Blog Article 30 Jan 2015

DLD15 Author Kathleen Bohan

Recently I attended the annual DLD (Digital, Life, Design) conference in Munich. It is a global network on innovation, digitization, science and culture which connects business leaders, opinion-formers and influencers for crossover conversation and inspiration.

The speakers were excellent and diverse from Arianna Huffington, to Travis Kalanick of Uber to 1970s Music producer Giorgio Moroder.

It is an eclectic group of people that compliments each other perfectly. Robots, Drones, the Internet and Uber were the most talked about subjects at the conference.

I have included some interesting topics from the conference along with links to my favourite talks- Enjoy!

1 . Apple is going to be the biggest luxury Watch manufacturer.


It was recently announced that Apple will begin shipping their Apple smartwatch in April 2015. Upon revealing the watch in September of last year, Apple described the smartwatch as its "most personal device ever." At DLD15, according to Scott Galloway, Clinical Professor of Marketing in NYU Stern, Apple the trillion dollar company is probably the most powerful luxury brand. It has all the criteria of a luxury brand; “an exceptional price point, an iconic founder and as their products have matured their margins have expanded”. Their 5th avenue retail store in New York makes $0.5bn per year in revenues. Looking at Apple's recent hires it would appear that this statement could be true. In 2014, Apple hired Paul Deneve, the former CEO of Yves Saint Laurent, Angela Ahrendts former CEO of Burberry and Patrick Pruniaux former Sales Director of Tag Heuer. The Apple Watch will be the Ultimate Self Expression brand.

DLD15 Talk;

Interesting Irish Fact about Apple

Apple Operations Europe was established in Cork in 1980 to manufacture the Apple Mac personal computer. Since then, the operation has evolved into a multi-functional manufacturing and services operation for EMEA. Key activities include manufacturing, supply chain management, software testing & localisation, EMEA technical and customer support (Apple Care), EMEA sales and EMEA financial shared services. The operation employs over 4,000.


2. Index Ventures specifies 3 things a company should consider when looking at a location to scale your business


Giuseppe Zocco of Index Ventures, stressed the most imperative motivation for any company is to have global ambition from day one!

The 3 items to consider when looking at a location to scale your business;

  1. Where is the talent?
  2. Where are your customers?
  3. Is the location an easy place to build a team?

Europe is a perfect location for consumer business particularly mobile based platforms. And of course we here in IDA believe Ireland is the best location for you to scale and Internationalise your business!

Zendesk’s  CEO, Milkkel Svane, talked about his experience in Europe. Specifically, the success they have had with their Dublin office. He finds it a hub for attracting international talent. He mentioned that 30% of Zendesk's business is in Europe. Mikkel finds Ireland a great pit stop between Europe and the US.

 Check out Mikkel's short interview about Ireland;

DLD15 Talk;

Read more about Ireland's Technology Hub in Pamela Newenham's new book; Silicon Docks: The Rise of Dublin as a Global Tech Hub.

3. Is it a matter of time before we will be eating meat that grew in a laboratory?



  • Each year, nearly 300 million tons of meat is consumed worldwide. By 2050, this amount is expected to exceed 500 million tons.
  • Meat is one of the most environmentally taxing resources – animal farming takes up one third of all available (ice-free) land on the planet. It is the leading contributor to climate change via greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Industrial farming has also concentrated livestock to such an extent that it has significant consequences for food security (i.e. preventing disease outbreaks), the environment and animal welfare

Andras Forgacs CEO & Founers of Modern Meadow applies the latest advances in tissue engineering to develop novel biomaterials to address some of the most pressing global challenges. It develops cultured leather and meat products that require no animal slaughter and much lower inputs of land, water, energy and chemicals.

 Forgacs said, “With the livestock industry being the largest user of land and water and the leading driver of climate change, now is the time to pursue better alternatives. Our goal is to develop new cultured leather materials with advantages in design, performance, sustainability and animal welfare. In the longer term, we are also developing meat products that are healthier, safer and don’t require harming animals or the environment. In June 2014 the company received $10million in series A round funding from Horizons Ventures. The Hong Kong VC is a leading investor in some of the world’s most innovative companies and disruptive technologies including that is a leading investor in Waze, Facebook, Sype, Spotify. Previous investors in Modern Meadow include Sequoia Capital, Artis Ventures, Iconiq Capital and Peter Thiel’s Breakout Labs, with support from Singularity University’s Labs program.

DLD15 Talk;

Interesting Irish Fact regarding meat;

  • Ireland is the 5th largest beef exporter in the world and the largest exporter of beef in Europe. Total beef production in Ireland stands at approximately 520,000 tonnes, with around 470,000 tonnes destined for export.
  • Beef production is practiced on over 100,000 farms in Ireland, many being small and extensively operated, and the sector is the second most valuable on farm enterprise in Ireland after dairy production.
  • Meat accounts for over 40% of Ireland’s gross agricultural output, dominated by beef, followed by pigmeat and sheepmeat. Ireland’s meat and livestock exports account for one third of all food and drink exports.
  • Beef is, by far, the biggest category within the meat sector, accounting for 21% of food and drink exports from Ireland.


Thinking of scaling your business, or looking to IPO? Ireland is your answer. #whyireland

Hubspot, New Relic, Zendesk, Facebook all selected Ireland before their IPO, shouldn't you?

Want to learn more?

If your based in San Francisco check out IDA Ireland's  go global event

If your interested in more information about Ireland please contact me



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