B&F Business Person of the Month, November 2013 – Liam Casey, CEO, PCH International
A prominent figure in the global Irish network and a renowned international tech leader, PCH International’s Liam Casey has yet to put a business foot wrong.
2013 has been a busy year for CEO of PCH International, Cork man Liam Casey. So far this year, Casey has been appointed to the Action Plan for Jobs 2013 Group by the Irish Government; signed an MOU with the Tyndall National Institute; successfully launched an incubator programme for start-ups in Silicon Valley; and assisted two start-up clients in the PCH Accelerator programme to secure funding of over $15mn in the past two months.
A truly international business
PCH International is a supply chain management company offering integrated solutions from product design right through to fulfillment direct to hubs or the end customer. The company straddles various industries, including consumer electronics, personal computer, medical devices, telecommunication industries, and clean technologies.
Among PCH’s major clients are three of the top five personal computer companies, three of the top five telecom and networking companies, and three of the top five consumer electronics companies worldwide. The company is the market leader in supplying accessories to Apple, Sony and Samsung and its growth has rocketed in recent years – in large part due to the diverse supply chains in operation as part of the constant demand for smartphones.
With a background in the retail trade, Casey identified the enormous potential and opportunities for growth in China after attending a trade fair in Taipei in the mid-1990s and after founding the company in Cork in 1996. PCH now employs over 5,000 employees working in offices in Ireland, China and the US, with a software development team in South Africa. The company moves 10 million parts every day with an annual retail value of approximately $8bn.
Committed to assisting start-up companies, over the past two years Casey has established PCH Accelerator and Highway1. PCH Accelerator is designed to assist start-ups who are in the process of developing hardware product concepts and bringing them to commercial readiness. So far, the PCH Accelerator programme has assisted start-ups including Lark, littleBits and Lively, all of which have received substantial funding due to their involvement with Accelerator. On November 20th, LittleBits, announced that it had raised $11.1mn in a funding round led by True Ventures and Foundry Group and two new investors Two Sigma Ventures and Vegas Tech Fund. Previously, the company raised $3.65mn in Series A funding and $850,000 in seed funding, bringing its total funding to date to over $15mn.
Set up in June 2013, Highway1 is a four-month incubator programme, again with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship and consists of taught modules in San Francisco and Shenzhen, China, up to $20,000 in seed capital and mentoring from high-profile tech leaders.
A unique partnership
In October 2013, PCH signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Tyndall National Institute to support the generation and scaling of new high tech start-up companies in Ireland targeting the global market. The announcement was made at the launch of Tyndall’s five-year strategic plan which aims to contribute to the generation of over 500 new jobs in high-tech start-up companies, new multinationals investing in Ireland, and established Irish companies.
The MOU provides for close collaboration between PCH’s two programmes for start-ups, Highway1 and PCH Accelerator and Tyndall’s international network of over 200 industry clients to identify market opportunities. Potential projects will target the electronics, medical devices, energy and communication industries with research and development at Tyndall’s unique state-of-the-art research and pilot-line fabrication facilities in Cork.
Commenting on the partnership, Casey said: “We are delighted to partner with Tyndall. The research work we have seen from them is world-class, particularly in the health and wellness market, and we are both focused on promoting successful high potential hardware startups. Tyndall’s expertise in ICT hardware research, combined with PCH expertise in getting products to market, means that we are creating huge opportunities for entrepreneurs in Ireland to achieve success on a global scale.”
- Educated at Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal in Blarney, Co. Cork and Cork College of Commerce.
- Named Ernst & Young Irish Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007; Business & Finance International Irish Business Person of the Year in 2009; and All-Ireland Marketing Champion in 2012.
- Admitted as a fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Directors in June 2011.
- Appointed International Start-up Ambassador to China by Enterprise Ireland in March 2012 and as a member of the Advisory Group for the Global Irish Network by the Irish Government in April 2012.
- Patron of the Asia Pacific Ireland Business Forum.