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How to Entice Startups to Ireland?

One of the key areas of development within the Irish startup landscape is making Ireland, and Dublin in particular, not a good but a great place to do a new venture. We are competing not just with the US here but other locations in Europe. So what makes Ireland such a great place to be an entrepreneur? Well there are the usual suspects, low corporate tax rate, number of incentives for doing a startup, Enterprise Ireland support (despite the somewhat one-sided view given on the Irish television earlier this week) and a highly educated, English-speaking workforce. Not to mention a large non-national population that bring a huge amount of language skills to the city, useful if one is internationalising in Europe.

But one key group that we perhaps haven’t leveraged as much is the presence of so many multinational corporations. Thanks to IDA Ireland, major companies that are based in the City include Intel, Facebook, Yahoo, Merck, Siemens, Microsoft, Pfizer, Apple, Google, Amazon.com, Yahoo, Sage, Adobe and the list goes on. For companies that are in the enterprise space or that need partnerships with corporates, this is a treasure trove. And now we have a generation of corporate leaders who tend to be Irish, a group that has been very ‘entrepreneurial’ in pitching ideas back to their corporate headquarters to bring additional resources, in particular research and development work, to Ireland. Citi, Intel, IBM and Disney all have research projects going on in Ireland at the moment.

One of the key areas of development for the Ryan Academy Seed Accelerator fund will be to harness our corporate connections for the startups that will be on the programme. We see this as a key to developing the next generation of technology companies in Ireland, whether the founders are from Ireland or not. We are not looking for the ‘Irish Google’, instead our war cry is ‘One Hundred Havoks.’ Leveraging this connection in particular and the relative small size of Dublin, makes Ireland a great place in particular to do an enterprise related venture.

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