“Award recipients demonstrate Ireland’s best digital businesses are innovating beyond the current challenges caused by the pandemic” DAI 2021
Leading digital representative body, Digital Business Ireland, announced the winners and runners-up of their inaugural Digital Awards on Friday February 26th. Digital Business Ireland in partnership with title sponsor, permanent tsb, launched the Digital Awards in October 2020 to promote and mark best practice in digital businesses, digital innovation and the people that power them. Over 300 businesses and individuals entered the 2020 Award series across thirteen categories and Waterford’s leading city centre cowork space Boxworks was amongst five finalists in the ‘Innovation Hub of The Year’ 2020 category. At the inaugural Digital Business Ireland virtual award night Boxworks Co.Work.Space were named runner up with Dublin based Dogpatch Labs, the largest and most innovative Hub in Ireland.
Lorraine Higgins, Secretary General DAI stated that in the first round of the awards, DAI 2020 received 300 applications across 13 categories and the standard was extraordinarily high, “the exceptional calibre of follow-up submissions made by Boxworks and their fellow finalists meant that the second-round judging panel had an even harder task at discerning who should be named winner and runner-up. In light of this, it is a truly remarkable achievement to emerge as a runner-up from this highly competitive process.”
When asked about what this award means to Boxworks, Emer Ward Powell, Facilitator, said “this has been a rollercoaster of an experience. In October 2020 we were named winners of The Republic of Ireland Prestige Award for The Most Innovative Office Space Solutions, 2020, and then in the same month we were named one of five finalists in the DAI 2020 ‘ Best Innovation Hub of The Year’ category. To be named runner up with Dogpatch Labs, the largest and most inspiring innovation Hub in Ireland makes us truly proud of what we have achieved in 2020. However, we are only as good as our community and this award really belongs to the Boxworks cowork community, sponsors and supporters. I see it as an acknowledgement of what we have achieved together, despite this ‘new normal’ and all that it has thrown at us in 2020. This is a good day for Boxworks!“
Speaking with Jim Gordon, (Director, Boxworks) about the challenges of COVID 19 on coworking spaces he explains “since March 2020, Boxworks has been adapting, moving forward, finding that space between where coworking | Remote working needs to be now and where it is going in the future and while our focus may have shifted as we adapt to Government restrictions, Boxworks continues to be 100% committed to supporting startups, emerging entrepreneurs and the SME’s.”
When asked about plans for 2021, Jim Gordon noted that there were several projects being explored ” one of our current programmes that is being continued is our Scholarship Desk Programme. This programme was launched in 2016 with the BOI to support startups and emerging entrepreneurs and in 2019 Boxworks then joined forces with Waterford Local Enterprise Office and the programme is currently providing desk space up to six months for participants awarded a place on the programme. To date this popular programme was fully subscribed in 2020.
Another project Jim discussed was “Grow Your Business Programme” , this programme is designed and delivered by the Rustle Group, Vinny Lynch and John Gannon who between them have over 25 years experience working with start-ups, SMEs and fast growing companies, Jim Said. “
Speaking about the future of coworking Jim Gordon notes “We are living through a challenging time and while the processes might be changing, coworking has not stopped – it is adapting, as are we, and we believe this ‘new normal’ brings an opportunity to redesign the way we connect with the world of enterprise – it’s opening up alternatives for the remote workforce who might be struggling with an often insular and disconnecting working environment and they are looking to reconnect, to be part of something, and a coworking community is the ideal solution for companies and their remote workers….that’s where we come in, so yes, we think the future looks bright for coworking.”