Eoin Hayes - The Tara Building

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.

I started my first business when I was 10, playing the pipes at weddings and funerals in rural America. I qualified as a chemical engineer and then became a management consultant in New York City. By 2015, I was working in Silicon Valley as a special projects manager in Palantir Technologies. I returned to Ireland in 2017 and founded Cantillon Labs to develop the European startup tech ecosystem by helping entrepreneurs, investors, and tech leaders scale their companies globally.

What is your favourite fail?

When I was 15, I got a B in English in my Junior Cert. So, every week in 5th and 6th year, I wrote an extra essay on top of my homework to get better at writing. I read and re-read Hamlet 6 times (I can recite a lot of the play today), and I dedicated twice as much time to English than any other subject. I still got a B at Leaving Cert. The lessons from that experience: you have to be in the right mindset on the day you’re going to be tested. Preparing yourself mentally to perform is just as important as all the preparation, study, and work you do beforehand.