CreateHER Advisory Board

The CreateHER program aims to further develop female focussed initiatives with an emphasis on creativity as a central tenet. To ensure that the initiative is coherent, fit for purpose and student centric IdeasLab has, through a consultative process, designed a programme that will be reviewed by an expert advisory board. The Advisory Board brings together a cross section of industry experts with a wealth of experience in entrepreneurship, academia, and multi million euro enterprises. 

Meet our expert Advisory Board

Dr Natalie

Dr Natalie Walsh |   Co-Chair CreateHER Advisory Board

Dr Natalie Walsh is the Director of Entrepreneurial Development at the University of Galway. She has worked in higher education for over sixteen years with senior roles in Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Natalie’s experience and expertise spans areas including leadership, strategic planning, project and grant management, finance and human centred design. Natalie holds an MSc in Strategy, Innovation and People Management from the University of Galway and a PhD in Trinity College Dublin using role identity theory to explore the paradox of academic researchers commercialising their research. In 2017 Natalie was awarded the WMB Boots Empowering Women Award. Natalie together with her team, are leading on two significant projects focussed on transformative change with the University - Designing Futures and a European Institute of Technology award.

Jenny Mullery |   Co-Chair CreateHER Advisory Board

Jenny Mullery is the Community and Impact Manager at University of Galway , IdeasLab. Jenny holds an MBS in Marketing, is a Qualified Financial Advisor and is currently completing a certificate in Design Thinking in the Institute of Art, Design and Technology. She worked in Financial Services for over 16 years when she was drawn back to an earlier career goal, of working with students. Joining the university of Galway in 2018, she is now working on building a community of Students, Staff and Enterprise to support and upskill the students, to allow them to take their next step.
Anna Hosty and

Anna Hosty and Carol Joyce |   Co-owners of Yourells Hair Group

Anna Hosty and Carol Joyce are co-owners of Yourells Hair Group and in business since 2005. They established their second business The Hair Vitamin Company in 2019 having created a hair vitamin supplement specifically designed for post pregnancy. They both have 25 years experience in the hairdressing industry and 20 years in management. Anna started her career here in Galway at Yourells whilst Carol trained in London before returning to her native Galway to join forces and build their business together.

Ellen  Roche |   Associate Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ellen Roche is currently an Associate Professor at the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She directs the Therapeutic Technology Design and Development Lab.  She completed her PhD at Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Her research focuses on applying innovative technologies to the development of cardiac devices. Her research includes development of novel devices to repair or augment cardiac function using disruptive approaches such as soft robotics, combination of mechanical actuation with delivery of cell therapy, and use of light activated biodegradable adhesives. Dr. Roche was employed in the medical device industry for over five years as a research and development engineer and employs her understanding of the medical device industry and the regulatory pathways to medical device commercialization in her academic research.
Dr Helen

Dr Helen McBreen |   Partner Atlantic Bridge

At Atlantic Bridge Helen manages early stage investing and leads the University Fund which focuses on investing in early stage deeptech companies built from world class research generated at leading research institutions and universities. The Fund has invested in over 40 deep tech companies that have raised over €350m in co-investment to date. Portfolio companies attracting significant international investment include Galway based Neurent Medical and and also investments in Proverum Medical, Manna and Ireland’s first quantum computing company Equal1. The Fund ranks fourth within the world’s Top 5 collaborative University Funds and is a part of a growing trend of successful university funds located at international research hubs including Cambridge, Oxford, Stanford and Harvard.
Dr Vanessa

Dr Vanessa Creaven |   Co-founder and CEO at Spotlight Oral Care

Dr Vanessa Creaven is co-founder and CEO at Spotlight Oral Care. She studied dentistry in Trinity College Dublin and King’s College London and worked with Quay Dental Clinic in Galway prior to going full-time with Spotlight Oral Care. Now, she is responsible for overseeing company organisation and ensuring core competencies within each department with a special focus on new product development and logistics. Vanessa is also mom to 2 kids under 2, Grace & Oscar as well as dog mom to Lola & Alfie. Founded in 2016 by sisters and dentists Dr. Lisa and Dr. Vanessa Creaven, Spotlight Oral Care’s goal is to create the best clean, clinically proven, effective, and earth-kind oral care products possible, while educating and promoting oral health awareness amongst patients and customers. As dentists, Dr Lisa and Dr Vanessa have a unique insight into the needs and concerns of their dental patients, which informs everything they create at the company.

Karen Gillooly |   Past Johnson and Johnson Women in STEM2D Scholar

Karen Gillooly, a 3rd year Financial Maths and Economics student, a past Johnson and Johnson Women in STEM2D Scholar in the University of Galway and former IdeasLab Intern. Previous experience as the Maths Officer in the WiSTEM Society inspiring females students to lead in their fields.

Lisa Regan |   Director of Lisa Regan PR

Lisa Regan is a communications Consultant and MD of Lisa Regan Public Relations, the firm she set up in 2012. The west of Ireland located company has worked with clients creating campaigns across multiple sectors which a key focus on lifestyle PR around experiences and people. Lisa is a very passionate person who is instinctively curious and loves working with people with passion, creativity, and drive. A core component within her work is connection, community, and accountability. Lisa works with Travel, Hospitality, Policial, Cultural, Charity, Wellbeing, Health, Sporting Organisations and Clean Energy Sustainability PR. Language shapes thinking. The way we tell a story also creates a story

Elaine Mannion |   General Manager, Abbey Theatre

Elaine Mannion is General Manager of the Abbey Theatre, and a graduate of the University of Galway. Elaine brings vast experience in leading on arts projects at Ireland’s national theatre, commercialising the arts and building customer service excellence models across the arts.

Patrick Lonergan |   Professor of Drama &Theatre Studies, University of Galway

Patrick Lonergan is Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at the University of Galway and a member of the Royal Irish Academy. He is Vice-Dean for Engagement and Student Recruitment at the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies. He has edited or written eleven books on Irish drama and theatre, is on the board of directors of the Galway International Arts Festival, and has lectured widely on Irish literature internationally, including recently in Princeton, Florence, Florianapolis (Brazil), Wroclaw, Wurzburg, Seoul, and Tokyo.