Dublin is top for tech but State needs to do more to back start-ups

Capital is among the best in Europe but with support it could be first among equals

This is the second year in a row that Dublin  secured third spot, scoring highly on a number of fronts.   Photograph: iStock

This is the second year in a row that Dublin secured third spot, scoring highly on a number of fronts. Photograph: iStock

 

It’s been a positive week on the tech front with news that highlighted how Dublin is still very much a place companies want to be based.

First off was an announcement that Arianna Huffington’s “behaviour change” start-up Thrive is to establish a software engineering centre in the capital, leading to the creation of 40 highly skilled roles. This was followed by news that Dublin has just been ranked third best European “tech city of the future” behind London and Paris.

This is the second year in a row that the Irish capital secured third spot, scoring highly on a number of fronts.

The Financial Times’s fDi Intelligence, which is behind the rankings, described Dublin as a “thriving hotspot in the start-up space”, something which many of those involved with the scene would heartily agree with.

Companies such as Manna, Evervault and Wayflyer are becoming well-known far beyond these shores and there is a real sense of pride at seeing such firms going global, and a hope that some may go on to achieve the type of success enjoyed by Stripe.

If evidence is needed of the calibre of such companies, one need only consider the funding many of them have received of late, drawing in leading international VC firms such as Tiger Global as backers in multimillion euro rounds.

This is great to see but companies that get to the stage where they can scale only do so by getting sufficient support early on. While Enterprise Ireland has rightly been praised for the support it provides to start-ups, more must be done. This is especially so when levels of foreign direct investment have slowed.

Other nations have realised this with the likes of Germany, France and Britain announcing big initiatives that make it easier for start-ups to thrive. These include better tax breaks for angel investors, and steps that allow small companies to compete more effectively with bigger ones by offering attractive share options.

At present, the Government is doing little to encourage entrepreneurs to establish companies in Ireland and grow them. It is these companies that will likely lead us to future prosperity, which is why more must be done to rectify this.

Why stop at being the third best “tech city of the future” in Europe when we could be first?

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