CoLab is an innovation centre based on the Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) campus. It provides flexible office space, and outstanding facilities, for high-potential start-ups. CoLab is a community of entrepreneurs and a culture of collaboration.
Proven experience for high potential start ups.
What began as an incubation space in Donegal has grown into a widely respected ‘innovation ecosystem’ for technology and export start-ups. Over 200 entrepreneurs have already turned their business ideas into profitable commercial enterprises here, many have grown to operate successfully in global markets. Between them, companies at CoLab have created over 1000 jobs, and raised millions in investment and competitive grants. CoLab companies are leading the way in exciting innovation, some of the ideas under development include: life saving drone software, sensory wearable technologies, digital creativity, and toy manufacturers promoting a positive body image.
Whatever stage you’re at, wherever you’re based now, we can help.
Currently we accommodate over 60 technology or export focused businesses at various stages of development. Perhaps you’re thinking about returning home to start a tech business, many of the entrepreneurs at CoLab have done exactly that. Our strategy is to provide customised support, designed for business growth, that focuses on the entrepreneur. Our experience and links to international innovator, research, and industry networks make that possible. Along the way we offer plenty of encouragement and coffee too. Talk to us about your ideas and what you need to get the ball rolling.
Locating your business or organisation in CoLab will offer you a number of distinct advantages.
- Excellent connections to businesses, markets, people, graduates
- International alliances and research partnerships
- Technology enabled to the highest level
- A community of collaboration and sharing success
- Networking opportunities
- Purpose built modern facility
- Flexible space in signature building
- A proven knowledge ecosystem on campus
- Positive environment with like-minded people
From high-speed broadband to an endless supply of tea bags, CoLab have all the facilities your business needs.
Flexible work spaces
At CoLab we off a wide range of work space solutions. From large offices to hot desks in the co-working area we have space to fit any size of business. Many of our large companies started in our co-working area then moved through office sizes. That’s one of the benefits of joining CoLab, your space will grow with your business.
We have a variety of meeting rooms equipped with VTC and teleconferencing equipment. We also have a large conference room and a seminar room which are available to book for a small fee.
Make connections while you’re making a cuppa! Our Canteen is fully equipped with tea, coffee, milk, fridges, hot water and microwaves. Lots of tables and chairs and some comfy couches for taking a break.
As we are based on the LYIT campus all our businesses and visitors have access to the LYIT car park. CoLab office spaces also come with one space allocated in our private car park.
Coffee Shop and Restaurant
All CoLab clients have access to the LYIT restaurant, Starbucks and Costa Coffee shops. There are also numerous coffee shops and restaurants in walking distance of the campus.
CoLab Clients have access to the LYIT gym including the fitness classes. Located in An Danlann, across from the CoLab building, the gym also has a sports hall and playing pitches that are available for CoLab use.
Proven expertise in working with high potential startups.
Whether you’re still at concept stage or you’re an established company ready to grow, the CoLab team offers you a wealth of experience and enthusiasm. We’ll draw on our exceptionally broad experience in the technology and knowledge sectors to maximise your commercial prospects. Our aim is to accelerate innovation lifecycles. We achieve this by connecting you to the right information and people at key stages; whether you need to develop new products, or reach new markets, or even source highly qualified graduates. CoLab means direct access to innovator and knowledge networks on the island of Ireland and Europe. That’s a lot of proven experience to tap in to.
Vice President of Research, Equality and External Affairs — Letterkenny IT
John Andy Bonar is Vice President of Research, Equality and External Affairs at Letterkenny IT and holds Institute wide senior management responsibility for Research, Enterprise and Innovation, Internationalisation, Lifelong Learning and External Engagement. John Andy is a director of three not for profit Community, Sporting and Enterprise Development organisations. He holds a significant number of Regional, Cross-Border, National and International representational roles on behalf of LYIT. John Andy is a graduate of NUI Galway with B.Comm (Hons) and M.Econ.Sc (Hons) degrees as well as a range of other continuing Professional Development Qualifications. He worked previously for 10 years in the private sector in Management Consulting in Ireland, and the Construction Industry in the UK before joining LYIT 35 years ago. He joined LYIT as Lecturer in Business and was previously Head of School of Business before assuming his current role in 2007.
Patsy Donaghy is the CoLab Centre Manager at Letterkenny Institute of Technology. He is responsible for managing the day to day affairs, and strategic direction of the centre, as well as providing a welcoming, supportive environment for people with business ideas. Patsy is also involved in helping start-up companies based in the centre identify new opportunities and markets and has devised strategies to attract the right type of clients to the centre. Along with IT Sligo, Patsy is involved in the management of a national entrepreneur development programme called New Frontiers which has proved to be the most successful enterprise development programme in the North West. Patsy believes that having access to the research facilities at LYIT and being able to link in with the academics is crucial in helping companies become more innovative. He also sees the development of Soft Skills, and the ability to help companies to network among themselves and also with local, regional, national, EU and industrial development agencies and organisations, as vitally important. He is a member of the European BIC Network, the United Kingdom Science Park Association, and the Centre Managers Group. The latter being the umbrella group for the Institute of Technologies Incubation Centres in Ireland. He is also a former member of the Gate2Growth incubator forum, a European wide network of incubators and as such traveled extensively in Europe visiting incubation centres. He holds a BBS Honours degree specializing in Accountancy from the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) and an MSc in Enterprise Development for Enterprise Centre Managers from Waterford Institute of Technology. Prior to working for LYIT Patsy worked for UNIFI, a large multi-national polyester yarn manufacturer where he was involved in the international sales office.
Áine Friel is the Communications Officer at CoLab. She is responsible for marketing, PR, social media and internal communications as well as the day to day administration of the CoLab. She has a broad range of marketing and communications experience having worked as a consultant for start-up businesses and in-house for some major blue chip organisations. Áine has also lectured in Advertising and Consumer Behaviour. She is a graduate of DCU with a BA (Hons) Communication Studies and MSc Advertising from DIT.
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