Joe Gorman started his work with Enterprise Ireland in August of 2020 and is based out of Boston, Massachusetts. He works primarily in the Life Sciences sector, which ranges from MedTech and pharma to newer sub-sectors like digital and connected health as well as Agritech and Industrial Tech. In early November 2021, we met with Joe Gorman to share his insights on the sectors he works in as well as the personal experiences he has had while working with them.
Q: What excites you most about the sectors you are working in?
A: The exciting thing about working in Life Sciences for the past year has been seeing how our client companies have found the silver lining in the cloud of a global crisis. Ireland is one of the top five medtech hubs in the world and ranked 5th in the world for exports of COVID-19 related goods. A sizable number of client companies managed to pivot into a new vertical to respond to the pandemic and produce essential products and contribute to a society tackling a major crisis. An example of this is the forklift company Combilift who developed the Combi-Ventilate, a splitter device that turns one ventilator into multiple ventilator stations, in only 5 weeks after meeting with medical device experts in March of 2020. Aside from the pandemic response, I’m lucky to work in sectors that are embracing innovation with open arms whether it is a radical form of cutting edge tech or introducing a new methodology to improve the efficiency of an outmoded process like HealthBeacon has done with their medication management solution.
Q: What is your favorite ‘fun fact’ you’ve learned since working in that sector?
A: It’s hard to pick one fun fact, but one particularly fascinating trend in Life Sciences is how healthcare systems are bringing care closer to the patient with custom telehealth and digital health solutions. COVID-19 may have been the catalyst for this, but it’s a trend that is here to stay. In the Agritech sector, I’m intrigued by how climate change and sustainability commitments at a state and federal level in the US will affect the market, particularly in the areas of water and nutrient management.
Q: Who are some of the client companies you work with?
A: I work with a wide range of companies from established market players like Modular Automation to high-potential startups like Feeltect and T-Pro. It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to work with a variety of companies. You’re able to provide value in different ways depending on what stage they are at in the US, from the initial stages of market entry to strategic support later in their journey.
Q: What are some accomplishments of client companies you’ve worked with that you are most excited about?
A: On the Agri side, Piper Systems is currently the only player in their space that is an FDA-approved for-payment device for milk collection in the US. Going through that process was lengthy and challenging, but they are now uniquely placed to expand their presence in the US. Auranta is another pioneering company making a big impact in the US. They have developed products that demonstrably improve gut health in animals and can make a huge impact in the US biotech sector in the coming years.
Q: Has there been an innovation/product from one of your clients that really blew you away?
A: On the Life Sciences side, SymPhysis Medical is working on a fascinating product tackling malignant pleural effusions (MPEs) using innovative drainage technology that greatly improves patients’ quality of life. I’m also really excited to see Output Sports continue its fine progress in 2022. They have developed incredible technology that measures multiple components of athletic performance and tracks training programs with a single wearable sensor. I’m not the only one that is blown away. Both of these innovations have generated real excitement in the US, and I’m excited to see how SymPhysis and Output grasp the opportunity in the coming months.
Q: What are some projects you’ve enjoyed working on?
A: It was great to be involved with Med In Ireland global conference in November of this year. It’s the flagship event for the Irish Life Sciences sector and takes a huge amount of preparation from both the staff working in Ireland and the overseas network. Bringing together hundreds of Irish client companies and thought leaders from 30+ countries is no mean feat, and pulling it off in a virtual setting (for the first time) brought an entirely new set of challenges. Earlier this summer, our Boston office held a three-day US Medtech Masterclass aimed at Irish high-potential startups devising their strategy for US market entry that included sessions on establishing in the US, regulation, and reimbursement, navigating the clinical trial process, and market strategy for healthcare systems.!
Q: What do you enjoy most about being a Market Executive for EI?
A: I really enjoy the strategic side of the role: helping our clients gain a greater understanding of the US market, refining their go-to-market strategy, and enabling the development of a roadmap for success. I’ve gleaned a ton of knowledge about guiding a business through uncertainty and dealing with complex issues from sourcing funding to supply chain shocks. I’m also grateful to work with a talented, supportive team that even when we were all working remotely for several months and had not met, managed to make every day fun!
Q: What EI accomplishments are you most proud of that you’ve seen while working as a Market Executive?
A: On a macro level, EI provided stellar support to client companies through the toughest days of the pandemic with the Sustaining Enterprise Fund. Seeing the work that colleagues put into that initiative was inspiring, and you could see how crucial it was to the companies we work with. Enterprise Ireland was founded to support entrepreneurship and Irish ambition, so this was a great example of that in action.
Q: What are you looking forward to most in 2022?
A: I’m looking forward to our client companies having the ability to travel. I know that travel restrictions lifting will be a huge boost to some of our client companies that would normally visit the US several times a year. On a personal level, I’m also looking forward to taking part in more in-person events and meeting some of our client companies and US partners.
Q: What makes EI a unique/great place to work?
A: I am always struck by how everyone at EI is pulling on the same oar. They all want to help Irish companies succeed, and there is an element of pragmatic patriotism that drives the different parts of the organization to act in concert. Many of us have seen the positive effect of EI in our own communities, and there is a real sense that you are part of ‘Team Ireland’. I personally find it to be a great motivator.
Q: What makes working in the New England region unique?
A: New England is the spiritual home of the Irish community in the US. With its twisting streets, Irish pubs, and capricious weather, Boston feels like a microcosm of Ireland at times! It’s great to be able to experience a new country and a new city while always feeling a kernel of your identity in the city’s core. I think this is just one reason why many Irish companies feel at ease establishing their US base in the New England area.
Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
A: I really enjoy reading, art, and watching films. I’m lucky enough to live in a hotbed of culture here in Boston, and I try to experience as much of it as I can. There are great bookshops, concert venues, and old cinemas dotted around – enough hidden gems for everyone. I also like exploring the outdoors. It’s a highly walkable city and it’s fun to see the different historical landmarks and filming locations in addition to the natural beauty of lakes, trails, and the Massachusetts coastline. Beyond that, I love experimenting with different recipes and playing music, though I’m not sure if my housemates enjoy either quite as much!
To contact Joe, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org