TechIreland | Blog

Recent posts

How to Pitch in New York City

6 September 2018

Every Thursday evening, the prestigious ERA accelerator in New York holds a fundraising pitch practice session for its current cohort of companies. In the initial weeks of the practice the companies pitch to ERA’s in-house team. For the next couple of weeks they practice in front of ERA alumni companies. And then, for about 6 weeks straight before demo day, VCs are invited into the practice session, two at a time, to hear the pitches and share their feedback.

Ronan Perceval, Evergreen Man

2 August 2018

Four or five weeks ago I read the news about Phorest’s €20M funding round. You probably read it too. Phorest is a salon management software used by thousands of beauty salons and millions of customers around the world. I’ve talked and interviewed Phorest CEO and Founder Ronan Perceval many times before. He’s also one of the startup leaders here in Ireland that I regularly reach out to for advice and feedback on my own work, in the Commissioner role and more recently with TechIreland. Phorest was also an early sponsor of TechIreland.

Female Funding Numbers

19 July 2018

Today TechIreland releases figures on Female Founder Funding in Ireland as part of our year-long €100M Campaign. Download the snapshot from our website and you’ll see that while we’re only €18M in on our €100M target, we’re €2M ahead of where we were this time last year, and are tracking 9 companies with over €1M raised versus only 5 companies during the same period last year.

Taking a Map

12 July 2018

This week The Marker Hotel put our book, Innovation Nation, into each of their 180 guest rooms. The press announcement featured a nice line about how the book was the innovation equivalent of a great Irish restaurant guide, and we embrace that comparison wholeheartedly.

On Fundraising with Jules Coleman

28 June 2018

Jules Coleman is a great entrepreneur and a wonderful conversationalist. Irish, based in London, Jules has appeared many times before on this blog and as part of TechIreland’s €100M Campaign, we chatted again earlier this week on the topic of fundraising for her first company Hassle, and her new company Resi. The full - and raw - podcast is here. A summary of key insights, including some paraphrasing by yours truly, is below. I recommend the full podcast however, it has many more rich insights than I could squeeze in here. Enjoy!

Niamh Given’s Asia

20 June 2018

A couple of years ago, during my Commissioner role, I traveled far and wide to spread the gospel of Irish - or at the time it was - Dublin tech. One of those trips was to Hong Kong and China. And there, in Shenzhen, is where I first met Niamh Given.

Obvious Help For Startups

31 May 2018

You know when something is so obvious to you that you’re lost for words when asked to explain it to others? At times like these a patient explanation – or perhaps a well designed visual - can be the most effective.

GDPR as a Business

24 May 2018

A recent Wall Street Journal article on GDPR starts like this: “The European Union’s tough new data-protection law demands costly changes for many companies—and opens rich business opportunities for others” but as one of my colleagues here astutely observed, the law seems to be prompting bigger companies to just email out their privacy policies while smaller companies are throwing their subscriber lists to the wind hoping they’re prevailing in their direction.

The Cleanse

17 May 2018

Let’s just say I was less than impressed when I first heard about this. I’ve always liked the idea of clean slates, changing tack on a plan or starting over again, but this just seemed too extreme, too final, and back then at least, way too far away.

Back Yourself

3 May 2018

I love it when a founder shows chutzpah. Yesterday morning I moderated a panel on funding at Mason Hayes Curran and when I asked Peter Foley from Lets Get Checked where a founder finds the confidence to negotiate VC funding, he responded: you just have to back yourself.

Santina Doherty

26 April 2018

I’ve known Santina Doherty, CEO and Co-Founder of Unravel, an AI-powered browser testing product, for over a year now and count her among the many female founders in Ireland who give inspiration to our work here at TechIreland. Santina is also known for her previous leadership roles in important Irish companies like Ryan Air and Hostelworld.

What 53 Female Founders Say

19 April 2018

In a couple of weeks time, we’ll have some numbers around female founder funding in Q1 in Ireland. It’ll be the first temperature check in our year-long campaign to track €100M in 2018, but there’s a lot more than an accounting exercise involved here. The €100M Campaign is also about building relationships and a better understanding of the dynamics that female founders and investors experience in Ireland, and tracking as much data as we can on both sides.

Who Knew

12 April 2018

When I told them about the idea of turning TechIreland’s Innovation Nation Reviews into a coffee table book, TechIreland’s Board were characteristically supportive, if not a little uneasy. But then again, as myself and Brian Caulfield agreed over coffee a few weeks later, who knew? Who knew a book like this would be so successful at communicating Ireland’s innovation story, and that Google and so many others would be buying it in large quantities to distribute across their organisations?

See you there in May

5 April 2018

TechIreland, as we know it and love it, is one year old this week, and while the first twelve months was all about gathering and validating data around Irish innovation - a wholeheartedly nerdy mission that will continue to define us - year two is also about driving more community based projects. Our community work started with Innovation Nation, our coffee table book now on its second print run, followed by the launch of the €100M Campaign, a year long exercise in tracking, understanding and celebrating female founder funding.

The Book is Out!

14 March 2018

The Innovation Nation book comes out today and you can buy it right now on our home page. The book brings together three reports TechIreland released over the last few months on innovation in Ireland - Sectors, Regions and Funding. Those reports were downloaded over a thousand times so we decided that, as a next step, we’d publish them in a beautiful 140 page coffee table book.

Announcing TechIreland’s €100M Campaign

7 March 2018

As regular readers of this weekly blog know, TechIreland is a unique data service building a data driven story of innovation activity in Ireland. Today, March 8th 2018, we’re launching our first ever year long campaign called the €100M Campaign. So, what is it and what happened to prompt it? Well, here’s the story…

Beating the Weather

1 March 2018

Given the snow outside and the forecast for lots more we decided to drum up a list of weather beating Irish companies for you to get to know…

5 Powerful Startup Offerings

22 February 2018

Amazon’s blog posts do a great job of demystifying Alexa - the digital assistant - and her power. She can help you fall asleep they explain, keep your fridge stocked, play a game or keep your cat company while you’re out and about.

The American Way

15 February 2018

My buddy Feargall Kenny spoke at the HBAN conference last week here in Dublin. Feargall has been in NYC for over 20 years now but his Irish accent remains intact. He runs New York Digital Irish and a digital recruitment firm called Glenborn so there’s really no better man to tell truth from fiction when it comes to US market entry for Irish tech companies.

Raising the Regions

8 February 2018

The Regions Review 2017 - part 3 of TechIreland’s version of a box set - was published earlier this week and got some nice coverage including John Kennedy’s article “The Rise of the Regions”. For the second time in a month we achieved #MostRead status on Silicon Republic which translates into thousands and thousands of readers and a healthy competitive spirit back here at the office.

But Here’s The thing

1 February 2018

This week we publish part 3 of our State of the Innovation Nation: the Regions Review. It’s a what’s what and who’s who of 2017 innovation in 8 counties outside Dublin.

Reeling In The year 2017

17 January 2018

Today we publish the Sector Review 2017, part 2 of our State of the Innovation Nation report. Part 1, the Funding Review went live last week, and part 3, the Regions story, goes out on Feb 5th. For this comprehensive and, if I say so myself, good looking Sector Review, we’ve combined our own 2017 data with insights from our sector Advisors. The deck covers 8 sectors and 4 deep tech domains in Ireland including of course AI, IOT, Blockchain and more.

The Funding Review 2017

11 January 2018

Happy New Year everyone, and why does every day in January always feel like a Monday? Moving on, we’re excited to announce the release today of our Funding Review 2017, the first of three Reviews that make up our State of the Innovation Nation 2017…

State of the Innovation Nation 2017

14 December 2017

One month from now, in mid January 2018, TechIreland will release our first annual State of the Innovation Nation report. The past year has been a good one for innovation in Ireland and this report aims to tell us just how good, while sharing juicy insights on each and every innovation sector, and on funding, emerging technologies, new companies, regional developments, and more.

Our Christmas Celebration

7 December 2017

Last night we celebrated our first TechIreland Christmas party. We took a room in a restaurant on the quays from where we could see the Ha’penny bridge and the Christmas lights up and down the Liffey. All around us was Dublin at its Christmas best.

Santa’s Irish Gift List

30 November 2017

We’re Making a List, We’re Checking it 20 Times… That’s right people, TechIreland is about to solve your Christmas gift dilemmas with our first ever Santa list. Search keyword “Santa List” on TechIreland, or just scroll below for a sample of the many ready-to-buy innovative gifts we love from Irish companies. Here goes:

Cutting our Cloth

16 November 2017

Did you see Adrian Weckler’s article about Web Summit never coming back to Ireland? I’ve been asked this question a number of times in the last week. I did I say, and I agree with him. Coming to the same conclusion was easy after experiencing the conference in Lisbon last year myself.

How to Invest in Irish Innovation

9 November 2017

I played stand-in for Adrian Weckler in last week’s Sunday Independent with a piece about how investing in innovation is open to everyone these days, no matter how small your wallet or appetite for risk.

My Trip to Sligo

2 November 2017

Last week I went on an early morning hike up to Queen Maeve’s grave in Knocknarea, Co. Sligo. The night before I spoke at the Startup Sligo meetup which was held at the Lough Gill brewery. It was my first time speaking in a brewery but hopefully not my last.

The Future is Female

26 October 2017

The female founder snapshot (nicknamed BFFs: Brilliant Female Founders) comes out today on our website and in the Irish Times. It’s the first time we’re releasing data relating to diversity in Irish product companies and we’re excited to get your feedback on it.

It’s Tuesday 9am BFFs

19 October 2017

It’s never a bad time to tell the story of female founders and innovation in Ireland. That said, right now feels like a particularly good time, for lots of local and global reasons.

Busy for the Budget

12 October 2017

October 2014 - 10 days into the Dublin Commissioner role. Thoughts on the budget: Overwhelmed. This is complicated and convoluted…

Regional and Real

5 October 2017

This day last week I was on the stage of The Set Theatre in Kilkenny - thanks to an invite from John Cleere, organiser of the TechThursdayKK meetup, and one of our regional advisors.

There I was, landing down from Dublin to tell the locals how innovative they were. But the data was good, the reception was warm, and the feedback flowed over pints at the end of the night…

Getting Stuck In with AI

28 September 2017

Today we release our first Artificial Intelligence Snapshot alongside our media partner, the Irish Times, and our AI Sponsor, Intel. Click directly on the figures to see full profiles of the 66 companies we’re tracking so far, and click listen to access the podcast.

Time for Technicolour

21 September 2017

At SaaStock on Tuesday I met Stewart Rogers, a VentureBeat reporter covering marketing tech. After our impromptu chat I sent him 18 Irish “martech” companies to look at and offered to make introductions. Delivering that data was as easy as flipping a switch. It would have taken us hours to put it together six months ago.

A Job and a Discount

13 September 2017

It’s all happening here today.

First up the job.

We’re looking for a developer intern to join our team at TechIreland. Someone who’s enthusiastic, committed, likes to brainstorm new functionality and is getting to know Ruby on Rails well enough already to ramp up steadily but surely over time…

From Good To Great

7 September 2017

Intercom’s Maja Grubic has just written a great post about the challenge of delivering bug free software to market. Like engineers who love to write and ship code, TechIreland’s four data managers feel most productive when they’re adding and updating profiles on the platform every day…

Video Time!

11 August 2017

If you’re in the mood for checking out a fun, short video, here’s the one we made about the D/Day launch of TechIreland on June 28th. There’s a lot packed into 2 minutes here so take a look. You might see yourself, or people you know, among the 180 attendees.

Role Model Time

28 July 2017

When Irish startup Fund Recs pulled out of the European Fintech Awards in protest at the all-male judging panels they were rightly hailed as role models for the sector and the tech industry as a whole.


20 July 2017

As promised on last week’s blog, here’s a link to our newest snapshot - on TravelTech innovation in Ireland, as of July 2017. In it we’re highlighting the key baseline data - funding, employees, the biggest companies, a sampling of Irish and multinational movers and shakers and recent news.

Sector is Our Vernacular

13 July 2017

Sector is our vernacular at TechIreland. Not city or county, urban or rural. We’re too small an island to tell a tribe by tribe story. It’s the headline we decided to go with from early on to help us identify where Ireland has depth and relevance internationally.

This News is Massive

5 July 2017

I was rambling around town on a day off last Thursday when Adrian Weckler from the Irish Independent emailed me with the news - hot off the press - that a new European Commission ruling would allow Sweden to eliminate income taxes on share options granted to employees of SMEs.

We Made It!

28 June 2017

The party kicks off at 6pm tonight and by that time our new website will be live with loads of new content, starting with 3 snapshots on Irish Innovation in Fintech, HealthTech and the Internet of Things (IOT).

Please and Thank You

20 June 2017

If you’re a company profiled on TechIreland, the chances are high you’ll be receiving an email* from us this week asking you to review your updated profile. We’ll only make this request twice a year, reminding you that while it’s absolutely our job to keep track of your progress and promote you, only you really know how to tell the best story.

Some Serious Heads

14 June 2017

A whole 32 thought leaders responded to our recent call for Advisors for TechIreland. From across the country we’ve now gathered some serious heads (and hearts!) to help us on our mission to become the definitive source of data on Irish innovation globally.

Saving Your Sundays

7 June 2017

A couple of weeks back TechIreland held our first quarterly meeting with thought leaders across different technology and sector domains in Ireland. We told them about TechIreland’s mission and how we needed their support and partnership to be successful. They told us about the key players in their areas, and shared their frustrations at the lack of good data out there.

What Success Looks Like

1 June 2017

At a meeting yesterday I found myself answering a familiar question: “What does success look like for TechIreland in 3 years time?”. TechIreland will be successful when decisions are being made about Irish innovation that are, in small or large part, driven by our data.

Focus Folks, Focus

24 May 2017

I was involved in two exciting discussions recently about innovation and the data driven economy in Ireland. The first was at the FutureScope conference where I moderated a panel about turning data into cash. The expertise on the panel was deep and impressive from RecommenderX to Plynk to Paddy Power and Deloitte.

TechIreland’s Triple Play

17 May 2017

TechIreland has received a lot of great support here in Ireland but I’m still sometimes asked what it is and what it does. So here’s a primer that’s been helpful to explain what we’re at.

So, What’s There?

10 May 2017

I once heard an interview with John O’ Donohue, the author of Anam Cara. He was going on a trip to the US and asked his young niece what she’d like him to bring her back. She replied “well, what do they have there?”.