TechIreland | Blog | Raising the Regions

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.

John’s article shares the county by county data of course but it also touches on a couple of topics that jumped out at us while working on this Regions Review - things that I for one might have perceived differently given my vantage point here in Dublin.

For example, how FDI jobs (i.e. jobs in foreign owned multinationals) are considered as important, if not more important, than indigenous jobs. When asked about their county’s successes in 2017 a number of our advisors led with FDI stories. Why? Because jobs are their common currency and large multinationals equals large numbers of good quality jobs.

I’m quoted in John’s article as saying that “The importance of a central hub or physical building to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in a town or region cannot be overestimated”. We appreciate the value of hubs in Dublin too of course, but we also don’t realize how lucky we have it, with access to so many great hubs around the city and county.

Remote working came up a lot in our discussions with advisors who see it as critical to securing the economic future of their regions. It feels like there’s a cultural shift happening in places like Galway and the West where remote working is not only being embraced as a concept but promoted as part of the region’s new branding.

One final insight from this research worth highlighting relates to the hugely positive reaction within the regions to publicly funded projects and investments to spur innovation. But advisors were also clear eyed about what it would take to deliver on these ambitious plans. As Seamus Matthews, CEO of PennyOwl and TechIreland advisor for Kildare put it: If we can see material progress with the new Naas hub in 2018 that would be a huge step forward but it needs a Kildare community of entrepreneurs, mentors and investors alongside it who have learned the hard lessons”.

That’s the common currency of entrepreneurs - mentors, investors and lots of learned hard lessons.

Niamh Bushnell

Published: February 8, 2018