2015 saw further growth and expansion for the vibrant community within The Digital Hub with 31 companies locating there, bringing the total number of companies at the cluster to 98. This reaffirms The Digital Hub’s position as Ireland’s largest and most established hub of growing digital enterprises and shows continued growth, as this figure is up 10 companies from last year. Collectively just over 700 people now work with companies based at The Digital Hub.
Some Irish companies to join The Digital Hub this year were Square1, a creative online and mobile software development company; PatientBuddy, a patient self-management platform for patients with chronic conditions. Their ‘PatientBuddy for Transplant’ App engages patients to actively manage their donor kidney; and Odin Consultants, an IT company specialising in bespoke applications and integrated systems development, to meet the specific business needs of a wide customer base, spanning blue-chip companies to public sector bodies.
The Digital Hub also became home to a number of high profile international companies in 2015, including Slack, a messaging and search platform that brings team communication into one place, creating a single unified archive accessible through powerful search. Slack is the fastest growing business app ever, having launched in March 2014. Amazing.com, a company providing online training courses to help people build businesses, and Living Social, an online marketplace promoting special offers in your local area, were two other foreign direct investment (FDI) companies who joined The Digital Hub this year.
Commenting on The Digital Hub’s growth and expansion in 2015, Gerry Macken, CEO, Digital Hub Development Agency, said: “The growth and expansion that took place this year, with 31 new companies locating here and with the opening of our ninth building and newly refurbished office space, emphasises The Digital Hub as Ireland’s place to be for growing tech companies. With just over 700 talented people working within our cluster we are also bringing increased footfall, daily, to businesses in our local community and contributing to the vibrancy of this historic part of Dublin City. 2016 will see the continued rollout of existing activities that support a technology cluster that goes from strength to strength in driving innovation, increasing productivity levels and supporting employment growth.”
2016 will also see the Digital Hub Development Agency continue with its tendering and sales process for the development of vacant sites on the south side of Thomas Street. This process is providing The Digital Hub with the opportunity to deliver on its strategic aim of focusing on the renewal and regeneration of the historic Liberties area, while also funding the growth of its enterprise cluster.
Other 2015 Highlights
The Grainstore Office Development
As well as welcoming new companies, The Digital Hub expanded its office space with the opening in September 2015 of The Grainstore. The Grainstore, a 19th Century industrial building that brings the number of buildings at The Digital Hub to nine, is an excellent example of creative design that combines the best elements of traditional stonework and building techniques with modern materials and current design. The space is fully occupied coming into 2016, with both new companies and existing clients expanding their workforce at The Digital Hub. The building recently picked up an award at the Fitout Awards for ‘Small Office Project of the Year’.
Strategic Learning Initiatives
2015 has been another hugely successful year for The Digital Hub’s various Learning Initiatives, which are part of the Hub’s commitment to benefitting the local Dublin 8 area. 21 local students graduated from the fourth annual Future Creators course in June, with the fifth course kicking off in November. The Future Creators is a digital media programme for 13-16 year olds in the Dublin Liberties area, aiming to equip young people from Dublin 8 with digital skills, including coding, app development, digital photography, filmmaking, and website development. This year also saw the launch of the Future Creators Cadets, an iteration of the course for younger students aged 10-12.
Older people and local SMEs also benefitted from learning initiatives in The Digital Hub with the launch of the D8 Surfer’s Club in March, and a digital marketing for local SME’s programme in June, both part-funded by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. 101 older people and 18 local businesses have progressed through the courses so far. The D8 Surfers Club offers free digital training for residents in the Dublin 8 community who have never or infrequently used a computer, digital device or the Internet and who would benefit from basic digital skills training. The digital marketing for local SMEs programme, has seen small business in the local area learn about the digital economy and how simple digital marketing activities can help them promote their businesses online. Later in the year, the Digital Hub ran its first #Techmums programme, which aims to help local mothers get over their fear of technology by offering free hands-on workshops and support in order to give them the confidence, skills and inspiration they need to take part in the digital revolution.
Some of the highlights from The Digital Hub for 2015 can be viewed online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbvb-YtEMxo