Notes From The Commish: Our Next Big Opportunity

“Irish startups are global companies,” Sean Blanchfield told me in his warm, matter of fact way when we bumped into each other on the street in Dublin on a recent rainy night. “They’re a combination of European talent and US sensibility, and often people don’t even know they’re Irish”.

Sean is a serial entrepreneur, one of our best and most successful. These days he spends a lot of time in New York on his newest adtech venture, PageFair. He’s also one of the early leaders of Ireland’s startup ecosystem whose opinion and feedback I seek out as often as I can. In Dublin it’s easy to bump into people like Sean. Great conversations happen on the side of the street all the time here.

Right now, my office is busy setting the stage for some key 2016 initiatives. Last Wednesday, 50 multinational tech companies came for breakfast and confirmed their support for our startup engagement program, and next week we’ll release a database of 1,500 Dublin startups – the precursor to an ambitious tracking project we’re starting in January. We’re also planning a number of international mentoring programs in 2016, and want Dublin to play host to new and existing international tech conferences such as SaaStock and Berlin’s Tech Open Air.

It’s exciting to see all the new activity around startups in Dublin. It’s also exciting to see how many international success stories like PageFair are emerging from the city right now. Our next big opportunity is making sure the local ecosystem keeps pace with these companies and is mature enough to support them as they go global.

Networks, space, expertise, role models – and of course, international awareness of the connection between Dublin and these great exports.

2015 has been a breakout year for Dublin. Supporting and celebrating our born and bred global companies will make 2016 an even bigger one.

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