Startup Ireland 2020 forum begins in Cork

7 October 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth


According to projections, more than 17,500 people will have taken part in the Startup Gathering week activities to promote entrepreneurship and showcase Ireland’s startup sector nationally and internationally.

The Startup Ireland Vision 2020 Forum held in Cork today (Wednesday) with a panel of international and national business leaders such as Boris Kantsepolsky of MSIL Tel Aviv, Martin Murray of Asia Matters and Julie Sinnamon of Enterprise Ireland as well as indigenous Cork startups, 4impacts, Radisens Diagnostics, Over-C, Dare Technology, GlowDX and Atlantia Food Trials.

With the theme, “Start, Scale, Succeed”, the Forum discussed the necessary conditions required by a successful startup ecosystem, and facilitated debate on developing Cork’s entrepreneurial networks and ultimately job creation in the startup sector.

Siobhan Finn, Startup Ireland Cork city co-ordinator and Cork innovates project director added, “It is hugely promising to see the full house today at County Hall in Cork for the Startup Island Forum; all the stakeholders in the Region from entrepreneurs, potential startups, EI, LEOs, UCC, CIT, Cork Chamber, Cork BIC the local authorities and other relevant parties; we believe that this is an “age of opportunity” for Cork and Ireland in terms of startups. Our focus is to create a momentum which builds on the existing infrastructure for SMEs and entrepreneurs in Cork, and the Startup Island Forum is playing a critical role through the collaboration and discussion here today.”

The weeklong Startup Gathering is a national expo promoting entrepreneurship and showcasing Ireland’s startup sector to a domestic and international audience, with the theme “Start, Scale, Succeed in Ireland”. Over 420 events are being held nationally supported by the Startup Ireland Partnership and with the sponsorship of Bank of Ireland. The Startup Island 2020 Forum is the flagship event for the Startup Gathering in Cork, where more than 65 events were hosted across the region to promote, motivate and create momentum for startups.

Eoin Costello, co-founder of Startup Ireland and national director for the Startup Gathering 2015 said, “Each of the Startup Gathering Cities is hosting a Startup Island 2020 Forum, bringing all of the players in the startup ecosystem together to discuss the big ideas that will turn their location into a startup hub. We believe Ireland has all of the vital ingredients to move up the rankings of global startup hubs. Startup Gathering is about driving real change across the startup sector, creating bigger and better networks, connections and collaborations with all of the players across the entrepreneurship spectrum – the startup leaders, investors, Government, research centres, universities, large corporates, and multi-nationals – to work collectively to build on Ireland’s strengths, and work towards the shared goal of Ireland becoming a world class startup hub by 2020.”

Gerry Prizeman, Head of Enterprise at Bank of Ireland said “All startups have to start somewhere, from the kitchen table to the scaling of a business with global ambitions, our entrepreneurs are driving their businesses forward every day and we want to partner with them on that journey. Startup Ireland’s vision to make Ireland a global startup hub is one which Bank of Ireland shares, and we want to share our expertise so that more people come to Ireland to start businesses, and more Irish people also take that step.”

The Startup Island Forum will continue this evening when the Cork BIC Venture Academy winner will be announced. The shortlisted startups, GlowDX, Sothic Bioscience, DiaNia Technologies and Safe Care Technologies .will be vying for the prize, which includes investment opportunities.

Cork innovates, whose vision has always been to enhance the positioning of the Cork region as a place which offers entrepreneurs globally and locally the best environment for business, is a natural vehicle to promote the Startup Gathering. Siobhán Finn was appointed to the role of Startup Gathering Cork City Region Co-ordinator by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation.

The vision for the Gathering is to highlight the resources available to support the growth of a diverse pipeline of indigenous and international high growth startups, which in turn will help attract international venture capitalists and other supporting bodies to locate in participating cities with a positive spill-over effect into indigenous and locally traded business,” said Siobhán Finn.

“The Startup Gathering Cork provides the ideal platform for stakeholders to work with Cork innovates and the Startup Ireland partnership in targeting events and initiatives aimed at startups and scaling SMEs at a much larger audience.” she added.

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