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  Ireland INC

The inaugural Ireland INC Summit took place this week at the Double Tree by Hilton in Dublin. There was an impressive lineup of speakers and specifically themed panels looking at Irish business and future trends. The US Ambassador, Kevin O’Malley even dropped in, stressing the importance of an entrepreneurial mindset, and his families own migration from County Mayo to the US 100 years ago.

Probably most relevant to Irish Tech News readers were the 4th and 5th panels on ‘Ireland 2020, Looking ahead’, and ‘Ireland’s next big idea’.

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Ireland 2020

Considering all that Ireland has to offer, how can its best assets be exploited to maximise the country’s potential and improve its image on the global stage? What is the outside view of Ireland? What opportunities are on the horizon?

Moderator: Dan O’Brien (Columnist and Economic Analyst, Independent News & Media)

Panelists:

 

The 2020 Panel’s responses

Some interesting themes kept coming through. While there is great pressure to relocate or set up an office in Silicon Valley, many of the panel mentioned the important of keeping your development team here in Ireland. It was felt that it becomes hard to compete in California with all the other large companies there, liable to poach your team members. Here in Ireland concern was expressed about the shortage of suitable hires, and how it was hoped that the Irish education systems could focus on helping to fill these positions. It was also stressed that it was important not to see out your company too quickly and too cheaply as it limits your ability to go on and get the real return on your idea and your work. Afterall once you sell your great idea to someone else, it may be a lot harder to start again from scratch.

They also mentioned the value of considering ‘partial exits’, where you realise some value from your company, without selling all of it. It was also suggested that it is a fantastic assest to be Irish, and to be an Irish company. While a small country, it is still known across the world. The Irish do have a good reputation, as story tellers, but also as a booming place to locate a business too.

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Next Big Idea

Considering all that Ireland has to offer, how can its best assets be exploited to maximise the country’s potential and improve its image on the global stage? What is the outside view of Ireland? What opportunities are on the horizon?

Moderator:  Ian Hyland (Founder & President, Ireland INC and Publisher, Business & Finance)

Panelists:

  • Paddy Cosgrave (Founder, Web Summit)
  • Oisin Hanrahan (Co-Founder and CEO, Handy)
  • Mark Roden (Founder & CEO of ding*)
  • Gervaise Slowey (Chief Executive Officer & Director, Communicorp Group Ltd)

Ireland’s next big idea panel’s key observations

Dan O’Brien, the moderator pushed the panel to make big predictions for the future. They felt that Silicon Valley had a shortage of skilled developers and researchers. Therefore an opportunity existed in Ireland to become a R’n’D hub. Ideally this is something that Ireland can continue to grow and develop. This would then create a strong eco-system, and hopefully in the next ten years there will be x10 growth in the number of startups on the Irish scene. The goal then overall would for Ireland to become the Silicon Valley of Europe, ideally with one Irish University in the global top 50, and three in the top 100.

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Panel members have a moment looking on the lighter side of things