A couple of months back I announced the creation of the Dublin Startup Leaders Group. In a follow-up post I wrote about the myriad of policy concerns we have and received messages of encouragement and support from across the globe - Israel, the UK and the US. It was a nice reminder of how many people here and outside the country love Ireland and want to see us shine as a startup culture.
In May, the 40+ members of the Dublin Startup Leaders Group got down to work on policy. We started with research, then we wrote, debated and rewrote a policy document that today we’re submitting to the Department of Finance for Minister Noonan’s urgent attention.
A number of our member organizations are making individual submissions too so we expect a cacophony of pro-startup messages to fill the halls of the Department for the coming few days at least, if not a lot longer.
The Dublin Startup Leaders Group submission is based on one simple concept (thank you Raomal): Job creation is not a tax issue, it’s a funding issue, and, with funding as our focus, we have one key request of the government: Create the environment for private, angel investing to bloom in Ireland.
This request resonates with me personally as well as professionally: I would never have become a startup entrepreneur if I hadn’t become an angel investor first. I was doing just fine before I tripped over and feel in love with startups. I had a nice consulting business, was making a great living and had no need at all to become a struggling founder with a young baby in my arms and a monthly mortgage to pay. But then I invested in startups, became a mentor and just got hooked.
According to the Irish Central Bank there is over €98 Billion sitting in household short term deposit accounts in Ireland. Imagine if as angel investors we put just 1% of that money to work funding startups and creating jobs. Imagine even how many more people would get hooked like I did and start companies themselves. The UK have created a strong pro-angel investor environment through SEIS. To remain competitive, we must follow suit.
I’d like to thank and congratulate the Dublin Startup Leaders Group - who between them represent more than 2,000 startups in Dublin - for coming together with one voice on this issue. They include: Dublin BIC, Dublin Chamber of Commerce, HBAN, the Irish Software Association, Digital Hub, Irish Internet Association, Startup Ireland and all of the region’s universities, third level colleges, incubators, accelerators and coworking spaces.
It says a lot about Dublin and about Ireland that we did this together, and it proves how genuinely ready and willing we are to play our part in fulfilling Ireland’s potential as the “Best Place to Start”.
PS: If you’d like a copy of our policy submission, email Sarah - Sarah@StartupDublin.com
To submit your own policy request to the Department of Finance, email it by July 14th to: firstname.lastname@example.org