NI entrepreneurs on major Boston trade trip
Nine Northern Ireland entrepreneurs, including the maker of a walking aid for disabled children and the man behind the province's latest plc, are taking part in a trade mission to the US.
James Leckey of Leckey - inventors of the Leckey Upsee - and Brendan Mooney from Kainos, are among the businesspeople from the region joining the EY Entrepreneur of the Year CEO retreat.
The business boot camp, which takes place in Boston on the east coast, focuses on scaling companies and preparing them for expansion.
Gareth Loye of M&M Contractors, Eamon Donnelly of Uform, Jim Wright of JMW Farms, Dr Suresh Tharma and Ashok Songra of 3fivetwo Group and Leona and Sean McAllister of Plotbox are also representing Northern Ireland on the trip.
All of them are finalists in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year competition.
They will be introduced to some of Boston's most successful start-ups and brands, and will meet academics from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Speakers at the event include TripAdvisor chief Stephen Kaufer and Sam Kennedy, whose company Fenway Sports Management owns Liverpool FC and the Boston Red Sox.
Mike McKerr, managing partner of EY Ireland, said: "The links between Ireland and the US run deep over several centuries and wide across many sectors. Massachusetts-based companies account for 14,000 jobs here, and Ireland is the sixth largest exporter and eleventh largest importer to Massachusetts.
"This heritage and Ireland's business reputation presents a significant opportunity for these companies, and we look forward to introducing our community to some of Boston's pre-eminent business leaders and academics, so that they can learn from the best and take their businesses to the next stage."