The bottom floor will be for sleeping, the top converted into an office for work. Now, in one of the many apartments built during Ireland’s feverish property boom that was designed to appease lavish Celtic Tiger cubs, it is the tech elite who reign. The duo have inherited some of the best views of the city, which can be viewed from their very own terrace pool. They have already raised close to $1 million, some of which came from Enterprise Ireland, and now plan to get going on sales. Aside from the intimacy of Dublin, the fact that half of their potential customers are now on their doorstep was another big selling point. For it isn’t just Irish start-ups that are looking to thrive in Dublin’s tech world, Europe has taken notice too. The talk of the evening, however, will give the two men a window into some of the more-prescient InBUSINESS | Q1 2015
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debates that are taking place among Ireland’s tech elite. While the title of the evening is ‘Startup Scene versus Software Industry’, the talk of the evening has really surrounded the question of where exactly Ireland’s start-up scene is going. It is still young, but it is no longer a new phenomenon. However, it still has not seen as a real hit. There have been million-euro funding rounds, and more than a few exits (in which founders have left their companies, either by selling them or through IPOs), but no Irish start-up has really hit the big time. The question of where to go next splits the audience. For some, Dublin needs to figure out what its raison d’être is, what exactly it offers beyond low taxes, talent and questionable weather. For others, a massive exit and the validation that comes with that is just around the corner. It is a debate that has become a refrain among Irish founders.
This is an extract from Silicon Docks: The Rise of Dublin as a Global Tech Hub, which is edited by Pamela Newenham and published by Liberties Press. The book is available in bookshops nationwide, priced at a17.99. For more details on Silicon Docks go to our book review section on page 99.