5 days – 5 cities – 5 industries, October 5th -10th 2015

A major new national initiative has officially been unveiled today as part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2015. Led by the not-for-profit organisation Startup Ireland, The Startup Gathering is a national week of events promoting entrepreneurship and showcasing Ireland’s startup sector to an Irish and international audience.

As startup sectors emerge from cities, Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford will be the focus of the initiative for the 5 days. Likewise it will focus on 5 key industries currently located in Ireland namely, ICT, Medical Devices, BioPharma, Agri/Food and Business Services. This year The Startup Gathering will take place between October 5th and 10th.

Among the objectives of The Startup Gathering are:

  • Facilitate over 50 events and networking opportunities nationally during the week for at least 15,000 members of the Irish public and international visitors.
  • Highlight the resources available in Ireland to support the growth of a diverse pipeline of indigenous and international high growth startups, which in turn may help attract international venture capitalists to locate in Ireland.
  • Attract international high impact startups to locate to and scale up from Ireland leveraging the service providers available here.
  • International Visibility – Help to differentiate Ireland internationally, increasing inward engagement with Ireland’s startup sector.
  • Strengthen Ireland’s startup ecosystem  – Through promoting networking and connections, help increase the volume of service providers and supports necessary to a startup sector where high impact startups can ‘Start, Scale and Succeed from Ireland’.
  • Strengthen Ireland’s talent base and entrepreneurial networks to help promote and stimulate a strong culture of high quality entrepreneurship.

Using the successful model of ‘The Gathering 2013’ the week will, where possible, leverage and augment existing events and projects that are themed around entrepreneurship, startups and existing industry clusters present in each city.

Among the events planned are Hackers and Founders team building events, Diaspora Networking Events, Entrepreneur Career Fairs, and a national ‘Startup Demo Day’ where entrepreneurs can pitch to top accelerators, investors, mentors and corporates, both national and international.

The Startup Gathering will kick off with an annual conference for Ireland’s startup sector and will end with a state dinner on the theme of ‘Why invest in Ireland’s startup sector’ hosted by the Richard Bruton T.D., Minister for Jobs, Enterprise &Innovation. Invitees will be from strategic target areas such as venture funding, corporate venturing, corporate backed accelerators and intern programme placement managers from around the world.

While The Startup Gathering will complement the building of world class entrepreneurial hubs in Ireland’s cities, it will also seek to achieve a greater regional spread of such hubs by inviting the regions to submit projects to be included in the 5 days of events in October. The 5 Regions will be the West, Midlands, South West, South East and North East. A national call for events and projects in the area of entrepreneurship, startup support and innovation will be issued by Startup Ireland in March.

Eoin Costello

Eoin Costello

Commenting today, Eoin Costello, Co-Founder – Startup Ireland, said, “The Startup Gathering is an ambitious project which at its heart is ‘of the startup sector, by the startup sector and for the startup sector’. Building on the relationships and networks created by Ireland’s entrepreneur, university, corporate and state agency sectors, we plan to leverage these national and international networks to coordinate and promote The Startup Gathering with support from relevant state agencies. It will be a true public/private partnership”.

“The future growth of Ireland’s economy in terms of innovation and jobs is closely linked to the performance of Ireland’s startup sector therefore we need far more people creating startups here. Our goal with The Startup Gathering is to encourage more of our population to consider entrepreneurship as a real career choice and make the move on startups ideas they have. In support of Minister Bruton’s goal of making Ireland a country where great ideas can be transformed into excellent businesses and new jobs our ultimate ambition is to use the annual Startup Gathering as a key pivot towards making Ireland a global startup hub by 2020”.

Encouraging emigrants with good startup ideas to return to Ireland to build their business here will be also form a key theme of The Startup Gathering. To this end, Startup Ireland will lead an international Kickstarter campaign to raise a ‘Diaspora Startup Fund’ to support the flights to Ireland of 50 Irish emigrants for The Startup Gathering to investigate pursuing their startup opportunity back in Ireland.

The operational structure of The Startup Gathering will reflect the successful models that underpinned ‘The Gathering 2013’. A national steering group will be formed which will be composed of senior representatives of the key stakeholders. In each city a Startup Gathering steering group will be formed and led by a Startup Gathering Coordinator. The overall project will be led by the chief executive of Startup Ireland with executive support from the Board and staff.

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