London Listening Tour

This week I'm off to London on a Listening Tour. I'm meeting founders, VCs, Accelerators and civil servants to get answers to two basic questions:
1. What are your concerns, if any, about the impact of Brexit.
2. What is your knowledge, if any, of the Dublin tech scene.

Despite Dublin's proximity to London I'm guessing the people I meet there won’t have heard much about the half billion in funding raised by Irish startups in 2015. They won't know how easy it is to get a visa to work or invest in Ireland, and they'll have no idea how deeply diverse and talented our tech community is.

These would be fun facts to share at my meetings in London but I may end up spending time on more fundamental topics. Like how Ireland is an independent republic and not part of the UK. And how Ireland is a founding and committed member of the European Union and - it looks like - soon to be the only English speaking tech hub in the EU.

Ireland has a huge amount to attract early stage international founders, not least our English language. Three days of events and meetings in Berlin last week reminded me of this, several times over.

It's true, many people in Berlin can speak English, but they don't speak it to each other, and that really matters when you’re building relationships and community for both business and pleasure.

Berliners I met seemed to think Dublin has a huge opportunity thanks to Brexit. But for us it feels more like an unexpected expansion in the size of our market. Before June 23rd we were already pretty busy showcasing Dublin and Ireland to the world!

Irina Dzhambazova, the Editor of Dublin Globe, has been going through our archives to see what pieces we've published in the last year that would be helpful to UK based founders. We're packaging these pieces up into a series called "Open for Business” and it has 4 key themes - Capital, Talent, Getting Started and Tech Clusters. You can check out what's been collated to date here.

Based on my Listening Tour, we may be prompted to develop some new articles about Dublin and Ireland. Will a CliffsNotes Irish History need to be added to the mix?

Lets go to London, listen and see.

Niamh Bushnell

Love at First Sight

TechIreland was a whole week old yesterday. In its first 7 days in beta it had 2,753 visitors from 38 countries, and they spent an average of 4 minutes 53 seconds each on the platform.

Sounds like the digital equivalent of love at first sight to me.

And the beat goes on every day this week with many more startups being validated by our team of analysts and added to the platform. In fact, by the end of July, 800 Irish innovation companies will be showcasing their tech on TechIreland, and there'll be twice that many by the time we fully launch in October.

With all of the (100% organic) love and attention TechIreland is getting here and internationally, we decided to do an interview on Dublin Globe to discuss the huge future we have in store for it, including perhaps a world tour a la Intercom.

Speaking of world tours, Dublin Makes Me touches down in Berlin today for two days of remarkable events. The Jameson Whiskey Masterclass tonight at Betahaus is a private affair, but if you're partial to wakes and comfortable with failure you should register for the Irish Startup Wake tomorrow night, Thursday.

4,400 poor souls registered for the 200 seats we had available for the Wake at SXSW and as you can see, 4,200 of them missed out big time. 

We don’t want our fans to be disappointed twice.

Niamh Bushnell

It’s Time for TechIreland

Today we’re delighted to announce the launch, in beta, of TechIreland.org, the first ever database of innovation companies in Ireland. Company by company, sector by sector, the goal of TechIreland is to tell the compelling story of Irish technology to a global audience of investors, media, partners and customers.

We’ve primed the platform with profiles of 500 of our best startups. By the time we launch officially in October that number will be closer to 2,000 as our in-house team of data analysts engage with startup communities around the country, and add many more great companies. Companies who qualify can also add themselves to TechIreland here.

Journalists have been wondering if TechIreland is inspired by Brexit but the platform has actually been over a year in the making. Startup Nation Central in Tel Aviv inspired us to take it on, startup communities across Ireland encouraged us to move it forward, and in January this year, Pivotal Labs kindly agreed to build TechIreland free of charge.
 
TechIreland showcases Ireland’s innovation companies to the world. It also profiles tech multinationals and startup hubs across the country, as well as investors in Irish companies from around the world. From every angle, these are impressive stories to tell and they’ll become even more complete and comprehensive over time.
 
With TechIreland we’ll track our companies as they progress, and learn what’s strong and what’s missing from the ecosystem. We’ll expose our companies to global business opportunities and share the data with international platforms like AngelList and Crunchbase too. Through TechIreland, Irish innovation will be fully and publicly accessible for the very first time.
 
This is a hugely ambitious project, and our sponsors and advisors across the country deserve thanks, as do my colleagues, Cathal O' Sullivan and Ciaran Casey here at the office. Feels like this day has been a long time coming, but this beta launch is just the beginning.

Irish startups, you’ve got it, now flaunt it. TechIreland is the place.

Niamh Bushnell

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