IDA Ireland had the great pleasure of joining some of the year’s hottest emerging companies at TechCrunch DisruptSF this past week. They came in lots of shapes and sizes with different solutions and product offerings, but share a common characteristic – ambition. These companies are small, scrappy and super committed – some with fun, simple ideas and others trying to solve basic human needs through complex technological innovations. They’re also eager to scale and internationalize their operations. That’s where we come in – to bridge the gap between Silicon Valley and Ireland.
Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, said during his TechCrunch Disrupt session, “Silicon Valley is going to be the center of the U.S. economy for the next 10-20 years.” Having lived in the Bay Area for three years, I’ve come to believe that. Every day I am blown away by the new ideas, companies and research that are spinning out of what is a relatively tiny geographic area. This fail-fast, succeed-faster environment is a true hotbed for new ideas and it continues to accelerate.
But what happens when a start-up reaches a point in their lifecycle where they need to expand beyond Silicon Valley and engage with people in overseas markets? Not only that, they want to do it the proper way by engrossing themselves in the culture and learning the unique business processes that will help them “speak” the language of the region.
From New Relic to Airbnb, Nitro to Dropbox, Zendesk to AdRoll scaling start-ups are beginning to expand beyond the boundaries of Silicon Valley, and they’re finding a home in Ireland. In the past three years alone, Ireland has welcomed more than 100 of these high-growth companies to our shores. This means that an international start-up opens an office in Ireland three out of every four weeks to support their EMEA and International growth.
Why? We offer a vibrant start-up scene with a friendly, young and talented workforce. Many have called Ireland the “Silicon Valley of Europe.” Just ask Jeremy Stoppelman, co-founder and CEO of Yelp. He said, “Ireland offers us fantastic access to multiple language capabilities from a tech savvy and educated population, not to mention a country that has proven to be a home-away-from-home for a number of existing Yelp employees that have already relocated there.”
Ireland also caters to the ambitious nature of these start-ups by allowing for quick execution and speed to market in Europe. The management experience that these guys can find in Ireland is second to none. By having world leaders, such as Apple, HP, Google, Intel, IBM, Oracle, VMWare, Salesforce and eBay, with significant operations in Ireland, a wealth of European management expertise has evolved in terms of executing and building a European business.
Working with IDA Ireland could mean it is only a matter of weeks from a company’s initial decision to their first day of business in Ireland. And we encourage collaboration among companies. Take Zendesk and Nitro – they have offices in the same building in Dublin, enabling personal and business interactions on a daily basis. That’s why their CEO and SVP of Product Development were comfortably chatting during our lunch on the first day of TechCrunch Disrupt.
Speaking of, the Ireland lunch at DisruptSF was packed. If attendance at that event is any indication, it looks as though Silicon Valley start-ups have a serious interest in Ireland. If you’re a start-up, how close is your company to global expansion? You may be closer than you think.
Deirdre Moran, @DeeMorany
Emerging Technologies / High Growth Companies
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