Meet the team

sure ventures plc

Gareth Burchell

Head of Stockbroking

Gareth began his career in the Insurance industry and spent 3 years at RBS Insurance prior to setting his sights on a career in the city. His financial career began as a trainee Stockbroker in 2003 and he has spent his time trading Equity markets ranging from FTSE 100 companies, right through to small cap and fledgling stocks. He has developed strong and lasting relationships with corporate brokers, market makers and market professionals throughout London. Gareth has obtained the Diploma in Private Client Investment Advice and Management (Level 6).


Barry Downes

Chief Investment Officer

Barry is CIO of Suir Valley Funds and also Chairman of TSSG, a leading technology Research Institute, Incubator and Accelerator, which has raised over €90 million to date. Previously, a Founder of FeedHenry, a software technology company acquired in 2014 for $82M by RedHat Inc. Barry holds an MBA from Smurfit Business School, a BSc in Applied Computing from WIT and has executive education qualifications from Haas Business School at UC Berkeley (in VC) and also Harvard Law School. Barry was recently named one of the top Irish software superstars by Silicon Republic.

Cian Hughes

Venture Partner

Cian Hughes is a Cambridge, UK based venture capitalist and technology entrepreneur with over 20 years operational experience in the areas of venture capital, accelerators, executive networks, software solutions, mobile platforms and supply chain operations.

Previously Cian was an executive with Lotus Inc. (now IBM), Intel Corporation and Palm Inc. as well as being Vice President of Operations for the San Francisco and San Jose, CA based Silicon Valley Global (SVG) Partners. In addition to venture capital and software executive positions, he also ran a solar manufacturing facility in Cardiff Wales and global smartphone repair, service and reverse logistics centers in the Czech Republic and the UK.

Cian holds a BSc in Mathematics and Physics from University College Dublin (UCD) and a post-graduate higher diploma in Business Management from Trinity College Dublin (TCD).

Isabelle O’Keeffe


Isabelle is a Principal at Suir Valley Ventures where she focuses on identifying and evaluating investment opportunities in areas including AR/VR, IoT and Fintech. Her previous experience has been working across the telco, technology and media sectors in London, Madrid and the Nordics.

Isabelle started her career at Telefonica on the Corporate Development & M&A team focused on acquiring and investing into companies in the following areas; SaaS, M2M, FinTech, Security, IoT and AdTech. Isabelle also supported Telefonica’s venture capital arm based in Silicon Valley with investments such as Box.com and Blueliv (Cyber Security) and also worked closely with the Wayra Academy (Telefonica’s Accelerator Programme) in London. She then went on to the Venture arm of Norwegian Media Group Schibsted, sourcing and managing Seed, Series A and upwards investments into marketplaces, prop-tech, fintech and deep tech companies.

Immediately before joining Suir Valley she worked at the Barclays Fintech Accelerator Programme powered by Techstars, working closely with start-ups and helping them to build and grow their businesses. During her career she’s been involved in numerous deals and investment decisions helping to identify potential investee companies.

Brian Kinane


Brian is an experienced industry software, tech entrepreneur and investment manager. He has extensive corporate technology experience from product management roles at global telecom companies such as Ericsson Group and Telenor Group. Additionally, Brian has deep operational experience as a founding shareholder and board director of a number of high tech start-ups backed by international VCs including FeedHenry where he worked with Barry Downes. He has had a successful track record as a hedge fund growth capital investment manager funding over 60 companies.