The final GROWTHhub guest speaker series took place on Wednesday, 19 April, where Terry Clune, CEO of CluneTech, shared his entrepreneurial journey with the SETU community.
Terry’s taste for entrepreneurship began early and some of his most insightful lessons came from his youth. At the age of 8, Terry began his very first business, selling fertilizer bags to wood merchants, earning enough to keep him in chocolate and buy a brand-new BMX bike. He had achieved success, but the rug was swiftly pulled from under his feet when another boy in his hometown poached all his customers by selling them an even better product. “Look at what someone else is doing and learn how to do it slightly better” is a lesson Terry lives by and he has channelled this into all his business ventures since then.
Terry enthralled the audience with stories from his days as a university student, where he saw opportunities to help fellow students secure work in Germany over the summer. Having promised 120 students that they could claim their overpaid German tax back, Terry was determined to figure out how it could be done. Terry's persistence paid off and the idea for Taxback.com, was born.
Terry’s academic anecdotes were comforting to students as he explained he was not the most successful in his school years. He emphasised how attitude and determination are the key steps in becoming successful in any career, particularly when starting your own business. “You need to have the cop-on to not give up when a few people keeping saying no, because the right people will eventually say yes to your idea”.
CluneTech is a group of businesses that offers market-leading solutions for streamlining international trade. Their technology simplifies tasks like cross-border payments, global payroll, tax compliance, and global VAT, improving business for every customer. Even though CluneTech is a global enterprise, leadership is kept local. Terry is very proud to have his main headquarters based in the South-East region of Ireland with his main office in Kilkenny.
The event was coordinated by Dr. Joanne Malone, School of Humanities in conjunction with Dr. Margaret Tynan, GROWTHhub. GROWTHhub is a Higher Education Authority Human Capital Initiative Pillar 3 collaborative project involving Technological University Dublin (TUD) and South East Technological University (SETU). The GROWTHhub project mission is to encourage growth and entrepreneurial mindsets among our students. GROWTHhub is part of the SETU entrepreneurial support network, which fosters and encourages student entrepreneurial development at all stages of academic study.