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19 October 2023




“Never be a victim of change”: Seven lessons from David Walsh’s entrepreneurial journey



What do you do when you have built, and successfully exited, a global company? For David Walsh, cofounder of Netwatch, the answer was to do it again. At a recent event organised by Rockwell and The Currency, he offered advice on how to scale up, sell up and start up again.


In 2019, David Walsh stepped down as chief executive of Netwatch, the Carlow-based security business he had co-founded in 2002. It was a planned exit; he had sold the majority of the company the year before to private equity firm Riverside, a deal that saw the company merge with businesses in Britain and the US to create the Netwatch Group.

From its humble origins, where three people used VHS tapes to monitor a commercial warehouse in Carlow, it had grown to 550 staff monitoring 300,000 sites around the world by the time Walsh stepped down. Using satellite, artificial intelligence, and advanced video technology, the company estimated it had prevented 65,000 crimes worldwide.

It was a life-changing exit for the entrepreneur, enough to potentially safeguard the financial future of his family for a number of generations. Instead of just managing his wealth and slipping into the shadows, Walsh opted to overcome the “fear of potential failure” and decided to go again with HaloCare, a health technology start-up that allows elderly people to live at home longer by monitoring movement through advanced technology.

The company was a response to the pandemic, when elderly people in particular were isolated from support. However, Walsh believes it has significant global potential, particularly in the US.

So, what drove Walsh to go again? And, what are the key lessons he has learned from a career in business?

These were some of the questions that Walsh sought to answer at the recent ‘Scale Up, Sell Up and Start Up Again’ event in the RDS in Dublin. Organised by Rockwell, a wealth management firm that looks after €250 million on behalf of about 6,500 clients, the event was supported by The Currency.

Based on his contribution at the event, here are seven key takeaways from David Walsh’s entrepreneurial journey.

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