Bank of Ireland Workbench: Darko Knezevic is Workbench and Community Manager of Bank of Ireland’s Workbenches in Dublin Central.
There are Workbenches across Ireland; in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Kilkenny, Kerry and Donegal.
SNE: What is Bank of Ireland Workbench?
Darko: Bank of Ireland Workbench is a multifunctional hot-desk and community event space that Bank of Ireland introduced 5 years ago. We offer:
- A hot-desk area, open for everyone – there are no bookings or reservations needed
- An events space for communities and businesspeople (subject to availability)
- Fully-closed meeting rooms and open meeting areas
You can work from here, hold meetings and collaborate with colleagues and clients. In this modern and comfortable space you can also enjoy free tea and coffee – and the use of free WiFi – as you discuss your plans, develop your ideas and make new connections.
As an events space we are open to all, to run seminars, meetups, workshops and other events to help local enterprises and the community. More about Workbenches can be found here.
SNE: What notable events have happened in your Workbenches?
Darko: In the Grand Canal Square and Trinity Workbenches I’m looking after, we’ve hosted over 2,000 events in the past five years, including the launch of a company called Startup Network Europe. 🙂 In total we’ve had more than 40,000 people visiting us for something outside of banking activities.
Our events have included an Ireland-Mexico Trade Conference, a variety of sales seminars, hackathons, company and product launches, charity events, live gigs, yoga sessions, photo exhibitions and more.
SNE: If we go to your Workbench, can we network with other Startups?
Darko: Sure, we encourage it actually! The coffee machine is like a conversation point here and there’s plenty of space to chat, network and collaborate. We have some great Start-ups working from our space: from early stage ventures, to big success stories!
To see more of the atmosphere from the Workbench, please have a look at the video from the Christmas party we did for Workbench users:
SNE: What is the best thing and biggest challenge for Startups setting up in Ireland?
Darko: There are many advantages for setting up a Start-up in Ireland – for one, it’s very easy to open a business here in comparison to most countries across the world, there’s loads of support, Ireland is very well connected with other countries and the Irish tax system is one of the best in EU for businesses.
Dublin is also considered the tech capital of Europe and our Grand Canal Square Workbench is only a few steps away from the European Headquarters of companies like Facebook and Google. It makes Dublin an amazing city for networking.
In terms of challenges, each business has different problems they are facing, but one of the first issues for most of them is the office space. Bank of Ireland Workbench is an easy solution for that problem!