Dublin Tech Year in Review 2016

As promised, we've put together our review of Dublin tech in 2016. It's been published directly on Dublin Globe so here's the link.

We hope it's a good read and look forward to your feedback.

Meantime, thank you for another wonderful year together in Dublin's great tech and startup community.

Happy Christmas and see you in 2017.

Niamh Bushnell

Not a Swan Song

Over the last few months many of you have been asking about the plan for this Office in 2017 and today I’m delighted to be able to tell you more. But first let me take a step back.

The Office of the Dublin Commissioner for Startups began in October 2014 as a pilot project. An “experiment" as we liked to call it ourselves.
Since the beginning, our work has been supported by two key funders, the Ryan Academy at Dublin City University and Dublin City Council, and I am forever grateful to both for not giving into the temptation to clip our experimental wings. During the last two years we've won some and lost some, but we've also learned a lot along the way.

The Office also received a significant amount of financial, and moral, support from a host of other organizations here in Ireland, not to mention Dublin’s wonderful tech community itself. Our long list of funders are showcased on the StartupDublin.com and TechIreland.org websites.

At a recent Board meeting, it was agreed that this Office had succeeded in doing something that was important and new in Ireland - to enhance the character and international reputation of Dublin as a tech and innovation city. For sure, any successes we have had have many mothers and many fathers.

So what's next for the Office? Well, we’ll be continuing as is through the end of March 2017. I will then step down as Commissioner and Dublin City Council will start work on a review and development plan for the future of the Office, in consultation with the relevant stakeholders. We’ll be sharing more specifics on the plans for key initiatives - Dublin Globe, The Brekkie, Tech Concierge, Mentoring for Scale and TechIreland early in 2017.

It's not time now for a swan song but it is time for a deeply felt thank you to all of you who so warmly encouraged and supported us in 2015 and 2016. We appreciated every ounce, offer and cent of it.

Thanks also to the wonderful team here at the Office for their smarts, hard work and for all the fun we've had together this year - Sarah, Cathal, Ciaran, Irina and Sheila.

Next week we’re publishing a look back at 2016 in Dublin tech and as always, we'll need the community's input to fill in any gaps and ensure that the story we're telling about Dublin is as strong as it deserves to be.

Niamh Bushnell

Who’s Who and the Secret Power Breakfast

The Mentoring for Scale session at the office last week was the 16th in a program inspired by Openet CTO and founder Joe Hogan. “MFS” started in May 2015 and was quickly dubbed Dublin’s Secret Power Breakfast! It is a powerfully valuable initiative and my colleague Sarah Leahy and I are always on a bit of a high after delivering the two hour sessions.

A who’s who of Dublin's homegrown tech industry is involved in MFS, from the deep bench of "been there, built that” mentors, to the startups who get invited, 10 at a time, to participate in the monthly sessions.

Companies like Glofox, LearnUpon, Restored Hearing, and Axonista. MFS companies are thinking global and executing on it at the earliest stages.

The CEOs of these companies are learning by doing and most of the time they come to MFS to share the burden of live issues, more in search of the right questions than silver bullet solutions.

Mentors meet three companies each per session, and usually there’s no context provided or preamble. We’ve discovered that when you introduce successful entrepreneurs to the newest kids on the block, there’s already such genuine interest and common ground between them they just dive right into their own discussion until the next person in line turns up and obliges them to move table.

Last week's session had that familiar feel to it, from the din in the room and the calls for more coffee, to the observations the mentors shared with us all at the end of the session.

They’re happy to talk through challenges like hiring and culture, cap tables and board meetings, but the messages they're really hammering home are all sales related.

"There's tech dripping from the walls of these companies” as one mentor put it. “To be successful the CEOs need to focus now on sales, sales, sales. The rest is just noise”.

MFS is sponsored by Bobby Healy, the CTO of CarTrawler, one of Ireland's great tech stories. There may be a lot of tough love meted out during this power breakfast but when it’s coming from accomplished entrepreneurs like Joe, Bobby and the rest of our mentors we know it's helping to cement the future for the next generation of Irish success stories.

Niamh Bushnell

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