Diplomat, investor, entrepreneur, business mentor, speaker, philanthropist and author, Bill Liao has been on the eir Spider Awards judging panel for a number of years and still considers the awards a crucial part of the zeitgeist in Ireland. The best part of being involved for Bill, is the opportunity to acknowledge some of the great talents within the digital industry.
A ‘great talent’ in his own right, Bill co-founded the business social network service XING and is a venture partner at SOS Ventures, a global venture capital firm and investment management firm. He is also a special diplomatic envoy for St Kitts and Nevis for sustainable development and the environment, and founded WeForest.org, a not-for-profit organization that is combating global warming by sustainably and holistically reforesting previously degraded land – WeForest.org is impressively approaching planting its millionth tree.
However, the venture that is most commonly heard in conversation among the vox populi in recent years is that of Coder Dojo, founded by Bill Liao and James Whelton in 2011. CoderDojo is a global movement of free, volunteer-led, community-based programming clubs for young people. Anyone aged seven to seventeen can visit a Dojo where they can learn to code, build a website, create an app or a game, and explore technology in an informal, creative, and social environment.
In a mere 6 years, Coder Dojo has grown to more than 1,100 verified Dojos in 63 countries, with new Dojos starting almost every day.
Bill views the eir Spiders as ‘one of the best ways to test your company’ and learn where you stand within the industry, and describes the standard of entries so far as ‘Outstanding, outstanding, outstanding.’ Bill recommends that those entering the eir Spider Awards be confident in their proposals, and be explicit about why they think their work is the best.