Member Spotlight: Colin Hanley, Founder at Xplore

Colin Hanley Galway Xplore PorterShed

In the world of entrepreneurship, there are those who not only strive for success but also aim to make a meaningful impact on their communities. This is where Colin Hanley, Founder and CEO of Xplore Local fits in. Xplore Local is a platform that is much more than a digital business directory; it’s a community engagement tool aimed at building pride of place and enriching local experiences. Their core mission is to capture revenues that slip away from local economies due to a lack of appropriate digital transaction tools.

As part of our Member Spotlight series, Colin spoke with Nigel Moran about the challenges, rewards and insights of being an entrepreneur in Galway City and the impact of PorterShed in his journey.

When asked about what role Xplore Local plays in helping local communities, this is what he had to say…

By offering an integrated ticketing and voucher system, we are empowering local businesses and attractions to maximise their transactional revenues. These captured revenues are then invested back into the communities that generate them, strengthening local economies and fostering community development. We are deeply passionate about sustaining local communities by providing them with the tools needed to capture and retain their own financial resources.

PorterShed is a HQ for brilliant minds and tech entrepreneurs, it has established a very collaborative community over the years. With this in mind, Colin touched on the topic of how he has been impacted by this community…

While there’s so much to love about PorterShed—the unmatched facilities, the other businesses, the idea-sharing and connections, the events, the community — it’s truly the PorterShed team that stands out for me. It’s like walking into a high-end hotel every day, a hotel geared toward making you successful and offering you the support you need. Running a business can be an isolating journey filled with ups and downs, and the daily challenges are both intense and exhilarating. The team at PorterShed makes that journey less lonely and a lot more manageable. Their support and encouragement make all the difference and make me feel like a part of something much bigger than myself.

A fun fact about Colin is that he has never driven a car unless we are counting bumper cars! He mentioned that learning to drive is definitely on his to-do list. Warning for the people of Galway… if you see Colin behind the wheel in the future… Watch out!

With only a couple of months left in the year, we asked Colin what he is most looking forward to…

In terms of business, there’s a lot on the horizon. With my Ourside business, we are launching Hummingbird, our new Sustainable Website service. As for Xplore, we have several promising updates in the pipeline, including enhancements to our hikes and trails features, a major revamp of our digital vouchers, and the introduction of new ticketing and event management tools. We’re also thrilled to unveil a new web portal dedicated to our town partners. There’s a lot to be excited about, and I can’t wait to see these initiatives come to fruition.

Finally, the most important question we asked Colin is what advice would he give to someone who wants to start their own business…

Launching your own business is not for the faint of heart, but it’s incredibly rewarding if you’re up for the challenge. My advice? Dive in wholeheartedly and surround yourself with supportive and skilled people.

It will undoubtedly be tough at times, but the journey itself is its own reward. And remember, in the highs and lows of entrepreneurship, the mantra that always resonates with me is something my brother-in-law advised: “Lead, Follow, or F!#k Off.” It’s a powerful reminder to be proactive, be a part of the solution, or step out of the way. This attitude can make all the difference.


Connect with Colin Hanley on LinkedIn


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