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Ireland’s Mid-East Ranked In World Top 10 Start-Up Ecosystems

Having accrued €135.6m worth of start-up “ecosystem value”, Ireland’s mid-east has been put on a global stage.

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer


5 minute read

Having accrued €135.6m worth of start-up “ecosystem value”, Ireland’s mid-east has been put on a global stage.

Comprising Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow, Ireland’s mid-east has been included in the world's top ten ecosystems for supporting AgTech and New Food innovation.

Startup Genome’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report, the most widely read report on the topic, aims to both increase visibility to valuable ecosystems and help start-ups to succeed.

This report, using data from over a million companies across 150 countries and 300 partner organisations, aims to provide data analysis to highlight the strengths and weaknesses for innovative ecosystems, supporting local policy leaders in their decisions.

Dane Stangler, president of Startup Genome, said these were “exciting” results for the region, which broadcasts to the world that the area is a “good place for start-ups and investors”.

The mid-east matches up to 50 other ecosystems, as iconic as Silicon Valley. It’s also in the top 20 for Affordable Talent along with top 10 for AgTech.

This news comes as government initiatives like Project Ireland 2040 and the National Broadband Plan begin to roll out, showing a positive future for Ireland as it continues to grow on the international stage.

The GSER report names R&D tax credits, attractive tax rates and cost savings as some of the reasons to consider a start-up in the region.

Ireland offers start-ups 25pc of tax credits for qualifying costs, a low corporate tax rate and an average salary of €39,690 for a software engineer, comfortably below European counterparts.

The mid-east is the home of some of the most prosperous developments in the food industry. The Boyne Valley Food Innovation District acts as an Irish base for companies like Dawn Farms, Kerry Foods and Epicom, just some of the indigenous companies thriving in the mid-east.

Following large-scale investment in the BVFID from the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, Ireland’s food industry is set to be worth €21.6bn by 2025.

Increasing R&D investing, like that off Dawn Farms in its Meat Science and Innovation Centre, also bodes well for the area. Furthermore, the area is the home of Facebook and Intel.

The Irish government is well known for its support of start-ups, providing mentoring and training, as well as the aforementioned tax rates and credits schemes.

The GSER also reported that Ireland is a diversity leader, with the second-highest number of female founders of the areas analysed.

On a visit to Meath Enterprise’s Kells Tech Hub, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said “It’s been really great to see first-hand the work being carried out here at Kells Tech Hub.

The Government wants to make sure that the economic prosperity that we now have is felt in every part of the country and is felt in every home, while also building an Ireland, a society, in which nobody feels left out. What I have seen today in this centre really speaks to that mission and to that vision”.

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