Tech firms look to Access Silicon Valley

Within the next two months, early-stage Irish technology firms will be able to benefit from a programme aimed at fast-tracking their entry to the US market and, specifically, the lucrative and high-potential Silicon Valley/San Francisco region.

Enterprise Ireland unveiled its ‘Access Silicon Valley’ initiative yesterday, aimed at giving Irish tech firms a strong helping hand in accessing the highly competitive Silicon Valley region .

Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation Minister Richard Bruton said the practical, hands-on programme forms a key part of the Government’s plans to accelerate jobs growth among the Irish technology sector and, ultimately, has the potential to create more jobs in Ireland.

“A central part of the Government’s plans for jobs and growth is creating a powerful engine of Irish enterprise. We must not only continue to support strong growth in our multinational sector, but also achieve greater levels of growth among Irish companies,” Mr Bruton said.

“A key part of this is targeting the sectors where we have attracted multinational companies and building strong Irish companies out of this base.”

The programme — which formally starts in September — will run twice a year and last for an initial four-year timeframe.

The process includes company assessments and a mentoring ‘boot-camp’ in Ireland, before companies go to Silicon Valley for another two-week mentoring programme and meetings with potential partners.

Seven young Irish technology firms are currently in San Francisco, taking part in a pilot version of the programme and interacting with the likes of Sony, Facebook, and Apple. One of those companies has already signed a partnership deal.

Enterprise Ireland hopes that between 50 and 60 firms will benefit annually from the initial stage of the programme, at least.


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