The disproportionate amount of venture capital funding being attracted by Dublin companies needs to be explained given the the quality of investment opportunities elsewhere in the country.
Data Protection Minister Dara Murphy called on the VC industry to explain the regional imbalance as he announced the creation of 50 jobs at data management solutions company, Asystec.
The opening of Asystec’s new Ballincollig facility where the roles will come on stream in the coming three years was one of two announcements which will see a total of 75 new jobs created in Cork.
Mr Murphy was responding to a report released earlier in the week which showed that of the €307m worth of venture capital funding received by Irish companies in the first six months of the year just €2.9m went to firms in Cork while Limerick start-ups attracted no funding whatsoever.
Dublin firms attracted up to €227m of the total.
The junior minister said the “disproportionately high proportion of private capital” flowing into Dublin raised questions that the industry need to answer, and suggested that private VC firms may not have adequate regard for the opportunities available outside of Dublin.
“Why, when Cork is clearly creating per head of population as many new job opportunities and start-ups as anywhere else, is the private funding directed in the main, or disproportionately in the Dublin region?
And I think we need to ask the industry have they sufficient regard for the opportunities there are in other parts of the country?” Mr Murphy said.
Suggesting market forces are to blame for the regional imbalance doesn’t stack up, given the significant industry clusters located throughout the country such as chemical and medical devices in Cork which should attract funding, he added.
Meanwhile, Tánaiste Joan Burton announced the overhaul of jobs website, jobsireland.ie, with the creation of 25 roles.
The €4.5m contract for the development and operation of the site has been awarded to BDO Ireland in partnership with Carrigaline-based tech startup, The Hire Lab.
The existing JobsIreland.ie website, first developed in the late 1990s, is the largest such website in use in Ireland.
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