Focus on DkIT-RDC Client, GECKO Governance
Founded by: Shane Brett
Supports: New Frontiers, HPSU - Start, Incubation, Student Placements, Student - Employees
GECKO Governance founder Shane Brett.
Shane Brett has a background in consulting and professional service companies for over 18 years working all over the world where he specialised in hedge funds, asset management and the wider global economy. He is an author of two books in this sector. In 2013 with a family on the way, Shane had a desire to relocate home to Dundalk after many years in London where he ran a successful boutique hedge fund consultancy called Global Perspectives and also to develop a software solution for the consultant sector to be named “Consulting Manager”
The solution would centralise and automate the consulting process for consultancies and professional service companies, making life much easier, increasing productivity, rates of recovery and allow his clients to increase their consultancy revenues.
The Birth of Gecko Governance
Dundalk, when Shane returned, was a much different place from the one he left many years before. Most of the people he knew from school and college had moved away and he didn’t have as strong a network as he imagined. This was Shane’s first task – to get out and network and build a robust business network around him and his fledgling business.
Attending a Digital Dundalk event Shane first came in contact with DkIT’s Regional Development Centre and over the next 4 years the Centre would become a valuable source of support and advice.
The first support Shane would avail of was the New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme at DkIT. By joining this Enterprise Ireland programme delivered in DkIT, Shane had the opportunity to meet fellow early stage start-ups, knowledgeable mentors and trainers and to have his business idea robustly challenged. Rebranding to GECKO, Shane conducted extensive Market Validation and as a result he found the real burning pain his customers were experiencing was not to manage their consultancy projects but in managing the extensive and complex financial rules and procedures that governs their industry. Hence GECKO Governance the product was born. Built on newly emerging Blockchain technology (a buzzword in the sector that few really understood) gave Shane the opportunity to build his reputation and that of GECKO as experts in this field and to help position them at the forefront of this compliance and technology wave. Exiting the new Frontiers Programme GECKO were accepted onto Enterprise Ireland’s HPSU – Start programme which supports High Potential Start-Up companies.
Shane needed to build the team quickly and naturally turned to DkIT’s academic, research and student population to do so. He also needed somewhere to house the growing business and took a small office in the incubation centre in DKIT. Engaging with DkIT’s Student Placement Programme, GECKO had the opportunity to build capability quickly and also were able to see how the students performed in a business environment. After a few months Shane realised he had fallen upon his first hires as each of the placement students possessed excellent skills.
An International Company Headquartered in Dundalk
Success in the InterTrade Ireland Seedcorn competition followed in 2016 where GECKO came second overall and won the New Start Category (and €50,000 in cash). This process put GECKO’s business plan through intense scrutiny and shortly afterwards GECKO started receiving calls from many of the world’s venture capital funds and investors and resulted in them closed a $1 Million deal with Cosimo Ventures.
As the team continues to expand GECKO have taken additional and larger offices in the Regional Development Centre and now have offices in New York and Sydney and are closing commercial deals in the States, Europe and Australia. Shane is confident the company will remain headquartered in Dundalk where he hopes it will grow to be a $Billion business in the years to come.