ms Scott and the Chamber have shown is a timely reminder of the unique ties that exist between Donegal and Scotland and I’m confident that the basis is there for deepening these links.“Over the course of the next few days the delegation will get an insight into the growing enterprises supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht through Údáras na Gaeltachta in Donegal and also get a flavour for the wide variety of other businesses which excel in Donegal, from food to pharmaceutical to consultancy, as well as seeing the state of the art Údáras facility that is Áislann Ghaoth Dobhair.“The ultimate aim is that the West Lothian Chamber will return later in the year with clients and businesses interested in setting up in Donegal as they see the county as the perfect base for establishing new operations.“This visit will set the groundwork for a trade mission in the Autumn.” Linda Scott, Chief Executive of West Lothian Chamber of Commerce, said: “With plans already in place for a trade mission to Donegal in October 2018, West Lothian Chamber of Commerce are delighted to be back in Ireland to continue moving forward with strengthening the Scotland-Ireland business link.”Mr McHugh, Government Chief Whip and Minister for the Irish language, Gaeltacht and the Islands, attended the Causeway – Ireland Scotland Business Exchange awards night in Glasgow last month to celebrate businesses with links to both regions.Mr McHugh said: “In Donegal we have a huge amount to be proud of and offer would-be investors.“Donegal has one of the most scenic airports in the world in Carrickfinn, which offers easy access in and out of Scotland. We have a high quality of life. We have a diverse and growing economy with a strong mix of homegrown enterprises and multinationals.“My own work on developing Donegal-Scotland business links goes back a number of years having visited Scotland for the St Patrick’s Day programme in 2015 and the following year having accompanied President Michael D Higgins to Scotland where I met with the Irish Business Network Scotland in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum. “The arrival of the West Lothian delegation is a natural development of these ties having also led an Enterprise Ireland trade mission to Scotland in November 2017, which also included a Donegal-Glasgow business event hosted by the Consulate involving Údáras and Donegal County Council.“Over the last two years my contacts with Causeway have become stronger and I will work to ensure that we see results from this week’s trade trip in Donegal.”Mr McHugh added: “I would like to thank Údáras chief executive Micheál Ó hÉanaigh for his work and the strong team he has In Donegal for helping to facilitate this trade visit and look forward to seeing how Údáras can build on this.”Scottish business delegation in county to forge trade links was last modified: September 23rd, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BusinessdonegalScotlandTrade
Rashmi Sinha left a PhD program in cognitive neuropsychology to become an entrepreneur. Having been part of a modestly successful start-up, she wanted to aim higher by building a product that could reach many more. The result — SlideShare — is, according to many, the “YouTube of PowerPoint presentations,” providing a rich online source of content and different levels of advertising channels and lead generation for users At SlideShare, the business revolves around PowerPoint. Almost everyone in business has used PowerPoint and everyone has an opinion about it. From your vantage point, what is it about PowerPoint that makes it such a powerful medium of communication?It is powerful because it’s visuals and text together and everybody in business uses it. It can be a great vehicle for communication. In many ways, it defines business communication today and that ubiquity is the basis of SlideShare. We have taken a medium, a cold format for business communication, and made it social. We believe that transformation is really powerful and brings together a certain kind of audience.Does any document format rival PowerPoint, or is it in a class by itself?It is in a class by itself. The history of PowerPoint is quite fascinating. PowerPoint was invented by Robert Gaskins, who was based in Mountain View. He had the idea of automating traditional slideshows and built PowerPoint in a way that allowed non-designers to design slideshows. He wanted people to do all these cool things on their own. It is so powerful that it is easy to use. [People sometimes] make atrocious slideshows with it. Pop culture makes fun of it, and at SlideShare, we like to highlight that too. One of our very popular documents is called ‘Death by PowerPoint.’PowerPoint is clearly the most-used method today. Is there anything you see coming in the future that could replace PowerPoint? Video is really interesting in terms of web communication. Video is becoming such a dominant force in all sorts of communication that it is hard to disregard it. So, yes, I can imagine other presentation formats. But I haven’t seen anything yet that has the potential to be as ubiquitous as PowerPoint is today. At the same time, there is a lot of room to improve upon PowerPoint.You had mentioned that for SlideShare, the space you’re in is a bit undefined. Where would you put SlideShare on the map?SlideShare is a next-generation business media site meaning that, unlike traditional business sites, we don’t have editors creating content. Instead we have users who upload their own content, and others who favorite, tag and comment on it, to curate it.Also, SlideShare is part of the same ecosystem that is made up of companies like Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites. More specifically, SlideShare is focused on business content and business networking. I like to define SlideShare as a site that enables networking over business content. On LinkedIn, a user will make a connection directly and I might add you to his or her network. On SlideShare, I might find your content interesting and tag it as a favorite. It’s a subtle difference, but it is a powerful way of networking. Would it be fair to say that SlideShare is the YouTube of slides?Yes, it is a fair analogy — there are lots of differences, but there are similarities. What I like about that analogy is that it helps people immediately understand what we are doing at SlideShare.How did SlideShare build a community of users who were interested in sorting through all this uploaded material? That’s one of the hardest things for companies to do, and many companies end up spending significant funds on acquiring users.SlideShare has never used advertising to build its community. It is all viral and organic traffic. I believe we achieved this by having a great product that is immediately useful: within five seconds of getting there, the site is useful. Oftentimes people find SlideShare through somebody else’s blog, or they come to a particular presentation page through search, start navigating related slides and eventually realize they can find a wealth of relevant information. This type of value keeps bringing people back.Does SlideShare relate sites automatically? Is there policing of sensitive or inflammatory material? Yes to both. We have algorithms at the backend, which find related content. Also, we have community flagging for inappropriate content, which is very effective. We immediately get an email if anybody flags content.Let’s talk about SlideShare’s business model. What percentage of revenues comes from advertising? And, could you tell us more about Branded Channels, LeadShare, and AdShare.Currently most of our revenue is through advertising from big brands like Webex, Microsoft and Adobe. But we are building several services for users to market their businesses more effectively. Products like Branded Channels, LeadShare, and AdShare are starting to get traction. With Branded Channels, the basic idea is that once you have all your information on SlideShare, businesses want the look and feel of their own brand. Branded channel gives them another landing page on the web, apart from their own website. Brands seem to like that.LeadShare is based on what we observed users doing on SlideShare. Some people would upload their content and then hold back the download of the file and encourage viewers who were interested to contact them directly. Nobody ever passes around a white paper any more. Some might do it in email, but very few send the link. With SlideShare, documents get passed around and shared quite often. Finally, with AdShare, the thought is that if people want their products or services to get more promotion than they are getting organically, they will want it in a contextual manner. Let’s say I have a presentation about my email marketing consulting service. I want to show up next to other email marketing services or in an email marketing content. Therefore, AdShare allows you to expose your content next to other related content and pay for it on a per-click basis.It seems as if SlideShare has set up a dual model with individual users able to use the service for free or a nominal charge. But for B2B services and lead generation, the opportunity is quite big?Exactly. Our basic service is always going to be free. However, there are businesses who want more efficient communication, more branding, and greater reach. They want to have direct email communication. We will charge for all of that.How does SlideShare have angel investors as diverse as Mark Cuban (owner of NBA team Dallas Mavericks) and Hal Varian (chief economist at Google)?We found most of our angels through our site. Mark Cuban was using SlideShare and my co-founder reached out and invited him to our angel round. Hal Varian is a personal connection from my time at the University of California, Berkeley. Hal was our first investor. He knew that SlideShare was growing. SlideShare is one of the two companies that he invested in.You’re the first technology entrepreneur I’ve met with a PhD in Cognitive Neuropsychology. How did that doctorate turn into SlideShare?People follow a path, and my path just led me to SlideShare. I have always been technical, even though my PhD was in Cognitive Neuropsychology, I dabbled in Computer Science. I came to Berkeley for a post-doc and started learning more about the web and fell in love with it. I met with some professors in the information sciences department and told them about my interest. Pretty much the next day I transferred departments. At the information sciences department, I worked on search engines and recommender systems. I loved the work, but didn’t like the pace of academia. I started consulting. A year after that I founded the first company with my husband, who is a software engineer and had just finished with CommerceOne, which had a crazy B2B ride. I was working on a project for eBay and he joined me. While working on that project together, he realized the methods I was using could be translated into software. So we built our first software called MindCanvas for game-like customer research. We had offices in Delhi and Mountain View and did very well. It was a SAAS (software as a service) model and we sold MindCanvas usage to companies like Microsoft and Yahoo.MindCanvas was doing well, but didn’t reach millions of people, and we wanted to do something that would have much broader impact. We thought of many ideas till we hit upon SlideShare. We built the prototype in a few months and launched it. It took and eventually, we shut down MindCanvas and started focusing on SlideShare.Let’s step back further. Please tell us how you came from India to America.I was born in Lucknow and grew up in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and then Allahabad till my early 20s, when I left for the U.S. I come from a large family, with four brothers and sisters. I did my undergraduate in India, in cognitive psychology, literature, and history. Then I came to America for a PhD at Brown.Were there any entrepreneurial influences in your life?I won’t say there was any real entrepreneurial influence. We were very much a professional services family, with doctors, civil services, and so on. I was very strong minded, so my family always knew I would do exactly what I wanted to do. I started off wanting to be a journalist. I think it is going to be hard to trace a specific event that made me want to be an entrepreneur. I like independence. I like to build things. Being an entrepreneur allows me to do both.Do you think, over time, there will be more female Indian entrepreneurs?Yes, I do. I base that answer on evidence, actually, from what I see at all the events I speak at. I’m seeing more and more technically-inclined Indian women nowadays. There is definitely potential to bring that talent, with a little bit of mentorship and encouragement, to foster a wave of female entrepreneurship. Related Items
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