• February 10, 2017

Irish start-ups punch above their weight, says Techstars’ Max Kelly

Irish start-ups punch above their weight, says Techstars’ Max Kelly

Irish start-ups punch above their weight, says Techstars’ Max Kelly 1000 668 AID:Tech

We are delighted to be mentioned in Silicon Republic’s interview with Techstar’s Max Kelly. Here is a little taster of the article.

The head of Techstars London believes that honesty is the best policy, and has developed something of a modus operandi for figuring out which start-ups will go the distance. With machine-gun-like precision, he incants: “Team-team-team-market-traction-idea.”

The founding team is possibly the core reason why only 10 out of hundreds of start-ups each year make the cut for the London chapter of Techstars. And it’s likely the reason why two Irish start-ups – SwiftComply and Aid:Tech – impressed him hugely.

Further down in his interview – he mentions ‘The pluck of the Irish

“I have to admit I am surprised by the sheer level of participation by Irish companies,” Kelly says, explaining why he is in Dublin meeting various founders and investors.

“We’ve had quite a few Irish companies coming through and in the most recent cohort, two out of 10 were Irish. The founders of each company are all stars. SwiftComply is automating compliance for smart cities and it has such an amazing team. Aid:Tech are bringing transparency to global aid programmes using blockchain technology, and their first two clients are the UN and Red Cross.

I ask him are there any specific traits among Irish start-ups that make them stand out.

“There definitely seems to be something in the character of individuals. They are quite driven and [have] the Irish charm, the chat – and they can sell.

“The biggest challenge they – like all start-ups – face is revenue, but they are very pragmatic. Ireland’s 12.5pc corporate tax rate has brought in a lot of companies that have fuelled the digital skills and selling capabilities of people who decide to start up. So when I visit cities like Dublin, the raw material of talent is there to build some exciting, professional start-up teams.”

Another factor is Dublin and Cork’s proximity to London. “London is getting about one-third of all investment in Europe and Ireland’s proximity means investors there are comfortable about investing across the Irish Sea.

“A good funding ecosystem is key, and proximity to London is in Irish start-ups’ favour. Also, Enterprise Ireland has done a great job in supporting a vibrant set of quite sophisticated companies, as opposed to other start-up ecosystems around Europe.”

Thank you for your support, Max. You inspire us to be brave, compassionate and keep our character in check.

Here is a link to the article: https://www.siliconrepublic.com/start-ups/techstars-max-kelly-interview