The Chamber

Startup Ireland merges with ConnectIreland

Move comes amid surge in number of companies seeking to start in Ireland

Lobby group Startup Ireland has merged with ConnectIreland, the economic development initiative that is seeking to attract businesses to Ireland.

The move comes as ConnectIreland said it had seen a surge in the number of companies wanting to start in Ireland instead of simply expanding here.

Startup Ireland was founded in 2013 with the intention of making Ireland a global startup hub by 2020.

Organisers said the link would boost this ambition.

“If Ireland is to become a global startup hub by 2020 it is now fitting that a bigger, internationally-connected organisation takes on this mission,” said Startup Ireland cofounder Eoin Costello. “With its international network of connectors and deep commitment to playing its part in the economic development of Ireland’s towns, cities and regions, the organisation best placed to do this is ConnectIreland.”

Outgoing chairman of the startup group Andrew Parish said the deal would breathe new life into the initiative’s ambition and would strengthen ConnectIreland’s engagement with startups, at home and overseas.

ConnectIreland said it saw the merger as a natural next step in building on the success of the Startup Gathering, the week-long event that Startup Ireland held in 2015 that saw some 40 events held throughout the country, with almost 19,000 participants.

“This is a very innovative development for both ConnectIreland and Startup Ireland. Given the skillset that currently exists in ConnectIreland, this union will integrate seamlessly into what we do while also offering new opportunities and areas for growth,” said Joanna Murphy, CEO of ConnectIreland.

Aspart of this year’s Startup Gathering, the amalgamated group will host the Gen Startup Nation Summit in November.

Mr Costello, meanwhile is moving onto a role leading the Digital Dun Laoghaire project.


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