Led by Barry Downes, an integral figure in Ireland’s growing technology sector, we’re well placed to help your business thrive and grow over the long term.
Barry Downes is the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of the Suir Valley Ventures. Barry is also the Chairman of the Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) a leading international software Research Institute that specialises in AR/VR, AI and communications technologies research and development (R&D). Previously Barry was CEO of TSSG and also the Centre Director of the Mobile Services Technology Gateway (MSTG), a close to market R&D Centre that delivers advanced mobile and AR/VR technologies and solutions to leading international technology companies. Over the last three years MSTG has worked with over 110 companies based to help them with mobile and AR/VR R&D innovation.
Barry also founded FeedHenry Ltd. a leading cloud-based mobile applications platform based in Waterford, Ireland and Boston, Massachusetts. Red Hat Inc (NYSE: RHT) acquired FeedHenry for $82 million in October 2014. Barry is also currently a Member of the Board of ImmersiveVREducation Ltd. which develops the award-winning Apollo 11 virtual reality (VR) experience.
Barry has worked extensively in Silicon Valley as a Partner of SVG Partners, a San Francisco based investment and advisory firm that helps its clients with innovation, strategy and technology consulting. In this capacity Barry has worked with a number of San Francisco based firms including Lookout Inc. a global mobile security products company.
Prior to joining TSSG Barry was the Vice President of Software Services for Waterford Technologies a leading provider of cloud archiving tools, headquartered Waterford, Ireland and in Orange County, California.
Barry holds a BSc. in Applied Computing from the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and a 1.1 M.B.A. from the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business at University College Dublin (UCD). Barry also holds executive education qualifications from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Haas Business School at the University of California Berkeley and Henley Business School in the UK.
Barry’s current research interests include augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) technologies and also new types of FinTech technologies in the areas of credit and lending, digital currencies and blockchain, mobile and digital banking and new models for Foreign Exchange.
Brian is an experienced industry software, tech entrepreneur and investment manager. He has extensive corporate technology experience from product management roles at global telecom companies such as Ericsson Group and Telenor Group. Additionally, Brian has deep operational experience as a founding shareholder and board director of a number of high tech start-ups backed by international VCs including FeedHenry where he worked with Barry Downes. He has had a successful track record as a hedge fund growth capital investment manager funding over 60 companies.
Brian holds a BA in Mod Computer Science from Trinity College, Dublin, and MBA from London and Columbia Business Schools.
A lover of fresh powder and all things gnarly, Brian escapes to the mountains as often as possible. A first lift, last lift kind of guy, he has the most energy on the mountain, and his skill on the skis is pretty reasonable too.
Gareth began his career in the Insurance industry and spent 3 years at RBS Insurance prior to setting his sights on a career in the city. His financial career began as a trainee stockbroker in 2003 and he has spent his time trading Equity markets ranging from FTSE 100 companies, right through to small cap and fledgling stocks. He has developed strong and lasting relationships with corporate brokers, market makers and market professionals throughout London.
Gareth holds a Diploma in Private Client Investment Advice and Management (Level 6).
Gareth’s a keen golfer who, however, perhaps plays with more enthusiasm than skill. He’s a very effective fundraiser though, and works hard for the Rowden Foundation, which helps develop primary school aged pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds with both academic and non-academic talents.
Toby has held the role of Chief Executive Officer since 2016, having joined Shard Capital as Chief Financial Officer in 2013. Prior to this, Toby was Director, Head of CASS Operations Regulatory Control at Barclays Capital. Previously he was the Chief Operating Officer of Evolution Securities, a regulated financial services company (part of Evolution group plc), where he spent nearly 8 years, initially as Financial Controller. He also worked at Schroders and qualified as an auditor from KPMG in 2001.
Toby holds a BA in Mechanical Engineering from University of Nottingham, and is an Associate of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
A straight shooter, literally as well as figuratively, Toby is a key member of the Great Britain Rifle Team, who he recently represented on their tour of South Africa. Not only did the team bring back all of the silverware on offer, Toby achieved the highest individual score of all competitors.
Simon joined Shard Capital in January 2016 with a remit to set up a brand and marketing function. He has nearly 20 years’ marketing, communication, and product management experience at Superdrug, BSkyB, BT and Domestic & General. Along the way he has overseen a rebrand, set up a corporate PR function, managed internal comms, commissioned web projects, and executed a multitude of ATL/BTL campaigns. And in the process, managed products as diverse as pharmacies and boiler cover through to digital video recorders and remote controls. Simon graduated from the University of Warwick with a BA in History.
Simon holds a BA in History from the University of Warwick.
A dedicated Spurs fan, Simon has spent many a weekend at White Hart Lane. But with the old ground being torn down, he now escapes to his next favourite pile of rubble: a dilapidated farmhouse in the French countryside which he’s convinced will be habitable…in about a decade or so.
Andrew joined Shard Capital in 2018, with a career spanning nearly 20 years in the financial industry. Most recently, he was at Saxo Capital Markets as Head of Legal and Compliance and Company Secretary. Prior to this, he was Legal Director at Alpari UK and held management positions at both Macquarie Bank and Brewin Dolphin.
Andrew holds a CISI Investment Administration Qualification Merit Award, a CFA Investment Management Certificate and is an Associate of Chartered Institute for Securities and Institute (ACSI).
A follower of all things sport, Andrew can often be found on the golf course over the weekend, although this is sometimes crazy golf with his two young daughters.
Isabelle is a Principal at Suir Valley Ventures where she focuses on identifying and evaluating investment opportunities in areas including AR/VR, IoT and Fintech. Her previous experience has been working across the telco, technology and media sectors in London, Madrid and the Nordics.
Isabelle started her career at Telefonica on the Corporate Development & M&A team focused on acquiring and investing into companies in the following areas; SaaS, M2M, FinTech, Security, IoT and AdTech. Isabelle also supported Telefonica’s venture capital arm based in Silicon Valley with investments such as Box.com and Blueliv (Cyber Security) and also worked closely with the Wayra Academy (Telefonica’s Accelerator Programme) in London. She then went on to the Venture arm of Norwegian Media Group Schibsted, sourcing and managing Seed, Series A and upwards investments into marketplaces, prop-tech, fintech and deep tech companies.
Immediately before joining Suir Valley she worked at the Barclays Fintech Accelerator Programme powered by Techstars, working closely with start-ups and helping them to build and grow their businesses. During her career she’s been involved in numerous deals and investment decisions helping to identify potential investee companies.
Isabelle graduated with honours from University College Dublin (UCD) with a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) and Spanish. During her degree she took part in the Erasmus programme and spent a year at the University of Valencia. Thereafter she continued her education at Cass Business School with a MSc in Management, specialising in Strategy. Isabelle obtained her CIMA qualification in 2014 and is fluent in Spanish.
Isabelle is a lover of all things travel and has been known to book last minute impromptu trips if time and money will allow. However, given the choice of a sun or snow holiday she will pick the Alps or Rockies every time and will ski all day every day. Isabelle is also a keen tennis player and enjoys running the odd half marathon.
Cian Hughes is a Cambridge, UK based venture capitalist and technology entrepreneur with over 20 years operational experience in the areas of venture capital, accelerators, executive networks, software solutions, mobile platforms and supply chain operations.
Previously Cian was an executive with Lotus Inc. (now IBM), Intel Corporation and Palm Inc. as well as being Vice President of Operations for the San Francisco and San Jose, CA based Silicon Valley Global (SVG) Partners. In addition to venture capital and software executive positions, he also ran a solar manufacturing facility in Cardiff Wales and global smartphone repair, service and reverse logistics centers in the Czech Republic and the UK.
Cian holds a BSc in Mathematics and Physics from University College Dublin (UCD) and a post-graduate higher diploma in Business Management from Trinity College Dublin (TCD).