Frog Blog

TELL Series – Jerry Kennelly

By Joe Krancki

Jerry Kennelly started Stockbyte in 1996, one of the first digital stock picture libraries, and sold it to Getty Images in 2006 for $135m.

From a family of photographers, Kennelly grew up with a printing press in his basement. Aged twelve, he helped his father design, launch and sell a new local newspaper, still run by the family today. Fifteen years’ professional photography experience in the media and advertising industries during the 1980s and 1990s positioned him to be a prime mover when digital image technology arrived, and he soon spotted the need for an online stock picture library. After Stockbyte’s sale to Getty Images, Kennelly launched Tweak in 2011, an online self-service design provider. Kennelly also runs the Junior Entrepreneur Programme in Ireland, a free non-profit initiative currently teaching 10,000 Year 6 pupils how to start a business from their classroom.

Kennelly was transparent about what being an entrepreneur feels like; “you’re losing most of the time, and then you get a little bit of luck. People thought I was nuts for most of Stockbyte, and then suddenly I was “a great success”. You have to give up so much and you don’t have a clue, most of the time, whether you’re going to succeed or not. But nothing is impossible, if you are prepared to work hard.”

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