By @SimonCocking great interview with Giles O’Neill, head of Fintech at Enterprise Ireland will be delivering a keynote talk about the booming FinTech ecosystem in Ireland at our #Fintech20 event on October 26th. Get your tickets here.

1 min pitch for what you are doing now?

 Enterprise Ireland’s strategy is about inspiring and driving Irish companies to scale and expand their reach across the world.  I work with a team of people in Ireland and across the world to help Irish FinTech companies achieve their ambitions.

We are involved at the very early stages of company development through investment and advice right through to large Irish multinationals, working with them in every aspect of their business to help them realise their own ambitions for growth.

We are deeply involved in just about every aspect of Ireland’s FinTech ecosystem, through IFS2020, the Government’s public/private strategy for the development of the IFS sector and all the associated joint actions agreed as part of this plan.

We are one of the largest seed investors in the world and we stick with companies as they develop, working with them on their competitiveness, on their product and service innovation and their internationalisation plans, alongside the 33 offices we have all over the world.

What have you observed happening within FinTech in Ireland over the course of the last couple of years and has there been a significant uptick in FinTech startup companies?

 It is important to remember that Ireland has had significant Irish owned FinTech companies for many years, long before the term FinTech was ever developed.  Companies like Fexco, Taxback, Rockall Technologies, CR2, Information Mosaic, Realex, Fineos and Monex to name a few are some great examples of Irish technology companies in the financial services world.  More recently I could add another dozen names of Irish companies providing world class technology solutions to some of the worlds largest financial service institutions.

We invested in 229 startups last year, close to 10% on the FinTech side. That FinTech investment has increased over the last two years, this has been bolstered by a dedicated Competitive Start Fund specifically for FinTech, where we invest €50,000 in a company to help get them started.  We have invested in 17 of these in the last two years. The aim is to follow this investment on within 12-18months, once the business has raised other investment and they are beginning to get some commercial traction.

In terms of start up focus & technology, this is an interesting one and varied, a lot of KYC, cyber security and some blockchain, regtech, insuretech and payments, I would love to see more on AI & Robotics, that is something we are working on through the links we have at third level.

What are your plans for the future?

Over a third of our clients employment is outside of Dublin, and it is a trend that is increasing and something to focus on in 2018 as we nurture more regionally based start ups and work with existing client companies to develop a second site in Ireland.

We have to play to our strengths, use our size and flexibility as a competitive advantage to get things done quickly and efficiently.  To collaborate and share intelligence, do what we do best, tell our stories in every corner of the world, providing compelling technology solutions that respond to the world we are in now and into the future.

We are and will be working hard on internationalisation.  We are going to accelerate our supports for our FinTech client companies to expand and grow overseas on every continent, and much of that will be supported at the very highest level of Government, with an extensive trade mission schedule being developed as we speak for 2018, providing our clients with the access and support at the highest of levels.

What will you be talking about at our event? 

FinTech start ups, what’s been achieved in the last 24 months and how EI is supporting growth around the world

What inspired you to support it?

 Irish Tech News is very active in promoting Irish companies, particularly in the Fintech space, and it seemed a natural fit for EI to support an event which celebrates Fintech in Ireland. We are very keen to support companies and the ecosystem in any way possible.

How can people find out more about what you are working on?

Come along to the event on October 26th

How to scale your Fintech business, Fidelma McGuirk, PAyslip CEO, speaking at #Fintech20 Oct 26th


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