What do Patrick Collison, John Collison, and Terry Cavanagh have in common? They are all Irish-born entrepreneurs on Forbes’ “30 under 30” list. Named the “Celtic Tiger” in the 1990s and persevering through the 2000’s Great Recession, Ireland has been a hub for genius and entrepreneurship. For these reasons, University of Colorado – Denver Business School professor Jan Rutherford led a group of students to the Republic of Ireland for the Maymester course Leadership and Entrepreneurship in Ireland.

Spanning May 23 to June 6, the students attended leadership seminars and completed projects with five Irish start-ups: Sports Vantage, Abrivia, Groupnos, Billfaster, and Startup Ireland. On just the first day, the students received leadership counsel from Andrew Parish (IP Activation group), Professor Patrick Cunningham (University College of Dublin), Paul Byrne (Trintech), Peter Lennonx (Enterprise Ireland), and Kieran Daly (Biobusiness). While working on their startup projects, the class had opportunities to travel around Ireland to Dublin and Belfast, including the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, to learn key cultural insights about Ireland.

The class shared many wonderful memorable moments:


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