Enterprising in Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is a government organization that supports start-ups for companies as well as provide capital, help with R&D, provide consulting, and help with exporting. Many companies apply (1300 last year), some then move onto the next level (900), after that, fewer are selected to be helped (400), and then finally the best companies are invested into (132) by EI. The amount of time that EI helps the company is dependent on how far along they already are and how much they need to learn. This can be anywhere from no time at all to over two years.

The part of the presentation that stood out to me the most was when they were describing the technology operations. I personally like the technology sector the most, so it is naturally the part I was most intrigued by. Five takeaways I have are:

  1. Niall McEvoy is the lead employee in the tech sector of Enterprise Ireland. He directly deals with many companies within this sector, but the coolest one in my opinion is a VR company that makes education available anytime, anywhere, and as realistic as you can get without actually being in a class.
  2. The top 10 internet born companies have operations in Ireland. This shows the true value that Ireland can bring to company’s considering so many have business here.
  3. Ireland is #1 among SME’s in the EU. Small and medium enterprises are very important to the economy of a locality as well as country and the fact that Ireland focuses on improving these businesses show that they care about their citizens and long term economic health.
  4. 8/10 of the biggest software companies call Ireland their home. This is not even including the top 10 internet born companies mentioned earlier. And again, this shows that many companies see the value that Ireland brings to the table.
  5. Ireland is soon to be considered a “deep tech powerhouse”. We have seen how impactful tech companies can be for a country, and an example of this would be studying Silicone Valley in the US. If Ireland can replicate this success, even at a smaller scale, it could do wonders for their economy.

Although I learned a lot of interesting things during the presentations, there are some things that I did not understand. Some things that went over my head are:

  1. By the end of the presentation, I was still unsure if they were a non-profit or for-profit company. I assume the profits of the company would be funneled back into other start-ups, but this is just a guess. There was really no explanation of how the organizations functions both as a company and government body.
  2. I felt the part when describing the financing/capital budgeting was vague. This is because money can come from a variety of sources, and not specifying where it comes from can cause confusion as to what Enterprise Ireland actually does to help the companies they sponsor.
  3. I thought the process of being selected by Enterprise Ireland could have been explained in more detail. The presenters said things along the lines of sometimes they would have to turn down companies for not being far enough into the process yet. This seems like a very subjective phrase, and it leaves some ambiguity as to what type of companies they invest in.

That being said, when I am in a presentation where I don’t understand something, at first I typically get frustrated, especially if I feel that I am falling behind, but eventually I remind myself to focus on the new information. By doing this, usually, throughout the presentation, I can use other information provided and put the pieces together. If not, I can always ask questions at the end. Doing this allows me to gain some piece of mind knowing that I was able to acquire all that I could, and it is even more satisfying when I can deduce an explanation on my own. And worst case scenario, I have a few clarifying questions to ask the presenter.

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