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Dublin: Best Place to Start a Tech Business


The creation of 2,800 jobs with an economic impact of €200 million can be achieved on an annual basis by “making Dublin the best place to start a tech business”, according to a new report.

The report is the output of one project of ‘Activating Dublin’, a joint initiative of Dublin Chamber of Commerce and Dublin City Council – as well as other individuals from the private, public and social sectors – which aims to generate growth and employment in the Dublin region.

The #bestplacetostart report found that Dublin was home to a thriving startup ecosystem that has the potential to grow even further. Amongst the strengths highlighted in the report were that three of Europe’s top eight startup accelerators were in Dublin. The report was compiled following consultations with those in the community and supporting agencies.

John Moran, Secretary General of the Department of Finance and Chair of the group said, "The report confirms the huge potential in the tech startup community. The energy and excitement of the people working in this sector is unrivalled internationally. The key is not to try to take control from them. The objective of this report is to build upon these strengths and develop a supportive strategy in place to make sure they can focus on developing their ideas, grow their business and create jobs."

In the US, companies less than five years old created 44 million jobs over the last three decades and accounted for all net new jobs created in the U.S. over that period. In 2007, alone 8m of the 12m new jobs created were from young firms. Scaling to Ireland’s population for that same period would be equivalent to creating 630,000 jobs.

Welcoming the report as a blueprint not only for Dublin but for the tech startup sector throughout Ireland, Minister of State for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock T.D. said: "The report comprehensively maps out the opportunities and challenges for turning good ideas into jobs. I believe this report is important for other regions as well in that it acts as blueprint for a way forward for those in the start-up community outside of Dublin."

The report identifies a number of further actions that key stakeholders should take to achieve their objective. One of the first identified is coordinating the marketing and promotion efforts in attracting tech companies to Dublin. At the moment this is being done, but without strong coordination this can lead to confusing messaging internationally. Another key step is helping startups find the services they need so they can focus on starting & growing their businesses (e.g. office space, legal, accounting). The report also suggests that the potential to be an international hub for tech startups lies in making it easier for international entrepreneurs to locate in Dublin, citing research from Silicon Valley that immigrants founded 52.4% of the startups from 1995 to 2005.

Philip Maguire, Dublin City Manager, said "This report comes at an opportune time for the city as we re-organise around a number of enterprise functions coming back into the City Council. The integration of the Docklands, Enterprise Board and the Digital Hub as well as the recent Dublin Digital Masterplan enables us to provide better coordination of our digital assets."

Liam Kavanagh, Chair of the Activating Dublin Steering Committee which oversees the various projects, concluded, "Dublin is already a successful startup city with a thriving ecosystem. Our challenge to those working on this project was to see how it could move from good to great. The last two decades have witnessed significant growth and the emergence of a dynamic entrepreneurial class. Building on that success, we believe that there is now scope to do more. With a more city centric focus and better coordination there is an opportunity to significantly increase the startup company activity in Dublin."

The full report can be downloaded from

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