Brexit shock to hit Irish start-up funding prospects

Sterling’s precipitous fall in the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not only hit Irish firms’ exports but also limit their funding prospects.

Dublin Startup Commissioner Niamh Bushnell said she expects startups to be adversely affected by Brexit as UK venture capital firms Irish startups look to for funding count the cost of the decision and sterling’s subsequent fall.

Where the euro was worth 78p prior to last Thursday’s vote it had moved to 83p yesterday as sterling’s slide continued.

The outcome has also moved the stepping stone of the UK market a little further away for Irish firms looking to branch into new markets with a new wave of conservatism likely to materialise, Ms Bushnell added.

“Brexit represents a challenge for Irish startups too, especially those leveraging the UK as a stepping stone into global markets.

"Uncertainty around trade policy could drag on for years, but because of Brexit, overnight Britain seems slower to innovate and take risks, and harder for newcomer businesses to break into,” Ms Bushnell said.

Despite the difficulties the outcome is set to cause Irish businesses, there are also opportunities that the country can benefit from.

The focus of attracting business to Ireland must be an bringing innovative enterprise to the country rather than just back office jobs, she said.

Meanwhile, the Government yesterday launched its €1.9m initiative aimed at attracting skilled overseas workers to Ireland.

The Tech/Life Ireland marketing initiative hopes to attract as many as 3,000 tech professionals to the country with central and southern Europe among its key target markets.

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