UP to 35 Irish companies looking to build a presence in the US are to be given the ideal start in a new Irish Innovation Centre which is to open there in January.
The facility in San Jose will focus on “clean-tech” and “software” industries and is backed by the city’s former mayor Tom McEnery, a leading Irish American businessman who will be a limited partner in a special venture fund targeting $100 million (€68.22m) in investments for Irish companies.
The project has the backing of Trinity College and University College Dublin and universities here and in Silicon Valley will help facilitate research and technology development at the centre.
Executives from companies including Intel, Cisco Systems Yahoo and Hewlett Packard who are members of the Irish Technology Leadership Group, will act as mentors for the new businesses there.
“It’s not just organisations letting their logos be used, or people lending their names, but a real involvement from people who can help build relationships and alliances,” Tom McEnery told the Silicon Valley Journal.
He said having the kind of ideas and innovators the centre will bring to the area gives downtown a shot in the arm.
“It’s exactly what we want to see down here,” he said. “This is similar to the small entrepreneurship innovators that built the valley… we hope it will help pull us out of the economic malaise.”
One company already set to move in is Wavebob Ltd, a company with locations in Ireland, the North and Annapolis in the US.
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