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SCENE It isn’t just Irish start-ups that are looking to thrive in Dublin’s tech world, Europe has taken notice too. This extract from new book Silicon Docks: The Rise of Dublin as a Global Tech Hub details how two Italian tech entrepreneurs were lured to these shores. By PHILIP CONNOLLY uca Boschin and Alessandro Prest had heard about Dublin so, in 2014, they came to see the place for themselves. The Italian duo had originally set up in Switzerland. When it came to moving on, Dublin beckoned as the best destination to get their tech firm LogoGrab off the ground. Only a few days off a plane in June 2014, Boschin and Prest are well into a crash course of one of the quirks of the city’s budding start-up scene – Silicon Valley may have its cafés and restaurants, but Dublin has its pubs. In this case, the pub is The Stag’s Head, located off 42

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Dame Street in Dublin’s city centre. It is hosting Techpreneurs, one of the city’s original tech meet-ups. The event is running a little late and the duo are wondering what the evening will be all about. There will be speeches, they are reliably informed but, for now, they can just relax and have a couple of drinks with their new Dublin comrades. And they need not worry about money – Bank of Ireland is picking up the tab. It too has heard about Dublin’s start-up set and wants to get in on the action. Tonight, at the invite-only event, the crowd is a mix of heavy hitters and young hopefuls. Barely in the room a few minutes, Boschin and Prest are already handing

out business cards and pitching LogoGrab, which professes to be planning to kill the QR code with its ability to scan any logo from a smartphone and link it to a webpage. The duo have already caught the attention of Gary Leyden, one of the most recognisable faces among Irish start-ups. Leyden runs Launchpad, an accelerator programme that is responsible for a huge number of Irelandbased start-ups that are traversing the globe in search of sales and investments. They have also been quick off the mark in terms of setting up an office. Rather than looking to get in on Dublin’s booming office market, the duo have taken a more innovative approach. Just across from Silicon Docks at the IFSC, in the part of town where billion-dollar hedge funds trump tech giants, Boschin and Prest have rented a duplex apartment. InBUSINESS | Q1 2015

14/04/2015 14:56

InBUSINESS Q1 2015