Dublin City University is Ireland’s university of Transformation and Enterprise and the DCU Ryan Academy is a leader in entrepreneurial & innovation practice.

We believe that entrepreneurs – social and commercial – are the key drivers of tomorrow’s innovations and integral to creating thriving societies.

Our mission is to promote and accelerate early stage entrepreneurship in Ireland and we do this through our leading entrepreneur & startup programmes and through events and activities which support broader entrepreneur and startup ecosystem development.



Formed over ten years ago, the DCU Ryan Academy is a collaboration between Dublin City University – Ireland’s University of Enterprise – and the family of Tony Ryan, one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs.

We provide a unique home where entrepreneurs are supported. Helping them transform great ideas into successful businesses. Our mission is bigger and more ambitious than all of us combined. Like all of our entrepreneurs – we can’t achieve it alone.

Together we can create more impact and build a more entrepreneurial Ireland.

Our Team

Donal Brady


Donal is an entrepreneur with experience in the financial services & online education sectors. Donal has successfully scaled and exited businesses and worked with hundreds of SMEs as a trusted advisor with a focus on business strategy and execution. He has third level qualifications in business and digital innovation. He is passionate about accelerating early stage businesses and supporting emerging entrepreneurs.

Tel: 01 7006786



Niamh Collins is the Chief Operations Officer at the DCU Ryan Academy. Niamh is responsible for the design of the Academy’s range of programmes, with overall responsibility for programme management and delivery, event management and the whole customer experience. Niamh has led the Academy’s development and delivery of the “Female High Fliers” programme since 2014. Outside of the DCU Ryan Academy’s own programme offerings, Niamh designs and manages programmes for the Academy for Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, ISAX, MRCI and DCU Invent. Programme management and direction for the Academy Hackathon Weekends also come under Niamh's remit.

Tel: 01 7006786



Maura is the DCU Ryan Academy’s Sales & Events Coordinator with responsibility for event organisation and delivery, venue hire and customer liaison. Maura is the first point of contact for everyone visiting or attending the Academy and ensures that everyone is given a warm welcome. Maura joined the Academy in 2012 after a successful career working in insurance compliance and underwriting.
Contact Maura: maura.jones@ryanacademy.dcu.ie

Tel: 01 7006786



Siobhán is DCU Ryan Academy’s Finance Co-Ordinator. Siobhán has been with the Academy since early 2016. Siobhán’s role plays an important part across all programmes and is responsible for working in collaboration with other support teams, such as Finance, Procurement and HR, on a range of financial aspects. The Finance Co-Ordinator ensure’s the smooth operation of the Finance Department’s administration. Siobhán has enjoyed an extensive career within the finance sector and brings a wealth of expertise to the role.

Contact Siobhan: siobhan.kavanagh@ryanacademy.dcu.ie
Tel: 01 7006765



Shane Carter works extensively on the coordination and delivery of startup & entrepreneurial programmes and events. Shane is motivated to help early-stage startups grow; he combines his DCU Business Studies degree with his passion for technology and startups. Shane previously worked for Web Summit - the world's largest tech event - on their startup's team.

In DCU Ryan Academy, Shane has worked on coordinating the ECIU Startup Discovery Journey programme (a student startup focused programme with participants from different European universities) and Dublin City University's ``UStart`` student startup accelerator programme. Shane also supports the Propeller Shannon startup accelerator and Mentoring for Scale activities. Shane is also hackathon enthusiast and has been involved on both sides of Startup Weekend hackathons as a participant and on the event team of DCU Ryan Academy hackathon events.

Contact Shane: shane.carter@ryanacademy.dcu.ie
Tel: 01 7006770

Grzegorz Piekar

FoodBox Café Manager

The Food Box Café is designed to deliver a healthy and fresh approach to food.
The café main focus is, fresh shaker salads individually designed by the customer, sandwiches made to order using the freshest ingredients from a wide variety of meats, cheeses, salads and dressings, hot food options ie. pies, quiches, soup and grab and go items.
Our focus is on providing a high quality fresh option for all customers. The freshness and choice of products is our priority at all times.

Contact Grzegorz: trispacera@dcu.ie
Tel: 01 700 6769