Earlier this week Intel, based in Ireland since 1989, bought Irish company Movidius, a world leader in machine vision technology, for north of $350M. With this acquisition Intel is doubling down on their already significant investment in Ireland, which likely means more tech teams here, more product built here and the further enhancement of Ireland's reputation as a global business and tech hub.
And I’m talking about Ireland's reputation among tech industry insiders, not the one you may read about in the mainstream newspapers.
Tax is certainly a big part of the reason why multinational tech companies like Intel and Apple come to Ireland but if our tax policy changed, Ireland would remain a top pick destination for a multitude of reasons.
For starters, there’s our talent, location, culture and language. Ireland's tax policies could perhaps be replicated by other countries but not this 360 degree formula for success.
We also continue to attract the world’s leading multinationals because, as John Dennehy from Zartis puts it: “Ireland owns the playbook”.
Ireland has cracked the code for scaling tech businesses into Europe and EMEA and the people leading these sales and operations teams are based right here - down the street, around the corner and up the block from each other. Talk to the next generation of global companies and this playbook is a huge draw to Ireland for them all on its own.
While acquisitions like Movidius aren't happening every week (yet) in Ireland, we are seeing a new intensity in the relationship between our startups and locally based multinationals. There's more movement of talented professionals between large and small organizations, more sharing of technical expertise between teams, and more mentoring between founder CEOs and senior corporate executives.
One of the missions of this office is to increase and deepen these types of engagements. Startups and multinationals are very different animals but the potential benefits of closer collaborations between them are massive, and this is even more true in Ireland given our quality in both.
Yesterday afternoon, cyber security company Kaspersky Lab announced the establishment of an R&D hub in Ireland saying "Dublin was an obvious choice for the company’s first European R&D office, owing to the quality and density of tech talent here, and of course, the city’s vibrant and appealing living conditions”.
So, on top of it all, Ireland is also a great place to live. Straight from the heart of an (almost) diehard ex pat, I’d also agree with that.