Gareth Iwan Jones, 32, is the Founder and CEO of ICE, Wales’ largest start-up community from Llangollen, now based in Caerphilly
To mark three decades of the IWA’s role in making Wales better, we decided to look forward to ‘the next thirty years’ by introducing some of the people who will be shaping ‘the Welsh agenda’ as the future unfolds. We have teamed up with PricewaterhouseCoopers and their #GreatWales campaign, which celebrates the ideas and people who contribute to the Wales of the future.
Gareth Iwan Jones, 32, is the Founder and CEO of ICE, Wales’ largest start-up community
from Llangollen, now based in Caerphilly
Since launching ICE in July 2012, we have built a community of over 150 companies across three buildings, with an independent report in 2016 finding that ICE has delivered an impact on the local area of over £14 million.
The main focus for the future is to support more people to find more satisfying and rewarding careers and be more active members in the next chapter for Wales. We have just announced the plans to open a centre in Wrexham, and launched an online platform, Boma Camp, to support people to develop their ideas around their full-times lives.
Along with those areas of focus, I hold positions on a number of boards in Wales, with priority given to those that further the ambition to create a more equitable and inclusive economy for Wales.
My drive comes from my own struggles, dropping out of university twice, and dealing with a total sense of hopelessness and isolation from the modern economy. The support of the start-up community in Wales has given me a clear sense of purpose, and I am keen to do everything I can to ensure more people avoid that path rather than deal with it alone.
Each day, throughout the month of June, we are celebrating the exceptional people on the Next 30 list by publishing a short pen portrait here on Click on Wales, as well as raising their profile on Twitter using #IWAnext30 and #GreatWales to highlight the exciting contributions these people are making to Wales’ future.