And the winners are…

I’m delighted to announce the participants for our Newstalk Saas Bootcamp, run in conjunction with Gary Leyden and his great team at the NDRC.

We were looking for 8-10 scaling companies who had the ambition and the ability to go global fast.

We found 11 and we’re taking them all.

The participants are:

Bizimply, Edgescan, Learnupon, WorkCompass, LogoGrab, Legalshine, Pulsate, Initiafy, NewsWhip, Xsellco, Viddyad.

All SaaS companies scaling out of Dublin, both multinational and startup, will have access to and benefit from the learnings of this bootcamp programme. They’ll become experts in demand generation, marketing metrics, sales management, training and hiring, and optimising the funnel for growth.

Day one is December 9th and we’re starting with sessions from some of the best in the business - IntercomQualtrics, and Hubspot. You’ll be able to follow the bootcamp as it happens on saasbootcamp.co.

Congratulations to the winners - your time has come for global dominance.

And thanks again to Newstalk for your support and sponsorship.

Niamh Bushnell

Helsinki's Angels

Thanks for all the feedback on last week’s note about how Dublin needs to be visible, ideally a headline act, at Web Summit and other international tech conferences in 2016. A group of us are working on a project for SXSW in March called Dublin House. Our objective is to heighten awareness of Dublin as a creative, connected tech city, and if it’s successful we’ll bring Dublin House to other important tech conferences around the world. I’ll share more details on the Dublin House project in a later post. Meantime some thoughts on the Helsinki conference, Slush:

One of the hallmarks of Slush is it’s whopping €650,000 pitch competition prize (yours next year Bizimply!). Slush is also the best looking tech conference I’ve ever been to, oozing with edgy design and creativity. And there’s lots of serious business going down there too, from fundraising and recruiting to the souvenir selling at the Slush store. This conference has no shortage of cachet.

But it’s still a pretty regional affair, with over 80% of startups and media coming from Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Norway and Russia. Ali Baba had a large and luxurious booth reflecting China’s close ties with Finland, and the loudest come-to-our-country voices were the Netherlands and France, but I didn’t meet startups from either.

Like Ireland, the UK and US were completely invisible at Slush and when I pitched Dublin as a springboard into the US the response was one of genuine interest. Entering the US market may not be the immediate top priority for euro-centric startups but it’s on the short list and that should translate into a huge opportunity for us - our VCs, our service providers, our accelerators and the ecosystem at large.

I met a lot of early stage startups from the ‘stans and from Russia who spoke enthusiastically about fundraising in Helsinki and how Finland was a great testbed for their products. The State of European Tech, a report co-produced by Slush and the VC Atomico confirms that Helsinki is a smart money magnet, ranking 4th out of 18 European cities for angel investment. In 13th place, Dublin lags unusually far behind.

While I was away, Minister Bruton spoke at a Dublin Chamber event about making Ireland more competitive and easing the tax burden on businesses. Lets hope he’ll work to introduce new tax reliefs like SEIS in the next budget so that we can attract more angel investors, founders and serial entrepreneurs to Dublin, and become the magnet we too deserve to be.

Niamh Bushnell

Here's An Idea

Hey Dublin, here’s an idea for you:

Instead of hosting Web Summit in 2016, let’s headline it.

Instead of being subsumed by the conference, let’s be a large and tangible presence at it.

Lets do press briefings every day and make big announcements.

Instead of hotels and taxi fares, lets measure Web Summit by its value to our startups.

And lets become fanatical about making Dublin’s presence felt at every important international tech conference.

There’s power and wisdom in our new outsider status. Lets use it to move from proud host to guest of honor.

Five years hence, we’ve never been more ready.

 

 

 

 

The Future of Ireland

That was the lofty name of the great pre-Web Summit conference I spoke at last evening in the RDS.

It was free, the crowd was huge, the discussions were wide ranging and smart, and almost best of all, it happened on a belated whim of Paddy’s to bring the community together and just have a chat. And in the magic that is Dublin, that works.

I was speaking on a panel with Noel Ruane and Brian Caulfield about the future of startups in Ireland. Noel started by thanking the co-founders of Web Summit Paddy, Dave and Daire for what they’ve done for Dublin, and I applauded along with 5,000 or so others in the audience.

But, like Web Summit itself, Ireland and Dublin is moving on. We’ve taken off our training wheels, and combined with lots of hard work, we’re now delivering at a pace we can all be proud of. Funding in Dublin for the first  half of 2015 was at 230M, we’ve 2,000 startups and over 200 tech multinationals ready to engage on a local level. What’s to stop us?

Lets finally call it quits on the lazy, exhausted Only-for-Tax story of multinational tech in Ireland. And while we’re at it, lets do the same with “The Move to Lisbon”. If the media are having a hard time seeing that we have entrepreneurs and startups that are killing it on four continents in Dublin today and every day, we’re here to help them.

Roll on Web Summit, roll on Dublin. Your time has come.

 

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