Mapping Dublins tech ecosystem, one human at a time.
We were doing technology supplements for the newspapers when we realized our readers, the techies, were all online. When we launched Silicon Republic (with co-founder Darren McAuliffe) in 2001, we had around five thousand readers now we have a quarter of a million a month. Weve grown up alongside the tech industry in Ireland. Its been fascinating to see it all grow around us, particularly in the greater Dublin area, from Intel in Leixslip to Microsoft in Sandyford.
Where weve really seen massive change is Dublins city centre, with the number of accelerators, and startups, and small companies emerging The real difference Ive seen is this move from just technology to convergence with science and innovation really interesting companies in the areas of EdTech, and MedTech, and CleanTech, for example. Im particularly interested in the area of diversity. Enterprise Ireland will tell you that theyre funding a lot more high-potential startups with female founders, or co-founders, then they were a few years ago thats a change Id like to see a lot more of. Id like to think that we ourselves are a very good model for what a diverse company can do as far as gender diversity goes, were about 50-50.
Looking at the sector, we got a little bit frustrated that every time we went to events, it was always middle-class white straight males people who didnt fit into those categories tend to fall below the media radar. So were trying to give those remarkable people a higher profile daily on Silicon Republic its not tokenism, its about embracing people doing truly creative things. Inspirefest is the culmination of that. Its an event where and we really shouldnt be surprised by this 70% of the speakers onstage happen to be women. We try to bring in a diversity of ethnicity, of sexual orientation, people from Iran, from Africa We believe theres an innate openness and inclusiveness about Irish people – hopefully Inspirefest draws that out, and shows that we can lead the way when it comes to diversity, and how innovation can come out of diverse workforces.
I absolutely adore Dublin, weve always been based here. I cant think of a more exciting place when it comes to technology. Some might say Silicon Valley, but I prefer it here – its different, more laid back and intimate, and it really has a tight community that are incredibly supportive of each other. Even with Inspirefest, so many people jump on board and help us.
I love to walk with my dog on Bull Island. Its stunning. To be able to live in a city where, in a few minutes, you can be on a beach, looking out at the ocean Its just amazing.