Ten years ago, Ireland would not have been the first place emerging companies and entrepreneurs would look to for growing their ideas. It was never known for the innovative technologies or heavy populated investment market – but something happened over the last few years to put Ireland on the map as one of the top places to start and run a business.
Being an Irish founder and having our technology department based in Dublin, I can admit that having a presence in Ireland is a huge advantage. We have an amazing culture, very educated workforce and the ability to constantly want to learn more and be involved in the next big thing.
The startup ecosystem in Ireland is incredibly unique. We have some of the largest tech companies at our doorstep, including Google, Facebook, Easy and most recently, Slack.
Internal Support Systems
Not only is it an advantage to have such large, innovative companies in the same community, but they are also very supportive of the startup ecosystem in Ireland. They provide both workshops and meetups so they can support and network with the startup scene in Ireland.
My startup is based in Dogpatch Labs, which is a year old startup workspace that was launched by a former Techstars alum, Paddy Walsh. Paddy had a vision of building an office space for startups of all different sizes as well as providing a space where investors/interested parties could also spend time.
We actually met Ryan Kuder, the Managing Director of the Techstars program we went through, at Dogpatch, by chance!
A Growing Community
Apart from the friendly startup scene, the nightlife, and of course the food, is something that would be hard to beat. There seems to be new coffee shop opening up regularly and more affordable healthy places to eat, which is important for fueling the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
The next 24 months will continue to be an exciting place for Ireland, as we already have a dedicated startup commissioner, Niamh Bushnell, who is continuously making Ireland a better place for startups.
Ireland – Still on the Path to become a Startup Hub
Despite the growth, one of the difficulties with the Ireland startup ecosystem is the lack of venture firms. We have some great venture capital funds, but there needs to be more to sustain the growth. The Irish government has not yet made it more appealing for angel investors to be here, which is going to be one of the first steps needed for change.
Although our technology team is based in Dublin, as a founder, I believe it is important to expand to where your customers are. Ireland is slowly becoming a great place to dive into your ideas and begin to build a startup, but there is still a ways to go before Ireland can fully support a startup looking to scale globally.
Do you live in a growing startup ecosystem? Let us know in the comments!
At Techstars, we believe in the idea that no one is “too far along” for Techstars. Conversely, nothing is too early. Techstars has a program for every step of the entrepreneurial journey – from startup programs like Startup Week, Startup Digest, Startup Weekend and Startup Next to later stage offerings, including the accelerator program and venture capital for add-on funding.