When President Obama visited Ireland earlier this year, he referred to the country as being “an entrepreneurial nation.” But he wasn’t the first US President to recognise the innovative and entrepreneurial mindset of the Irish people. The late JFK in fact quoted George Bernard Shaw in his speech to the nation: ““Other people see things and say, ‘Why?’…But I dream things that never were – and I say, ‘Why not?’”
Wise words indeed, and at a time when the Irish economy has been in the news for all the wrong and negative reasons, we felt it was time to redress the balance and to highlight some of the excellent entrepreneurial initiatives and ventures that are happening in Ireland right now .
Business Angels, a national business angel network which brings together the private equity activities of Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and the Irish Business and Innovation Centres.
The Irish Investment Network is an online platform connecting local entrepreneurs with angel investors both in Ireland and internationally.
Local councils, universities and economic development groups regularly have competitions for new startups and innovative ideas. One of the most recent is through Enterprise Ireland, who are currently on a major drive to push entrepreneurial students to get moving on creating innovative business proposals. It has just launched its 30th student enterprise competition that’s open to all full-time, third-level students on the island of Ireland. The Think Outside The Box competition will award the winner with a cash prize of €10,000 as well as €17,500 worth of specialist advice and assistance.
Seedups the Irish based Crowdfunding site has recently announced that is has a €26,000,000 investment pool available for tech startups. Since going live in February of this year, it has already attracted almost 900 entrepreneurs and 400 investors from the USA, UK and Ireland. For more details, check out the Seedups site here.
The creative sector has its’ own Crowdfunding site in the form of Fundit which covers projects across the island of Ireland. It has just this week announced that it has now had 93 projects fully funded. More details on Fundit can be found here.
Enterprise Ireland has launched a €10m fund to attract entrepreneurs to relocate to Ireland to establish their start-ups. More details on the programme can be found here.
This isn’t by any means an all inclusive list – just a few of the initiatives that have come to our attention.
But with these examples alone, you’d surely have to agree with us when we say, it’s not all gloom and doom out there….