Author Archives: Lorcan O'Sullivan

Dylan Collins beat us to it with the news about Ireland’s new visa programme for startups,

Ireland has long been destination of choice for the biggest and the most ambitious companies in Information Technology and Software  to set up major subsidiaries. Ireland has quietly made significant improvements in the startup environment and supports for its own growing number of locally originating high tech start ups. It now has some of the best soft supports along with probably the greatest amount of early stage funding, per capita, in Europe and one of the best in the world.

We in Ireland are now working to attract entrepreneurs with software and other innovative start ups to relocate here to benefit from the start up supports that have been put in place-  the same advantages that have attracted the big companies. This new visa scheme is yet another building block in making Irealnd Europe’s go to location of choice for innovative start ups.

Click here to watch the Start a Business in Ireland Video.

I am delighted that the Department of Justice has introduced this new visa programme. It shows the full commitment there is right across the different parts of government to making Ireland a destination of choice for innovative entrepreneurs.

The main criteria are:

  • Have access to funding of €75k  through business angels, venture capital providers or a financial institution regulated by the Financial Regulator. Personal funding transferred to the State or a grant from a relevant State agency would also be acceptable.
  • The business must have a strong innovation component. Projects will be evaluated by an Evaluation Committee based on those who demonstrate a good idea or the potential to be a winner.

More details at and at


With 3 out of the top 8 business accelerators in Europe based in Ireland, here in Enterprise Ireland we are determined to help Irish startups succeed. We’re also convinced that Ireland is the best place for entrepreneurs worldwide to come and start their business.

The application process for one of the top 8, DCU Ryan Academy’s Propeller Venture Accelerator, has just opened. This award-winning accelerator has a tremendous amount on offer for smart, winning entrepreneurs: €30K investment, over 60 mentors (including serial entrepreneurs and product/business specialists), office space and a demo-day.

The snag? There isn’t one – you get all this for a 6.5% equity stake, which is surely the bargain of the century.

Summary of DCU Propellor offering

The primary aim of Propeller is to boost early stage technology start-up companies with an emphasis on software, Web 2.0, informatics, clean-tech and applications.

Paul Healy, CEO Fantom and a noted serial entrepreneur, is full of praise for the venture:

Winning a place on the inaugural Propeller Venture Accelerator was like being plucked off the bus and placed on the bullet train for our business. We were given access to the most senior Irish business talent and an inside track to the Irish and international investment community.

Interest in the application process has come from far and wide, with expressions of interest outside Ireland from USA, UK, France, Israel and Portugal. The closing date for applications is November 2nd,  although applicants are advised to apply early. The accelerator starts with the companies moving to Citywest, Co Dublin, on January 2nd next year. For more information visit the Propeller Website and get the Propeller PDF brochure.

Not in Dublin? Enterprise Ireland support a range of business incubators nationwide (list at bottom of this blogpost).


As Michael Caine might say – not many people know this! According to a recent TechCocktail report  Ireland has three of the top eight start-up accelerators in Europe – despite having less than one per cent of the European population.I reckon this is an important piece of news that needs to be put out there, particularly in the context of private sector funding sources for start-ups and early stage companies.

Another snippet of information I picked up recently is that in the past few years over 35 overseas VCs have invested in Irish start-ups and/or early stage companies. Apparently, these VCs find the quality of the start-ups, the advantages of the country’s business and tax environment and our proximity to the main European VC centres extremely appealing. As you know by this stage, Enterprise Ireland has goodrelationships with many of these VCs and is, therefore, in a good position to to arrange introductions.

I think this is one of the many good news stories about Ireland that we really need to tell people about, especially people looking for a good start up location.

Any ideas on how best to do that? Thoughts and feedback welcome

Lorcan O’Sullivan is working to attact more entreprenuers to Ireland, one of the best environments in the world to do business (youtube). Interested? Get in touch with him at Lorcan[dot]OSullivan@enterprise-ireland[dot]com

Update: Techcrunch has more on this announcement Startup Bootcamp adding Dublin to the list.

At the Dublin Web Summit (DWS) today,  Startupbootcamp announced Dublin as the latest addition to it’s European network providing seed funding and mentorship to technology startups. Applications to the first Dublin accelerator program open in Summer 2011, online at The Dublin program will be run by Eoghan Jennings, formerly CFO of XING, one of Europe’s most successful recent Internet startups.

Frank Ryan, CEO of Enterprise Ireland.

This exciting new accelerator firmly positions Ireland as a place where entrepreneurship thrives, and where entrepreneurs of any nationality can come to grow their businesses. The things that make Ireland great still exist – our people, our innovation capability, our global reach. And now, we are more experienced, more capable and more competitive than ever – with a highly skilled workforce and a modern dynamic economy

Eoghan explains:

“we are convinced that now is a fantastic time to be starting a technology startup and Dublin is a great place from which to grow a company”. While Luis Rivera, Manager of Startupbootcamp in Madrid said: “We are thrilled to to be joingin forces with Eoghan, and to leverage his experience to help us achieve our ambitious plans”

The Dublin program will offer also feature (more…)

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