Austin consulate aiming to tap into Irish start-up activity

The South By Southwest festival may bring whole new influx of Irish startups to the Texas city

Consul General Adrian Farrell (left) with Mayor of Austin, Steve Adler (right)

Consul General Adrian Farrell (left) with Mayor of Austin, Steve Adler (right)

 

While Ireland may be the entry point for many US companies trying to break into the wider European market, the city of Austin is providing Irish firms with a base from which to compete in central and South America, that’s according to Mayor of Austin, Steve Adler.

Speaking at an event held at the newly opened Irish Consulate in Austin on the first anniversary of the establishment of Ireland House Austin, Mayor Adler highlighted some of the many parallels between the his city and Ireland’s capital, Dublin. “Both have experienced rapid growth in recent times and both place major emphasis on the importance of innovation and creativity among its people,” he said.

Ireland House Austin, which combines the offices of Enterprise Ireland and the IDA with the Consulate General of Ireland, is a first in a city, which heretofore, was home to only one other foreign embassy. “The last time an embassy was opened here was by Mexico, almost 100 years ago,” says Adler. “So the establishment of the Irish Consulate is very reaffirming for a city like this which is currently in a state of major growth and transition.”

Foreign diplomatic presence in the state of Texas tends to concentrate in the cities of Dallas or Houston. Ireland’s General Consulate is the only European diplomatic office of its kind located in the capital of the Lone Star State.

It’s been a great year, a very busy year,” says Consul General Adrian Farrell. “Our main focus has been to reach out to the business community here in Austin, and across the region at large, but with a particular focus on tech-based enterprise here in the capital.

“The IDA have already made some big job announcements and more and more small Irish tech start ups are choosing to establish a US presence in Austin over places like New York or Silicon Valley. The South By Southwest [SXSW]festival is just around the corner and that will bring a whole new influx of Irish startups so we hope this will lead to even greater economic ties.”