Global Entrepreneurs from Ireland

26th of February 2007 by fergus

Chris Horn [of IONA fame] has started blogging – and has kicked off with some great blog posts.

His latest is Global Entrepreneurs from Ireland – with the question

“Why would any entrepreneur chose Ireland as the headquarters for her global start-up ?”

Chris is participating with the EI/ISA initiative on “leadership for growth” programme – see previous post

Over dinner, Chris and the group discussed a trend where the “new immigrants” are starting businesses in Ireland… and highlighted Ammado as an example.

“Ultimately, the striking observation is that the most successful world class entrepreneurs based in Ireland, have done so despite the challenges: the physical infrastructure, even the physical location of Ireland, the cost challenges, and the frequently dysfunctional civil service. The Irish have historically been the “under-dogs”, and rise to the challenge. Ireland has now become culturally deeply entrepreneurial, with a deep “can do” attitude swelling in its national psyche.”

One sobering point from Chris

“clearly Ireland needs to grow its own indigenous companies and entrepreneurs to sustain economic growth as multinationals in due course move elsewhere.”

Conor captures in a great blog post – on a bunch of recent activity that is creating the environment for Irish and European entrepreneurs to build global businesses….

2 Responses to “Global Entrepreneurs from Ireland”

Why then, do I see so many Irish HQs with a desk and phone that’s diverted outside of Ireland? Could it be for the low corporate tax? Which in itself is great, not a negative.

Let’s face it, infrastructure is crap and expensive when compared to say, the UK. It’s more expensive all round and it’s a small Island.

I’m very positive about Ireland and believe its home to some world class entrepreneurs. I love meeting up with the Irish folk. We’re great communicators and understand/appreciate the importance of ‘people’. This I believe is one of our strengths.

Ok – I’m playing devil’s advocate to a degree, so I’m looking forward to hearing about all the REAL benefits of being based in Ireland. Segala was setup in Ireland for convenience, but it could just as well be located elsewhere. Inconvenience is the main reason for not moving right now.

I am based in Vancouver, Canada at the moment and run a consultancy in the Clean Tech sector. There is a buzz of activity in this area at the moment and there is plenty of VC interest. It would be great to see Ireland taking advantage of this and producing some Clean Tech firms. I have been looking at what the Universities in Ireland are doing and talking to Enterprise Ireland about this. What you see here in Canada is a critical mass of environmental technology firms, perhaps in some ways similar to Silicon Valley. This didnt just happen by accident though, there are considerable Goverment support initiatives to provide R&D and early stage commercialisation funding in Canada specifially for the Clean Tech sector. You need critical mass in a given area if you are to grow start-up companies and that is where communication and strategy between EI, the Universities etc is crucial.