Knowledge box rules to lead to innovation, says PCH chief

Tax incentive a ‘long- term play’, says supply-chain firm founder

PCH’s Liam Casey says if US companies  put more resources in Ireland, people become more qualified and skilled.

PCH’s Liam Casey says if US companies put more resources in Ireland, people become more qualified and skilled.

 

Liam Casey, founder of $1 billion turnover PCH International, has said Ireland’s knowledge boxes will create an “environment focused on innovation”.

Mr Casey, whose supply- chain business is based in Cork, San Francisco and Shenzhen, said he believed making it more attractive from a tax perspective for new ideas to be developed in the Republic was a “long-term play”.

“If US companies come in here and start to put more resources in Ireland, people become more qualified and skilled, so eventually they will want to do their own thing. This will infuse great things here,” he said.

Mr Casey said PCH, which does everything from product development to packaging to running hardware start-up accelerators, would pass the $1 billion turnover mark this year.

“Next year depends if we look at acquisitions,” he added. “Organically there is going to be up to 30 per cent growth. If we do an acquisition it will be different again.”

Mr Casey spoke to The Irish Times at the Kauffman Fellows European Venture Capital Summit in Dublin yesterday, which was attended by 94 funds with $40 billion of assets under management.

Tax loopholes

Apple

“If [the Government] made a move like that, there must have been a reason to do it. There must have been too much heat from Europe, ” he said.

Mr Casey said he was excited about two Irish start-ups which had created interesting new hardware products. He said orders for Drop, a Dublin-based start-up that has invented an iPad-connected kitchen scale that guides users through recipes and is backed by PCH, were “strong” for Christmas.

He also highlighted Shadowman Sports, which has created a tackle dummy for sports, which he said was getting a “great reaction in San Francisco” where it is currently involved in PCH’s Highway 1 hardware start-up incubator.

Earlier, interviewed in front of venture capital investors by Will Prendergast, a partner at Dublin-based venture fund Frontline Ventures, Mr Casey hinted his business was looking at areas other than consumer technology goods.

“Medical devices is an area we see as a great area for disruption,” he said.

Speaking at the conference Atlantic Bridge Capital co- founder and general partner Elaine Coughlan said: “There is a huge resurgence in the appetite for risk in Europe.” However, she warned: “Funds and entrepreneurs have to push for bigger exits in Europe.”