Thursday, May 24, 2007

EI in 2006 had 76 startups and 2007 predictions

From Business Plus Online:
07/03/07:Enterprise Ireland has said that indigenous Irish companies that it supports will create more than 1,260 new high skilled jobs and generate exports worth €110m over the next two years. The majority at 41 are located in regions outside of Dublin, with 35 companies being located in Dublin.

Kevin Sherry, manager of Enterprise Ireland's High Potential Start-Up Unit (HPSU) added: "Increasing the number of new high-growth export focused businesses is a key objective for Enterprise Ireland and 2006 has been a record year with the establishment of 76 HPSUs.

Martin and Sherry were speaking at Enterprise Ireland's annual High Potential Start-Up Showcase, an event ... also provides an important networking opportunity by bringing together these entrepreneurs, the investment community, Irish business leaders and Enterprise Irelands business development executives. “Furthermore it provides a platform for venture capital firms to identify investment opportunities,” he added.

... I am pleased to report that the pipeline of HPSUs for 2007 is already strong,” said Sherry.

A high potential startup is defined as a company which is:
  • based on technological innovation
  • likely to achieve significant growth in three years (sales of €1m per annum and employment of ten)
  • export oriented
  • led by an experienced team, with a mixture of technical and commercial competencies.

56% of those firms were in 'Software and Services'.  No further breakdown by Web 2.0, Enterprise, SaaS etc..
From EI news report
Enterprise Ireland invested €17.5m of the total €47.5m investment in the 76 new start-ups.

Two intial things:
  1. I have to read this from BizPlus and not EI's site as they don't have any RSS feeds - duh! - maybe one of their HSPU's can hack that together for them (Brian - can u kick someone : )
  2. Has anyone attended this showcase and any reports on it; who attended, what investors, angels, VC's, entrepreneurs, open or just EI affair?

Lets hope its a bit better in its predictions than the current economic stats  reported (great article going into a lot of depth) by Michael Hennigan at FinFacts

Only six jobs were created in the €110m Information Age Park Ennis (IAPE- Shannon Development) in the past 12 months...
...Enterprise Minister Mícheál Martin, who said it had the potential to create 3,500 jobs over the next 15 years.
...the numbers working at the Information Age Park are 43, increasing six
...The number of companies increased from 14 to 19.
...IDA Ireland has so far failed to attract any foreign direct investment into the park

Innovation specialist Professor Danny Breznitz of the Georgia Institute of Technology says our research infrastructure is too narrow in its focus and may not be sustainable. 
(Note: GIT has a great looking support/teaching stucture - will follow up with another article on "Whats needed for a support eco-system". I'll also talk about SFI and research orgs which (investment wise both via EU/IRL) seem to dwarf other 'support' initiatives.)

He says we are not creating enough new businesses, and when new businesses are set up, the
financial supports are not there to keep them innovating.

Professor Breznitz said that if a country wants sustained economic growth it has to focus on innovation, not only on the research side but on the commercialisation and the growth of productivity.

...GEM...found the percentage of people who were either thinking of going into business or had just started a new venture slid substantially in Ireland...

...He (Feargal Quinn) praised the Government’s decision to invest heavily in scientific research, but he said that turning Ireland into a world-class research centre is not enough.


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