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An Adventure to Relaunch Limerick’s Bustling Innovation Works Venture Studio Focused on AI and Green Tech Excellence

Three female students and one male student standing in Ireland holding a blue and yellow Michigan Ross flag.

In January 2024, my team of five kicked off our Multidisciplinary Action Project for term three of the Weekend MBA experience. The Ross School of Business MAP course, for me, is the pinnacle of the MBA curriculum because you get to take what you have learned across your first two terms and apply it to a business endeavor to drive real impact in an organization. 

While there were 30+ projects to choose from, I chose the Innovation Works project in Limerick, Ireland, led by Michigan Ross faculty advisor Len Middleton, a start-up founder himself. I knew that by working with entrepreneurial-minded leaders who wanted to bring greater innovation to Limerick, I would not only learn a ton but also would be empowered to add meaningful value, which would have a lasting impact on the bustling Irish community. 

Photo of male student and female student discussing a project next to a computer in a cafe in Ireland. Our team's charter was to create a business plan to relaunch Limerick’s Innovation Works as a new venture studio/incubator that focuses on promoting and quickly scaling high-tech artificial intelligence and green technology start-ups. Given the ecosystem and natural resources in Ireland, these two areas could be some of the most lucrative business opportunities for the nation over the next 20 years.

Our sponsors, John Dillon, Jack Bourke, and Tom Carroll, are veterans of innovation in Ireland, so our team knew we had to make them proud when coming up with a multifaceted business plan that would address the needs of the Irish government, multinationals in the region, universities, and start-up talent. In order to complete this rather complex project at hand, our team utilized the wonderful resources at the Ross Kresge Library and their 100+ research databases to identify the newest trends in venture studios and investments in AI and green tech.

Using both the Ross alumni network and our faculty advisors’ network, we set up interviews with more than 20 stakeholders across government, academia, multinational corporations, corporate venture capital firms, incubators, and entrepreneurs to identify collaborative opportunities and obtain real stakeholder feedback. While our project is still progressing this term, I have no doubt that we are on the right track for success and believe we will be able to deliver a quality product to our sponsors.

Even before starting MAP, I had a feeling that I was going to love the experience. Outside of doing the work with our sponsors while in the country, we were also able to see and taste cuisines from the many towns across Ireland, which was just the cherry on top, or, as I like to say, the “head on top of the Guinness!” Just one month into the term, I love being able to work in a group with diverse teammates from different backgrounds, including finance, software engineering, nursing, and my own background in corporate strategy. I believe we are helping drive an impactful strategy that will create a sustainable business plan for the Innovation Works organization and also help further cultivate innovation in AI and green tech in the heart of Limerick, Ireland.


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