Scale Ireland, with the support of Google, and also Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), Enterprise Ireland and Atlantic Bridge, has announced plans to host Ireland’s third Regional Start-up Summit in Limerick next month. The event will be officially launched by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney.
The event will feature a wide range of regional-based start-ups and scaling companies (including Kneat, Provizio, SwiftComply, HookeBio, Yellow Schedule etc.). The Summit will focus on the potential and the challenges facing start-ups and scaling companies around the country. There are currently more than 2,000 indigenous tech start-up and scaling companies, employing more than 45,000 people in Ireland. For each job in a start-up, five more are created in the wider economy.
Ahead of the Summit, Scale Ireland in conjunction with Google, Enterprise Ireland, ISIF and Atlantic Bridge have launched the third State of Start-ups Survey 2024 (here) to get the views of founders and CEOs on the key issues affecting them and the overall state of the sector. These include the availability of capital, potential of AI, staffing and skills, as well as the effectiveness of key state supports and regulations.
Almost 250 CEOs/Founders responded to last year’s survey - one of the biggest of its kind for the sector. This year’s survey also focuses on other issues including student internships, greater diversity in the sector, and increasing awareness of sustainability. Scale Ireland will publish the survey results to coincide with the Regional Start-up Summit next month. Scale Ireland is collaborating on the Summit with Dr Briga Hynes, Associate Professor and Entrepreneurship Lead, the Kemmy Business School, and Professor Stephen Kinsella, Professor of Economics and Co Director of the innovative Immersive Software Engineering Programme, University of Limerick.
The CEO of Scale Ireland, Martina Fitzgerald, said “Our third Regional Start-up Summit comes at a time when the Government’s ambition is to position Ireland as a global innovation leader. So this is an important opportunity for tech leaders around the country to debate the significant opportunities of Ireland’s indigenous tech sector to our economic future - a conversation which is of growing importance. Our State of Start-ups survey will provide us with vital information on the key issues and opportunities facing founders.
The Chair of Scale Ireland, Brian Caulfield, stated “It is critical that we get the feedback of founders across the country on the key issues and challenges that they are facing at this important juncture. Our Regional Start-up Summit and State of Start-up Survey will ensure that there is a greater understanding of the potential of the sector, as well as the challenges facing entrepreneurs. Given the current environment, this year we have also included questions on current issues such as AI, while access to capital is expected to remain a key concern alongside the rising cost of doing business”.
Adaire Fox-Martin, MD, Google Ireland and Head, Google Cloud, said “We are delighted to partner with Scale Ireland for the third Regional Start-up Summit in Limerick. Google has a strong and proud record of supporting Irish tech start-ups and scaling companies, as well as the wider indigenous tech sector. Scale Ireland’s Regional Summit is an important opportunity to promote dynamic companies across the country which are contributing so much to their communities through employment, innovation and growth. It is equally important for Google to support the ambition of these companies to become global leaders. So the Regional Start-up Summit places an important focus on how Ireland can best achieve this”.
Nick Ashmore, Director, Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, said “ISIF is a major investor in businesses throughout Ireland that have the ambition to scale up, create employment and help grow the Irish Economy. We are active investors in our 5 regional cities - Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford and Kilkenny – and continue to look for more regional opportunities to invest in. This Limerick event will give Irish businesses in the tech sector a great opportunity to come together with their start-up counterparts and those in their broader ecosystem, such as ISIF which is here to support their ambition and growth.”
Jenny Melia, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland, said “Start-up companies are the lifeblood of a dynamic economy and Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting these innovative companies on their start-up journey as they scope, start and scale their businesses. We are delighted to be part of the Regional Start-Up Summit in Limerick which will serve as a platform for robust discussion, information sharing, and practical advice around the key issues facing Irish companies in the mid-west region.”
This is Scale Ireland’s third Regional Start-up Summit. In 2023 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar launched the second Regional Start-up Summit to large crowds in Galway with Minister of State Dara Calleary also taking part. Former Taoiseach Micheál Martin launched the first Scale Ireland Regional Start-up Summit event in Cork in 2022 with founders and key stakeholders, along with Ministers Michael McGrath and Simon Harris giving keynote addresses.
If you would like to contribute to the survey, you can do so here.