Ireland Inc. or Startup Ireland?
We don’t need to add to the brand soup of Web 2.0, FOWA DemoBar, Paddys Valley, Techludd, Barcamp, EduCamp and all their friends. Instead lets create an organisation to represent ourselves, the entrepreneurs, as a unified body of people with a realistic set of expectations and requirements who can lobby effectively and with a single voice when facing everybody from Enterprise Ireland to the VC and investment community.
As a person who has had to wash the Barcamp dublin funding through his own company (my accountant is still pissed at me!) just the simple logistical benefit ofÂ having a bank account to lodge sponsorship money would be a huge leap forward. Add to this a committee that can formulate policies that directly benefit the entrepreneurial community and provide a liaison point that can build successful relationships with Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Software Association and a host of others and you start to have something worth joining.
Startup Ireland, (a working title) would provide a umbrella organisation for all the events that currently float around as headless body and would provide a jumping off point for a social graph linking all of Ireland’s Entrepreneurs. Membership would be free for the first 12 months and then rise on a scale over three years. Membership is for individuals only, no companies. Companies will change names, exit, liquidate, get bought, but the individuals generally continue to be entrepreneurs and its the individuals we are interested in.
What about the ISA I here you say?Â Well apart from the fact that,
- You can’t join via the web
- It doesn’t understand Web 1.0 never mind Web 2.0
- Its too expensive
- Â You can’t join as an individual (its an employers club)
- Its not an independent organisation, its part of IBEC
- Its only software (and hardware companies)
there is a bigger problem, its simply become irrelevant to the current batch of Irish startups, they perceive no value in joining.
So Startup Ireland, a organisation by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs who are focussed on building export led businesses in all sectors.
Thats what I want to talk about at Paul’s dinner.