Scarp saves 561 jobs, Docklands apartment sand why are so many US tech-based services crappy?

The best news, analysis and comment from The Irish Times business desk

Some 561 jobs have been saved since the introduction of a new small business rescue regime – Small Company Administrative Rescue Process (Scarp) – two years ago, according to Azets Ireland. The audit and advisory firm, which was previously Baker Tilly Ireland, said there had been a “marked increase in demand” for Scarp in 2023 to date and it expected this to continue into 2024. Laura Slattery has the details.

Pan-European property investor Eagle Street Partners has started construction of 702 apartments at Castleforbes Business Park in Dublin’s north docklands. Catering for the private rental and social and affordable housing markets, the development will, upon completion, comprise 508 studios and one-bed units, 179 two-bed apartments and 15 three-bed apartments distributed across eight blocks with an 18-storey residential tower as its centrepiece. Ronald Quinlan reports

While out in California this week, I drove past the many famous Silicon Valley venture capital companies headquartered along Menlo Park’s Sand Hill Road and pondered one of the great mysteries of the tech world, writes Karlin Lillington in her weekly column. If the US is the centre of global tech innovation, as VCs and US tech executives tell the world, why the heck are so many US tech-based services so crappy?

Irish cybersecurity start-up Cytidel has raised €1.3 million in funding as it eyes growth in its product offering and plans to expand staff numbers. The seed funding round was led by Elkstone Ventures, with participation from Enterprise Ireland. Cytidel plans to grow its engineering operation, adding up to 10 jobs in the next 12 to 18 months. It now employs six people. Ciara O’Brien reports


Some 85 per cent of electric vehicle (EV) drivers say their running costs are cheaper than their previous petrol or diesel cars, but a new survey has found that the upfront cost of buying an EV is still a deterrent for about a third of car buyers. Ellen O’Regan reports.

If the strength of inflation surprised on the way up, it is coming down faster than many expected observes Cantillon while also saying that the proof will be in the pudding when it comes to Greencore.

The wind energy market is currently a very strange paradox. On the one hand, wind energy is almost universally accepted as a critical pillar to decarbonise the planet. It enjoys the stability of long-term policies and commitment by governments worldwide, writes Chris Horn. On the other hand, the entire wind energy industry seems to be in a deep crisis, with cancelled projects, financial losses and diminishing investor support. Industry observers note rising interest rates, and materials costs and challenging issues across the industry’s supply chains.

The Doro HearingBuds are designed to help boost your hearing in specific situations. Face-to-face conversations, noisy environments or even just watching the TV; the Doro buds will enhance what you need to hear without drowning it out in the background noise. Ciara O’Brien gives them a spin.

Arden Counihan plays guitar and has always loved music. However, he found getting to grips with the theory side of things a challenge as he doesn’t do well with traditional learning methods, writes Olive Keogh. He knew that understanding theory would greatly enhance his enjoyment of music and having taught himself the rudiments with visual cues, he has gone to develop Guitar Cards. A game-based learning system for guitar and piano that makes it easier to get to grips with musical concepts.

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