Accelerating the growth of the Irish Startup community was the focus of over 400 events which took place all around the country during last week’s Startup Gathering in Ireland. The 2015 programme of events kicked off at the Google Foundry on Monday 5th October with the Dublin Startup Island 2020 Forum which included guest speakers from Startup Commons Global, Intel’s Internet of Things, Dell, Enterprise Ireland and Startup Gathering sponsor, Bank of Ireland.
The goal of the Startup Island 2020 Forum is to champion the growth of the startup sector in Ireland so that it becomes a leading global hub for startups in 2020. Keynote speakers and forum guests discussed their roles as change makers, innovators and job creators within the startup community and their vision for Ireland as a world class startup hub by the end of the decade.
The event was addressed by Irish Government Ministers; Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and Ged Nash TD, Minister for Business & Employment. Supported by Ireland’s Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and sponsored by the country’s largest bank, Bank of Ireland, the Startup Gathering 2015 was one of the biggest startup events in the world. The aim of Ireland’s Startup Gathering Week was to advance Ireland’s already world-class regional startup hubs as well as highlighting the country’s vibrant startup sector to global entrepreneurs, innovators and research and development teams.
Pictured are: Gene Murphy, Startup Gathering City Coordinator for Dublin, Lesley Tully, Bank of Ireland Innovation Manager and Eoin Costello, CEO of Startup Ireland (Conor McCabe Photography).
Eoin Costello, co-founder of Startup Ireland and national director for the Startup Gathering 2015 said: "Startup Gathering is about driving real change across the startup sector, creating better networks, connections and collaborations with all of the players across the entrepreneurship spectrum to work collectively to build on Ireland’s strengths, and work towards the shared goal of Ireland becoming a world class startup hub by 2020.”
Speaking at Startup Island 2020 Forum, Minister Richard Bruton TD, said: “As I have said before, we have great entrepreneurs in Ireland, we just don’t have enough of them. Two thirds of all new jobs across the economy are created by startups – that’s why it is so crucial that we get our policies on entrepreneurship right."
He added: "We have put in place a startup plan aiming to create almost 100,000 extra jobs from startups over the coming years, and we have created new mentoring supports, new incubation spaces and new tax measures."
Over 400 gatherings took place over five days in five cities – Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Limerick and Galway – giving participants the opportunity to showcase their startups, connect to the supports and services they need, take part in networking opportunities collaborate with other startups and established corporates.
To attract overseas entrepreneurs, Enterprise Ireland established a dedicated €500,000 startup fund in conjunction with the Startup Gathering for international startups to locate in Ireland. Selected applicants were invited to present a short investment pitch to the evaluation panel comprising external industry experts and representatives of Enterprise Ireland in Cork on Wednesday 7th October.
Enterprise Ireland actively engages with international startups to bring them to Ireland. Over the past four years, it has supported 46 startups that have moved to Ireland as their location of choice.
Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, said the organisation is delighted to be part of the Startup Gathering initiative, “as it shines a spotlight on the vibrant Irish startup ecosystem and aims to promote Ireland’s offering to the diaspora and other international entrepreneurs”.
Startup Gathering Day 1 Highlights (video):
Startup Gathering Day 2 Highlights (video):
Startup Gathering Day 3 Highlights (video):
Startup Gathering Day 4 Highlights (video):
Startup Gathering Day 5 Highlights (video):