On Thursday, October 19th, Dr Eric Clinton welcomed Ray Nolan as the second guest speaker this semester for the New Enterprise Development (NED) module. Ray has been massively influential in the Irish technological sector since he began his career over 30 years ago.
Throughout his career, Ray has been involved in a variety of projects, serving as founder, CEO and Chair across many businesses, such as Hostelworld and WhatClinic. Ray is currently the founder and CEO of eDesk which since its inception in 2014 has offered a range of eCommerce tools to retailers, providing a single platform for critical elements of the eCommerce industry.
During his talk Ray noted that he would always have more than one project running at one time. For example, shortly after founding Raven, he founded Coretime in 1991. While working in these two software companies, Ray did not slow down and in 1999 founded Web Reservations International Ltd (WRI), now known as HostelWorld, and served as CEO until 2008. HostelWorld innovated the hostel reservation system, developing a seamless platform for bookings for guests and hosts alike.
Ray has also been involved in many investment projects, serving as a mentor and board member.
His perseverance and ingenuity in the technology sector has seen him achieve great success and given him the position to support and develop further projects in his field. He has since attained a master’s degree in Leadership for Growth from Stanford University.
Ray’s key lessons
Integrity is important – online and offline
Data is key – measure, integrate and measure again
Have a creative approach to financing – venture capitalism is not the only option
Evolution of the business model – companies need to reinvent themselves or they fade and die
Make it easy to buy into your plan
Enjoy what you do – Ray’s passion for rugby lead to the founding of Ultimate Rugby alongside Brian O’Driscoll.
Complimentary talents – working with others with different skillsets can benefit your business
Decisions – making a decision (even a bad one) is better than no decision at all!
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