Forecasts of technology start-ups contributing €200m a year to the Dublin economy by 2020 and creating 2,800 jobs have been described as "conservative", with one industry mentor suggesting such figures could be doubled.
Addressing the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Eoin Costello of Start-up Ireland said while there remain challenges to overcome for Dublin to truly become an internationally renowned technology start-up hub, it could be well on the way by 2020.
Last year’s ‘Activating Dublin’ report from Dublin Chamber of Commerce and Dublin City Council suggested the capital could become the number-one technology start-up city in Europe by 2020, with the sector contributing €200m to the local economy on a yearly basis.
Mr Costello said the figures are conservative and could easily be doubled.
However, while noting that Ireland is on track and going in the right direction as a technology hub, he said a number of links in the chain need to be strengthened.
Improvements are needed across the six pillars of the start-up ‘ecosystem’: Public policy, access to finance, access to talent, peer mentoring, a ‘can-do’ entrepreneurial culture, and vibrant hotspots.
Start-up Ireland wants to see an embracing of entrepreneurship as a viable career option and better ties between start-ups and third-level education (including more student projects based on collaboration with companies and an increase in the level of student internships with start-ups).
Mr Costello said Ireland should be capable of upping the number of tech-based start-up firms it is producing from the current 200 per annum to 2,500 by 2020.
Start-up Ireland is planning an international competition to attract more technology SMEs to Ireland and said Ireland needs to attract more tech multinationals interested in establishing R&D activities here, rather than just those looking to set up customer service operations.
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