Niamh Costello takes the reins at new digital enterprise accelerator for the west

CREW, Creative Enterprise West is a brand new collaborative initiative for the Digital Creative Sector in the West announced by CREW, Co Founder and Head of School, Design and Creative Arts at GMIT Dr. Paddy Tobin and Chief Executive Niamh Costello. Both pictured at GMIT’s Cluain Mhuire Campus, CREW’s central base in the West. Key partners in this dynamic initiative are Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), the Western Development Commission (WDC) and Galway Film Centre (GFC) with current funding supports from Enterprise Ireland’s Regional Economic Development Fund. Photo Martina Regan.

Former Galway Technology Centre chief Niamh Costello has been chosen as the head of the new CREW initiative to support the development of digital enterprises in the west of Ireland.

The Creative Enterprise West Initiative has been set up as a joint initiative, with key partners here in the west of Ireland including GMIT, Galway Film Centre, and Western Development Commission.

CREW’s focus will be on the development and scaling of creative digital entrepreneurs, job creation, incubation and accelerator programmes, training, and outreach services along the Atlantic Economic Corridor. 

Plans are also underway for the development of a Centre of Excellence providing enterprise and co-working space on the GMIT Centre for Creative Arts & Media, Cluain Mhuire campus, Galway.

As the Chief Executive of CREW, Niamh Costello wealth of entrepreneurial, business and industry experience, following seven successful years as General Manager of the Galway Technology Centre.

She is also a founding member of the Galway City Innovation District, the first co-working space of which, the Portershed, is moving to expanded premises.

Niamh also holds the position of National Vice Chair and Director of the National Association of Community Enterprise Centres, NACEC which represent over 120 centres across Ireland. She’s also a previous director of Galway Chamber and Network Galway. 

“I am delighted to take up the post of Chief Executive of CREW and for the opportunity to continue building on the success of the Creative Digital sector in the west,” Niamh said of her new position.

“My passion for supporting great entrepreneurs has played an important role throughout my career and I am sincerely looking forward to working with the board of CREW, to deliver on our vision to support job creation and growth in the industry.”

CREW has been approved for funding on this project under the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund.

It aims to develop an ecosystem and a suite of business and technical support services in the West for the Digital Creative sector. Supporting enterprises in areas such as design, digital visual arts, film and TV production, animation, gaming, content development and AR/VR.

CREW is also working with Údarás na Gaeltachta on enterprise initiatives targeting the Gaeltacht.

Dr Paddy Tobin, Head of School, Design and Creative Arts at GMIT and CREW co-founder, says that it aligns perfectly with GMIT’s creative programmes, and other existing initiative from the Galway Film Centre, WDC, and local enterprise offices.

Major employers such as TG4 are also contributing important assistance and opportunities for creative entrepreneurs. All of this positive collaboration coupled with the appointment of Niamh Costello as Chief Executive makes for exciting news for the sector in 2021”

Dr Tobin praised Niamh for her track record, and passion for creating highly skilled jobs in the region.

“Her previous success in collaborating with major regional stakeholders will be significant in advancing the inherently collaborative creative industries and our plans at CREW.”


image credit: Martina Regan