David Walsh is CEO and co-founder of HaloCare, a health technology start-up informed by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The business offers “a suite of intelligent technologies supported by live, 24/7 expert medical support,” which enables older people to live independently for longer. His co-founders are Niall Kelly and Dr Johnny Walker.
What was your first job?
Officially, my first job was with Ovamass, a bio-science start-up spun out from UCD, which specialised in the area of in-vitro fertilisation of bovine embryos. But growing up on a Co. Kerry farm, the reality was that I was put to work as soon as I could walk. My parents drilled into me an excellent work ethic and so I helped out around the place as much as I could growing up. They taught me how important focus, hard work, and a positive outlook are for anyone looking to succeed.
What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?
There have been so many. I could say that Netwatch is my greatest achievement, having started up the business from scratch and growing it to a global success story with 570 staff & 250,000 customers across four continents. But, really, my greatest achievement is my family – my marriage to Beatrice and my three children, all now teenagers. They all show amazing promise and I draw inspiration from them every day.
In three words or less, how do you define success?
Making a difference
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
My mother was way before her time. She was really big into visualisation techniques, and even when my siblings and I were very young, she taught us that irrespective of what you wanted to, you had to visualise the outcome. And then, most importantly, you needed to take positive action to make it happen. I’ve applied it to every venture I’ve been involved in since, and it has never failed me to this day.
How do you motivate yourself and your staff?
For me there is no better motivation than improving the lives of others. There’s a forgotten middle-ground of aging people in our society: those who are too fit and healthy for nursing home facilities, but nevertheless need a little extra support to enable them to continue living independently in their own homes.
That’s where HaloCare comes in. We offer a suite of intelligent technologies supported by live, 24/7 expert medical support to provide peace of mind not only for elderly people themselves, but also their circle of care. This results in greater independence and dignity for older people, allowing them to ‘age in place’ and continue to enjoy their day-to-day lives supported by innovative and cutting edge technology and round-the-clock access to assistance should they need it. Every customer that joins us means many lives improved: the elderly person, their family, friends, community workers. All HaloCare employees share these core values and are driven by a similar purpose to Niall and I, knowing we are making a real impact to people’s lives every day motivates me and everyone at HaloCare to do our very best work.
How do you relax?
I’m a sports fanatic, so I’m a keen follower of Kerry football, Carlow GAA and rugby. I can’t say though that all of those passions are necessarily ‘relaxing!’ I also enjoy playing ‘racquets,’ a Carlow game with similar rules to squash but played with tennis rackets.
What’s your motto?
In life, if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.
What are your aspirations for the future of the business?
HaloCare is a brand new company, but we have big ambitions. Our vision is to build a global organisation, and we have the infrastructure and contacts across the globe that can help make this happen. In the more near-to-medium-term, we’re looking to establish credibility for the solution, build up a fantastic team, and increase our customer base. We currently have 55 customers signed up for our service, and by the end of next year we expect this to have increased tenfold. We also started with 20 staff on our books – in the coming weeks we plan to hire 8 more, and by the end of 2021 we’re aiming to have 50 people driving the HaloCare vision forward. Many may not realise it at first, but there is massive potential for growth in this market. That it results in better quality of life for so many vulnerable people makes our mission all the more worthwhile.