Ireland could become sex tech hub, Tech Summit hears

MakeLoveNotPorn founder Cindy Gallop says sector has ‘huge opportunity’ for jobs

Cindy Gallop said sex tech wouldn’t be taken seriously until it proved that it could make a lot of money.  Photograph: iStock

Cindy Gallop said sex tech wouldn’t be taken seriously until it proved that it could make a lot of money. Photograph: iStock

 

Could Ireland become a major hub for sex tech? MakeLoveNot Porn founder Cindy Gallop thinks so. The sex tech entrepreneur urged the Irish business community to embrace the emerging sector.

“Currently no one is doing this globally, and there’s huge opportunity,” she said. “Sex tech creates jobs. People write to us every day at MakeLoveNotPorn and ask to come work for us.”

She said every other “big bet” made in the history of tech paled in comparison to sex tech.

“I would love Ireland to be the champion of sex tech, to embrace sex tech, to build an ecosystem of sex tech,” said Ms Gallop, who was speaking at the Dublin Tech Summit event.

Sex tech is defined as any technology or business that focuses on human sexuality or experience.

Ms Gallop went on to outline some of the challenges of working in the industry, especially when – in her words – she represents the “triple whammy of unfundability”: being female, older and working in sex tech.

Attacking preconceptions

“Most of the time I can’t even get across the threshold. I only ever get to talk to potential investors who have demonstrated a receptivity for what I want to talk to them about,” she said. “When you’re a sex tech entrepreneur, no one ever takes you seriously. Before I even pitch the nature of my start-up I have to break down a whole lot of preconceptions.”

She called on women to be their own financial ecosystem, something she acknowledged involves a number of challenges, including a lack of resources, with women typically having fewer assets than their male counterparts.

“Everything starts with people. All it takes is to find the right people, to get this, to support it, to champion it,” she said. “Everyone else will rush in behind.”

She said sex tech wouldn’t be taken seriously until it proved that it could make a lot of money.