When Brits voted to Brexit EU, people on the Street were speculating where the European tech business central would move after Great Britain starts isolating itself from the world. Dublin seemed like the obvious choice.
And not just because you can get from Dublin to London via one of 91 flights every day.
While London has been the European capital of commerce for centuries, Dublin has reinvented itself into a tech hotspot over the last few decades.
Also, perhaps most notably: Dublin is our next travel destination (wanna grab a drink and talk about building software?). While it goes up and down in business destinations rankings, we think, strategically, it’s the best European city to get into right now.
#1 Thriving startup community.
Dublin is a city that created the post of Commissioner for Startups, in a country that has government-backed venture funds and advisors, Enterprise Ireland. In the 2016 EDCI report, Dublin was ranked as THE best city in Europe to find mentoring events and early stage funding support.
A less obvious advantage of having Google or Linkedin in the neighborhood is that their R&D expertise is passed on into the startup ecosystem. People who leave their job at Google or Facebook go on to join or start their own innovative businesses or mentor aspiring entrepreneurs. The multinationals’ HR departments organize workshops, meetups and trainings in hopes of luring in more tech talent. They open up their offices to even more events. Any evening you feel like meeting someone from the startup community, Dublin has a meetup or drinkabout or a workshop for you.
Dublin aspires to be the European capital of SaaS. Last year it debuted SaaStock, a massive international conference dedicated to subscription model startups, featuring speakers like Sixteen Ventures’ Lincoln Murphy or Drift’s David Cancel.
Though Web Summit, born in Dublin, has moved to Lisbon as of last year, the city is bouncing back with Dublin Tech Summit headlined by Gary Vaynerchuk.
Photo credit: William Murphy
#2 Economic wonderland
Thanks to ridiculous tax and legal incentives (12.5% corporate tax and attractive intellectual property laws) Ireland lured in companies like Facebook, Google, AirBNB, LinkedIn, PayPal or Hubspot to build their EMEA headquarters on the Irish soil. That was a major boost to Irish economy, diminishing unemployment and increasing GDP growth.
Per capita, Dublin has more venture capital funding than any other European city, according to European Digital City Index. That is on top of 30,000 graduates per year (28% of which have a science or engineering degree) and all the talent that got bored of working at Google and are looking for a new adventure. All that young and tech-oriented talent pool is known as some of the most open-minded and adventurous people in Europe.
Dublin specializes in B2B Enterprise software, which comes naturally with being the favorite destination for multinational companies. They’re also a hub for travel tech. Fintech and medtech are gaining momentum as well.
#3 Dublin was there first
Last year a group of researchers from Trinity College Dublin went on a trip to a comet crater in Canada and promptly found the origins of life on earth. While Ireland’s claims to being the top players in the science world are a bit hard to verify, with this discovery they got to the very beginning of the scientific arms race. Or even before the race started.
In our book, that’s equivalent to getting to comment “FIRST!” under a Beyonce video. You go, Dublin!
#4 International solidarity
The Irish are a nation with a long and rich history and culture. They also have a long and rich history of migration. Both in and outside of Ireland.
Like the US, their economy is built on migration and the country is a melting pot of international communities. Dublin’s population is 20% not Irish-born.
When Donald Trump announced his travel ban last month, one of the first companies to offer tangible help to immigrants stranded at the airport, was Irish-American Intercom. They pledged to help relocate 50 immigrants from Silicon Valley to their Dublin base, sponsoring legal help and connecting with new employment opportunities.
#5 Irish culture
To be honest, our knowledge of Ireland is based on what we’ve found online and heard from people who have lived there. And we can’t wait to visit that country.
This is what we call the land of freedom.
And it has a truly admirable work culture
And it celebrates universal values that we can all deeply relate to
So, Dublin. Can't wait to meet you.