Dylan Collins on Startups in Ireland

Dylan Collins of Jolt Games crystallizes my views on what needs to be done in Ireland with startups in the Irish Independent today,

Collins argues passionately about why Ireland needs to be providing greater support for its young technology entrepreneurs. "If Ireland wants to achieve this knowledge economy it should be prepared to invest at low seed levels.

"If Enterprise Ireland was to make 200 or 300 grants available every year at €50,000 a pop for entrepreneurs to build an online product and go to market. For €50,000, you can get three or four guys in a room for three or four months and they will build a product and go to market. If we had 300 of these groups every year, you would create a digital ecosystem.

"In the US, groups like Y Combinator are funding businesses at low levels and, in Europe, The Founders Fund is doing this.

"There are venture capitalists in the US waiting to bet on young businesses. It’s remarkable this hasn’t happened in Ireland yet. We should be supporting our young right now, instead of scaring them to death.

"For €10m a year, you could have 200 companies a year and 5pc of them could emerge as Ireland’s answer to Microsoft or Nokia," says Collins.

3 thoughts on “Dylan Collins on Startups in Ireland

  1. Joe,

    I couldn’t agree more and you know that!
    Early stage start-up development is still more hampered rather than supported in the current climate. There is a glut of bureaucracy and a lack of actual funding and support.
    I am trying to address this area with the GreenHouse incubators. We will not only provide the “room” for the start-up to work in, we will also help to develop the business from an idea to a level where it is ready for further funding and expansion. All at no cash cost but rather in exchange for a small amount of equity (a la Ycombinator).
    We’ve now built up a large network of mentors and “service providers” who we can call on to assist the start-up with their every need.
    We also actively encourage networking between the start-ups on the incubation cycle and hold weekly open coffee club type “brainstorming” sessions.
    In the current economic climate there cannot be enough support for start-ups as these are excatky the companies that will lift us out of the current recession…


  2. What I’d like to see too is more €6,000-ish grant schemes like the level 1 awards made by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland each year. I was one recipient of such a grant last year and it gave me the opportunity to invest a lot of time getting my project off the ground. @keithdkennedy is after announcing on Twitter that he has just received news today that he is to receive a level 1 awards through this year’s scheme. And I know that’s going to make a big difference to him in terms of the commitment he can give to his project idea. In some terms there’s not a lot you can do with €6k but in some ways there is. And access to the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland network is invaluable.

    I often wonder why us Tuesday-pushers don’t create a similar ‘crowdsourced’ grant scheme where we use Pledgebank or similar crowfunding app to fund (non-social) business ideas IQ-prize style by the group of people donating to the fund… and I do mean donating. We could then provide advice/feedback on an on-going basis in the same way Social Entrepreneurs Ireland do, through an on-line forum/network/twitter.

    I for one would be happy to pledge €60 to such a fund and I’m sure we could find 100 other on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and so on. In fact I’d be happy to make such a donation every couple of months. Anyone want to help make it happen?


  3. Very valid points, I like the idea of micro loads. There also needs to be a non CORD grant system for graduates. CORD is based on previous year tax paid, so graduates can’t benefit from it, or small self employed businesses who have been going for 18 months and thus paid themselves a very small wage (€10,000) if even possible, can’t benefit from it.

    Another area, unrelated to grants is route to market. Making it easier for SMEs to establish and sell into USA and Canada is key, the European market is great for large companies, but for must small (mirco) companies it’s not possible due to language barriers, and bureaucracy. USA and Canada is the key market and selling into these markers and getting press there is required.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.