What advice would you have for other companies looking to come to the EU?

Get your top 3 choices nailed down, know the countries and major cities you'd like to investigate before you take your first trip. From there, get your timelines and a good general budget together- you need to be able to speak to the type of investment you are going to make, along with the headcount and timeframes for your buildout. Next, engage with the business development organizations, like the IDA, and get a plan for your first trip. With the IDA, they did a tremendous job weeks before our first visit establishing who we wanted to meet with and what we wanted to accomplish. We had a packed agenda from morning until night ever day that gave us all the data points we needed to make our choice. If the organization you are working with can't do that, or won't do that, don't go.

You spoke about your flrst visit to Ireland and that it was packed with meetings,what did your agenda include?

As I said, the agenda being prepared with us well in advance was critical. That ground work allowed the IDA to use their extensive network to get business leaders, educational leaders, local government leaders and community leaders all arranged in advance - this was key to us having the right people in the room to give us the information we needed to make valid decisions about our choice. Additionally we were able to meet with recruiters, lawyers, bankers, and do potential property tours during our first visit. It was an extremely full week, we were exhausted, but our IDA hosts made our visit extremely valuable, interesting, and fun!

What were the top reasons you made the decision to come to Ireland?

First and foremost it was access to talent. For us, access to talent includes 2 factors. 1, we want to see that there is an existing cluster of security related companies already established, you don't want to be the first one to build that ecosystem. And 2, we want to see the educational institutions have programs that match your needs. For number 1, Cork has a well established, robust, and thriving IT Security cluster. We were able to meet with many of the most senior people in those companies on our first trip, establishing relationships that have helped us to succeed along the way. For number 2, we met with CIT and UCC during our first visit and again had the right people in the room to completely understand the programs they had in place, but also get a great understanding of how they partner with companies - that partnership is always a key success factor for us.

Ireland is a safe and business friendly environment - our conversations with business leaders along with government leaders reinforced that for us.

And last but certainly not least, the IDA. As a relatively small company with a modest plan for expansion, we didn't know what to expect - what we got was a first class experience and a true impression that Ireland was dedicated to bringing us here.

Any final advice you would give to companies looking to come to Ireland?

Use the IDA. We have no doubt that a key factor for our choice to come to Ireland was our experience with the IDA. They are your trusted advisor during your evaluation and a critical partner once your journey begins and beyond. As we evaluate other locations for our next expansion, we use our IDA and Ireland experience as the gold standard that other jurisdictions need to meet.

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