Ireland is well known for its technology sector. With the presence of many multinational firms with hubs here in Ireland, and a growing number of domestic firms with a global outlook, this reputation has been well earned. Yet while no one can debate the strength and success of Ireland’s tech community, the process of building a thriving startup ecosystem has just begun.
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, Ireland’s rate of entrepreneurship has traditionally trailed that of a number of European countries. Despite our strong technology sector and the associated advantages that this established community provides, fewer people have wanted to take the financial and career risks inherent in starting their own business.
Yet for those of us in Ireland, it’s clear that change is in the air. While older generations may have been hesitant to create startups, young people across the country are jumping on board, either working for entrepreneurs and startup businesses or becoming entrepreneurs themselves. With every passing year, being an entrepreneur has become a more acceptable – even desirable – career path.
There are other encouraging signs for the future of entrepreneurs in Ireland:
Additionally, one may look to the work being done by Dublin’s Startup Commissioner, Niamh Bushnell, who has taken on the role of helping startups succeed in Dublin. She has made great strides in her first year in the role, profiling Dublin as a great place to start and grow a company, connecting startup entrepreneurs with mentors and later stage companies, and assisting entrepreneurs to find financing and lobby the government for further policy changes. These efforts have energized the community, and provide great examples of what can be done to help tech startups thrive across the country.
While challenges remain, the overall outlook is positive and growing brighter by the day. Look for considerable growth and change in the Irish tech startup community as we head into 2016 and beyond, and many success stories for years to come.
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Anna advises many early stage Technology and FinTech companies on the challenges around fundraising, structuring shareholding arrangements, rewarding founders and employees and growing global businesses. Anna is a founding member of the Board of the FinTech and Payments association of Ireland which was launched on 14 September 2015.
Anna leads KPMG’s global partnership with Connected Intelligence (or Ci), the company behind Web Summit, F.ounders and their related US and Asian events, Collision and Rise. Anna has been recognised by Silicon Republic Women Invent Tomorrow programme as one of the 100 Top Women in STEM. She was nominated for the Woman Mean Business (WMB) Award for Women in Technology and was nominated one of the Top 30 Women in Tech in Ireland.