Ireland is making a name as the choice destination for technology start-ups
Naghmeh Reilly, Overseas Entrepreneurship Executive at Enterprise Ireland talks to us about ‘Why Ireland’…
Why Ireland is THE place to locate a start-up? I believe that as a hotbed of entrepreneurship, Ireland is a great place to both live and work. A young, vibrant, well educated workforce, and many sources of investment mean that there are many benefits to starting your company here.
How many international start-ups have already moved to Ireland? Last year we assisted 12 companies to move to Ireland. They represent a broad range of products and services including financial services, internet and software, life sciences, emergency shelters and toys.
Where do they come from? The promoters of these companies came from across the globe from UK, to US, Russia, Australia and South Africa. Examples include Sunergen who manufacture refrigeration equipment, Camba TV who provide security systems and Eden Shelter who provide emergency shelters solutions.
Are those entrepreneurs still happy they made the move? Entrepreneurs who have moved here with the help of Enterprise Ireland, have all commented on the fact that the range and depth of support services that they have received is unique and was one of the reasons that they decided to make the move to here.
What can Enterprise Ireland offer start-ups thinking about moving here? Our support services include both financial: feasibility grant, Competitive Start-up Fund (CSF) and equity investment, as well as non financial: access to mentors, helping them with finding clients and partners overseas and introductions to research institutes, to name just a few.
How do you target the potential entrepreneurs? Enterprise-Ireland has been proactively seeking for opportunities to promote Ireland and its offerings in the US, UK, Europe and Australia. These include PR campaigns in the UK, US and Australia as well as attending events aimed exclusively at startups such as Le Web in Paris or the event organsied by the Dublin Web Summit team in London and New York.
What’s happening this year? Where will we be able to see the Start in Ireland banner? During 2013 we are involved with a number events in Dublin including IN3 conference which took place in April and the MBA World Trophy in May. In the UK we are targeting the Manchester area for a seminar in May where we invited university start-ups and the Irish Diaspora to hear about what Ireland can offer start-ups. In the US we are running a 6 month campaign aimed at start-ups in the Med Tech sector. We are also working with our start-up Ambassadors to spread the message about Ireland. For example our office in Saudi organised a seminar in Riyadh in April in conjunction with Saudi Chamber of commerce where Paul Kenny our start-up ambassador for the Middle East was on the judging panel of a start-up pitch session. We are also presenting in Warsaw in June at an event for start-ups and we are looking at running a start-up competition in London later in the autumn.