Starting-up the journey from North-West to Ireland?

Posted by Errol on Friday 12th of April 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Despite the global recession - Ireland has always delivered a pro-business attitude through low taxes, generous R+D tax credits, rewarding growth and encouraging new business. That’s why global tech and life science giants like Google, Facebook, Dell, Johnson & Johnson, IBM and Cisco operate on Irish soil. The conditions that have made Ireland an ideal location for multinational companies also make it a choice location for start-ups. I work for Enterprise-Ireland (EI) the main Irish government agency that works with start-ups that have the potential to grow in global markets. We will be taking our message to the north-west by holding an ‘Start Up in Ireland’ seminar at the Irish World Heritage Centre on May 1 aimed at start-ups interested in relocating.

Part of EI’s remit is to attract high potential start-ups from IT, financial services, gaming and life sciences industries into Ireland and to help them build global businesses from there. We use our start-up fund to help companies relocate, offering up to €500,000 from a €10million fund. We also find other funding if it’s needed and help give start-ups a support network - all for just 10% of equity and no boardroom control.

But EI is more than cash – it’s also about direct help so the Irish government offers long-term guidance for entrepreneurial start-ups. We do this through giving start-ups advice on all the right local contacts, mentoring and training programmes and access to our Universities for R+D collaboration. Our Internet Growth Acceleration programme (iGAP) best reflects our approach – a six-month management development programme for start-ups specialising in internet/games markets.

One UK start-up given an EI leg up is Digit Game Studios. Its co-founders, Richard Barnwell and Martin Frain have both worked on big games titles at renowned companies and wanted to set-up their own business with a new cross-platform IP for hard-core social games. But Digit didn’t just want EI’s support, it wanted Ireland’s ecosystem because of the high skillset of local talent from the tech industry. Their transferable skills were a great complement to help up a digital savvy gaming industry. And Digit already wants to expand so with North America at its door and the influence of the big US tech giants in Ireland, they’re in a great position.

The ‘Start up in Ireland’ event will include Trend Micro’s Global Head of Operations, Anthony O’Mara who will talk about investing in start-ups and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry’s MD, Guy Walsingham on communication tips to help your business stand out. Brian Caufield of venture capitalist firm, DFJ will also be talking about the investment opportunities in Ireland. To attend the event register here:

Hope to see you there.