22 Aug Dublin Remains Hot for Startups
The recent Startup Heatmap Europe study proves the startup ecosystem in Dublin is one of the most phenomenal in all of Europe, ranking 6th following a survey of over 700 European founders. Dublin was mostly endorsed for access to capital (44% gave 4 or 5 stars) and talent (42%), even though it did not earn the top spot in these categories. Also, Dublin scored especially well with internet startups, which ranked the city overall 2 ranks higher than the high-tech startups.
When looking at its appeal region by region, Dublin surprised to have a good reputation in the CEE and the Mediterranean regions, capturing 20% and 16% of the possible votes from there. This might be in no small part due to having one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the Europe at 12.5% and multinationals have moved in from all over to join the thousands of companies that have been forming on and around the increasingly important Silicon Docks area of Dublin. Its top competitor to watch out for is definitely Lisbon, which shot up through the ranks and proves both strong in Southern Europe and with internet startups. Barcelona and Amsterdam, too, are strong contenders.
Businesses in Dublin are rarely of the sort that serves consumers, instead focusing on serving B2B businesses, the city boasts more than 2,000 startup companies. Niamh Bushnell, Dublin Commissioner for Start-Ups, explained why B2B businesses flourish in Dublin in an interview with Forbes “We have large customer care, treasury management and other teams, all of whom need B2B products and a lot of key figures who make decisions about these things.”
The startup population is even more remarkable when one takes into account that Amsterdam, which is three times the size of Dublin, hosts the same number. Needless to say, Startup Dublin is a rather major player in the European field these days. Bushnell went on to say “These people travel all over the world but they’re based in Dublin.”
Part of its reputation as an excellent place for startups is based on its access to capital and talent, as the Startup Heatmap Europe study shows. While Dublin doesn’t quite top the scales in those categories, they do contribute heavily for its overall placement as one of the brightest stars in the startup world. Even its burn rate is exceptional, with 25% of startups ranking it as particularly affordable – which is a good rate compared internationally.
The local industry is deeply invested in building its reputation as a startup mecca, with the office of the Dublin Commissioner Startups – aka Startup Dublin – forming gatherings for the Dublin tech community known as ‘brekkies” that happen on the first Friday of each month. You can register for the brekkies here under “The Brekkie.”
The previously mentioned large number of startup companies creates an amazing atmosphere in a city this size, with so many innovators and entrepreneurs in so small a place business leaders are constantly bumping into people they can network with and expand the reach of their own company by cooperation with their fellow businesses. These relationships grow quickly and integration into the local industries happens almost effortlessly, it’s just part of living in the startup ecosystem in Dublin.
There’s also a bright side to this funding slump, the local and state authorities have gone to great lengths to provide ample opportunities for these companies to find funding and get a foothold. You just have to deal with the fact that you’ll be working on public funding for a while, alternately, they aren’t likely to try to tell you how to run your business, so it’s a bit of a trade-off.
In fact, one of the benefits of how tight-knit the community is, as we’ve mentioned previously. If funding exists for your particular project, especially locally, you’re going to find it. It’s a common occurrence that speaking to one investor who isn’t interested will lead to them giving you a list of 10 people who might be. You’re not going to find that kind of interwoven communities in many other Startup Ecosystems.
Another fascinating element of the Dublin ecosystem is the sheer amount of talent floating around the area, with 42% of founders rating talent access in Dublin 4 or 5 out of 5. It seems to have attracted a strong powerbase of individuals who prefer working with startups, they like the energy that’s involved and the challenges that they face. Even more interesting is the attitude the local area has towards these individuals, Bushnell reveals “Our trick, is to make sure that what they’re doing in Ireland is valuable; up-skilling the people.”
This doesn’t mean that the smaller startups don’t face their challenges. To the right talent, with the right product, it’ll be the challenge and promise of making it work that will draw them to the smaller startups. So if you’re planning on dipping your toes in, come with your A-game prepped and be ready to sell your ambition if you hope to capture the best local talent.
Startup Dublin is a vibrant, growing ecology that is well connected and rife with possibilities. When you have an environment that’s leaning heavily on supporting those industries, including the local universities, state, and government entities are there to help bolster your success, it ranks as 6th as one of the best places in the world to plant the roots of your newest venture.