Unlock Ireland

Come to Ireland with Your Start-up Idea

Ireland's Perfect Start-up Ecosystem

Ireland has developed into one of Europe’s leading start-up ecosystems. Entrepreneurs can leverage the same benefits that bring global tech companies like Facebook here. The Irish innovation-friendly environment includes:

Dublin’s Silicon Docks: This nickname is a reference to California’s Silicon Valley. The term was adopted to illustrate the high concentration of tech firms in Dublin’s docklands. Prominent examples are Google, Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. They all steer their European operations from Ireland.

Workforce: Ireland has a highly educated workforce and achieves top ranks for integrating theory and practice. The country has some of Europe’s leading universities with tailor-made courses for the demands of high-tech start-ups. One example is the Immersive Software Engineering (ISE) Master’s degree programme provided by the University of Limerick.  This programme was developed in conjunction with some of the largest tech companies including Stripe, Intercom and Workday. It’s one example of Ireland’s strong cooperation between academics and business.

Learn more about Ireland’s Education System.

Incubators and Accelerators: Ireland has some of Europe’s best incubator and accelerator programmes. Incubators are typically catered toward supporting early-stage startups. Dublin’s universities run many of the country’s leading incubators including NovaUCD and Trinity’s Tangent.

Accelerator programmes seek to develop businesses that are targeting fast global growth. NDRC is a leading accelerator in Ireland, building and investing in young digital startups with the potential to grow internationally.

Start-up hubs: There are numerous start-up community hubs in Ireland that foster collaboration, innovation, networking and learning, including; DogPatch Labs in Dublin and the PorterShed in Galway.

Venture Capital: Access to Venture Capital.

“If I was a first-time entrepreneur, there’s no better place to be looking for venture capital than in Ireland. There’s potentially more money per head available for seed capital than anywhere else in the world. There’s a huge amount of money and a huge appetite for investment” – Frank Walsh, Partner – Enterprise Equity Venture Capital

Ireland's Top 10 VC Investors

Silicon Republic, Ireland’s leading resource for start-up news and Pitchbook, a leading Venture Capital Investment Platform, have identified the most active private venture capital investors in the Irish start-up landscape based on deal count. The top 10 investors are:

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Options for Bringing a Start-up to Ireland from Overseas

Start-Up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP)

The Start-up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP) is an attractive option to obtain Irish residency for entrepreneurs with an innovative business idea.

Successful STEP applicants and their nominated family members are granted residence in Ireland for up to 5 years. This can be renewed indefinitely and is comparable to Permanent Residency (PR) in other countries. If applicants decide to reside in Ireland on a full-time basis they will be on a pathway towards full citizenship and obtaining an Irish passport.

Learn more by clicking here.

Competitive Start Fund (CSF) –  Investment for International Start-ups to grow their business in Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is the government organisation dedicated towards helping Irish enterprises develop and grow. It organises a bi-annual competition for overseas start-ups.

Twenty successful candidates are invited to Dublin to present their business projects (travel expenses are paid by the organisers). The organisers then select the ten most suitable start-ups who will receive an investment of €50,000 and visa support. The founders of the selected start-ups will move to Ireland and grow their business there. The winners receive assistance in immigration and incorporation.

The competition and the winners’ assistance program are intended only for foreign (non-Irish) start-ups and early-stage companies. The agency has mentioned that it is especially interested start-ups that can help address the climate crisis.

Glofox: An Irish Start-up Success Story

Glofox is an Irish start-up that has developed into a global gym management software company. The venture has recently announced additional funding of €9.2 million bringing the total Series A funding to around €18.4 million.

Glofox enables fitness businesses to deliver best-in-class physical and digital fitness experiences. The platform enables studio and gym owners to deliver content, manage bookings, memberships, payments, scheduling, lead generation, sales, and retention. Glofox’ client base now spans 48 countries across the globe. The Glofox solutions are shaping the fitness industry and ensure that gym owners and their customers have an optimal user experience.

Glofox launched a new live streaming platform during Covid. The platform enables gyms to transform their businesses and cope with current challenges.

If you would like to learn more about the possibility to bring your start-up to Ireland contact: info@unlockireland.com and arrange a call with one of our advisors. You can learn more about our services for entrepreneurs here.