Page last updated at 13:29 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 14:29 UK

Irish-American technology link-up

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Irish-American technology executives are seeking to build trans-atlantic links

A technology executive originally from east Belfast is leading a group of Irish-Americans keen to strengthen the links between the technology sectors in the US and Ireland.

David Kirk, grew up off the Ravenhill Road, before going to American and beginning to work in the technology sector.

He was a team-leader at IBM, AOL and is now senior Vice President with Cisco, as well as leading the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG).

It has organised 'Silicon Valley comes to Ireland', a conference on Wednesday where potential Northern Ireland start-ups and entrepreneurs can learn how to engage with venture capitalists and other investors.

David Kirk explained that there was a group of Irish-American technology executives wanting to pass on the knowledge that helped them succeed.

"There's a very active community in Silicon Valley. We end up drinking in the same bars and saying the same things," he said.

"We have all got to the point in our lives when we have achieved some success and we just want to give back.

"There are no strings attached. We just want more people to be able to enjoy the same success as we have had."

A lack of confidence put some Irish start-ups at a disadvantage compared to their transatlantic rivals, he added.

"I have evaluated somewhere north of 100 business plans in the last year and a good rule of thumb is that when I get a US business plan, I divide the projected revenue by two because that is how people exaggerate.

"But when I get one from Ireland I multiply it by five."

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