Northern Promise: How Connected Hubs are helping one tech firm grow out of Donegal
30 November 2023 By Leah Fairman
‘Donegal Business of the Year’ winners 2021, Secora Consulting, have discovered a growing space for tech in Donegal, thanks to their use of Connected Hubs.
“We don’t have a requirement to be in big cities every day,” begins Phil Graham, Director and co-founder of cybersecurity company Secora, “but it’s important to have boots on the ground there now and again - many of our clients are based in Dublin, for example. We can be more distributed.”
For Secora - a security-focused business who offer penetration testing and other services to clients with high security needs - that meant securing a location close to where its founders Phil and Philip (and no, that’s not a misprint!) live in Donegal.
After starting the business in 2018, they learned quite soon that not just any space would do. “We originally got some hot desks in a facility here, and quickly realised we couldn’t really operate our business there,” says Phil. “We were dealing with sensitive information, company data. With people sitting around us we couldn’t really talk to our clients, we couldn’t deal with data being on our screens. We needed something a little bit more dedicated.”
That location was The Base Enterprise Centre in Stranorlar, which the company still use for all its onsite and team work today. “Our setup is that we have our own space at The Base,” explains the Director. “Anyone who wants to use it can, for lots of different purposes - and we meet up every quarter for on-sites where the whole company is together. We’ve got people in Louth, Tipperary, Dublin, dotted about - they can come together at the hub for a day.”
For a business who conduct much of their work in the digital space, Phil believes the in-person nature of working at the Connected Hub has been key to their growth and team happiness. In fact, the company scooped ‘Donegal Business of the Year’ in 2021, just three years after setting up shop. “It’s part of our culture,” he smiles. “We promote a lot of interaction between everybody on the team - being in the one location makes communication easier, things flow easier on those days.”
Secora Consulting has seen the advantages of a changing relationship to workspaces up close. “The world is moving away from a big office - of course there are still companies who have those needs - but since Covid the world has changed,” says Phil. “If you took a building in Dublin, the lease would be quite substantial - Connected Hubs lets you minimise your overheads, which is always a good thing. You can spend on the things you really need to.
“It’s about having your own space,” he continues. “But it’s also about community: you can go in there and close the door, yes, but the community of the hub is brilliant. There are great companies there too - ours is a digital hub with technically like-minded people. Ideas can bounce around and there’s a good rapport.” And with the company expanding into further hubs in Dublin as new joiners fill out their ranks, Phil, Philip and the whole team are delighted to ‘connect the Connected Hubs’ and continue reaping the benefits of this new approach to achieving company goals.
Along with Secora Consulting’s space at The Base in Stranorlar, the Connected Hubs network offers a host of flexible working spaces for businesses at over 300 locations across Ireland. Find out what sort of space would suit your business’ needs here.