Kerry offers chance to work hard, play harder
With a love for making sense of numbers, Emily Brick turned her passion into a business by building a suite of analytics products which assist schools in supporting students to achieve their academic potential through ongoing analysis of exam results.
Now living in Tralee, Co Kerry, Emily previously worked in Dublin for five years, but made the move back home to start her own company. “Setting up in Kerry made sense, the cost of living is much cheaper, so there’s a lot less expenses to worry about and I have a great support network around me.”
Her plan was always to go back to Dublin once the company was up and running, but after setting up in Kerry – which is perfectly situated along the Atlantic Economic Corridor (AEC), she realized there was no need to leave. “Life in Kerry is easier, there’s no commute and it’s much more affordable. And there’s a lovely sense of community here, local business people have been very helpful and very willing to give me their time, help and advice.”
Emily was inspired to set up Athena Analytics in 2017 after spending a year working in the Department of Education in Melbourne, Australia. “I saw lots of ways that schools in Melbourne were analysing their exam results and after doing some research found that schools in Ireland did not have the same processes in place.” The main product, the Athena Tracker, provides an immediate view of how a student is progressing in terms of their own potential and as a result no student is getting lost within a very busy school system.
Over 200 are now using the Athena Analytics products, but the setting up process wasn’t all smooth sailing. “Initially I worked from my parents’ house in Barrow and had great difficulty with Wi-Fi access and even mobile phone coverage – I had to stick my head out the window or run out to the garden to get a good signal for a phone call – but after moving into HQ Tralee things become a lot smoother. I have great Wi-Fi access, good phone coverage and a landline. It’s a very professional space and there’s room for growth.”
Emily also has bright plans for the future, having begun a new project with some of the third level institutions in Ireland which will be launched soon and she’s hoping to add more staff to her current team of two. “I teach at CoderDojo in Tralee, so between the student teachers and the kids, I can see the young talent emerging in Kerry, I look forward to expanding the business here. Plus, I’m a big fan of the outdoors, so Kerry and its beautiful Atlantic coastline has a lot to offer me. It’s easy to get around, so you can use your free time productively rather than sitting in traffic. You can leave work in Tralee at 5pm and be in the sea at Banna Beach by quarter past 5.”