While the American medtech industry is thriving, it still must deal with challenges that include higher production costs, finding skilled staff and the ongoing issues innate to a highly regulated sector. Then there are global concerns such as competition, funding and the high cost of research. With Europe and the United States being the key markets, many U.S. medtech firms have located some of their operations in Ireland in order to take advantage of an established, flourishing life sciences sector, strong governmental support and easy access to the lucrative European market.
With an expected two billion more mouths to feed on the planet by 2050, it's no surprise that the Agtech industry is looking at new approaches today to achieve this goal, searching for lower-cost technology that will deliver higher yields with less environmental impact. American Agtech companies are under increased pressure as the United States recently slipped from first to fourth place in the rankings of most "food-secure" nations worldwide, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.
If there’s one word that captures the aims of ambitious high-tech companies, it’s scale. It’s about hitting big numbers – whether that’s customers, ARR or valuation – fast. Scale is embedded into the DNA of founders and the VCs backing them with the financial firepower to reach their ambitious goals.
When Keeper Security set up its first European operations in late December, it chose Cork as its location – but its decision wasn’t out of the ordinary. The password management company joined a growing roster of cybersecurity companies operating in the greater Cork area, including AlienVault, Cylance, eSentire, FireEye, Malwarebytes, McAfee, Sophos, Trend Micro and Trustev/TransUnion. You could say that Ireland’s second city is a hidden gem for cybersecurity.
When Jaguar Land Rover announced 150 jobs in Shannon back in January, the engineering work at this this site turned out not to involve pistons and carburettors but devops and code. The news is a signpost of change happening right across the auto industry. Cars increasingly rely on software and connectivity, and in doing so, they’re fulfilling a forecast from a 2016 Harvard Business Review article: “every business will be a software business”. Last year, Marc Rogers of the security company CloudFlare, went further, telling the New York Times: “These are no longer cars… they are data centres on wheels”.
Gavin Prendergast had already been thinking about going into business for himself with an enterprise that would tap into his love for food. Then the multinationals came calling.
Dublin may be a natural business hub, but the country’s FDI story doesn’t end in the capital. Silicon Docks is synonymous with thriving tech companies, but cities like Galway and Cork attract their share of multinationals too. Galway alone has close to 23,000 people whose jobs come from IDA-supported FDI projects, while Cork has a thriving community of companies in both pharmaceuticals and cybersecurity sectors.
Foreign direct investment doesn’t happen in a bubble. From the moment multinational companies decide to set up operations in Ireland, they will need to interact with local service providers. Their needs may run the gamut from office fit-out, catering and construction, through to professional services such as recruitment, IT, legal and accounting services or public relations.
Just as nature abhors a vacuum, uncertainty provokes similar feelings for business. As this white paper makes clear, a growing nationalist and protectionist mindset around the world is creating a fresh set of challenges for global businesses.
Engineering leaders shared their advice for CTOs, leaders of engineering teams and international operation decision makers at recent IDA Ireland meetup
Building great tech companies starts with hiring great people. That’s easy to say but harder to do. Competition for the best talent is so tight, while pressure to scale fast can also hinder good HR practices. That challenge is exacerbated when the company is expanding globally.
Europe is a vast, lucrative market and having a local tech operation in place to support it makes sense. But there are also solid economic reasons for a company to expand its engineering program to Europe. Europe offers a marketplace of 550 million people and is seen by many US tech companies as the gateway to EMEA region.
It’s an altogether tougher challenge to scale the organisation that develops, sells and supports the product - especially as the business goes international. It was a theme heard again and again during SaaStock 2017 in Dublin.
Our round up from SaaStock 2017 In companies founded by engineers - as many SaaS providers are - sales is sometimes a dirty word. But getting to healthy recurring revenue is the goal to building a sustainable software-as-a-service business, which explains why sales featured prominently on the agenda at the SaaStock conference in Dublin.
Engineers are the lifeblood of any SaaS company, which is why it’s worth building a culture that attracts them.
Moving from service to product
Artificial Intelligence is one of the hottest topics in software right now.
Bill Macaitis advises on how SaaS companies can strengthen their brands and create a customer centric culture.
CEO of Qualitrics, Ryan Smith shares his insights on building a SaaS superstar business from SaaStock taking place in Dublin
Michael Lohan is Head of Medical Technology & Healthcare Services at IDA Ireland. In this role, he is an ambassador spreading the word about Ireland's opportunities to medtech and biotech companies around the world. IDA Ireland is proud to be a platinum sponsor of The Med Tech Conference since 2007. Come visit IDA Ireland at booth #323. In the second part of this two-part blog, Lohan concludes his discussion about why American medtech companies have been choosing Ireland as their European base of operations.
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