Mapping Dublins tech ecosystem, one human at a time.
The word startup I find a little bit contentious, because I think there has to come a point where you want to become a business, stop being a startup, and just be up.
In a way, I don’t consider myself to be a tech entrepreneur, I consider myself a business person who uses technology to get things done. Everything that we do is about women feeling good about themselves. And every single piece of work that I’ve ever involved myself in has kind of led back to that. Tech was a mechanism to deliver a service that we saw as lacking.
We’ve been supported massively by the infrastructure for startups in Dublin – from a very early stage, we were supported by the Dublin City Enterprise Board, or LEO as it is now, with a feasibility grant to do market research. That was the beginning of the journey. We used that research to pitch to NDRC LaunchPad, which we got onto, then we co-incubated in Launchpad and in the Irish Times FUSION programme, which we went on to win, before skipping onto Wayra. It’s been a very natural evolution for us. There’s a very good sense of collegiality; people are willing, for the most part, to share information, and support each other, and I’ve learned so much from people I’ve met along the way. People who want to help you to achieve.
I think Dublin is a very good place to get things done. We’ve just opened our London office this week, which is hugely exciting, but there is a very embedded will in Frockadvisor to keep the core here, grow it in Dublin. I think Ireland has a wonderful opportunity to create models, from incubators all the way through to cities, where things are being thought about in a different way. We’re not there yet, but we’re building it piece by piece. One of the ways we’ll know we’ve succeeded is when we get an influx of international startups wanting to work from here. And I see that beginning to happen. That does two things: it proves that we’re doing it right, and it really pushes the homegrown startups to move on an international level.
My favourite thing to do in Dublin? Walk the South Wall. That’s salvation. Halfway down the wall, large exhale, and it’s all left behind.