Wednesday 18 October 2017

Serial entrepreneurs launch start-up lab

Tom Lyons

Serial entrepreneurs Sean Blanchfield and Brian McDonnell have opened Dublin's first start-up lab -- which already has a portfolio of three companies up and running.

Blanchfield, who previously founded DemonWare, has teamed up with Brian McDonnell, a former head of development at Jolt Online Gaming, to form their new venture called Scale Front.

Scale Front hopes to emulate in Dublin the success of Betaworks in New York and Science Inc in Los Angeles.

"It can take up to three years to find the right idea -- and then another five years to build it up before selling it," Blanchfield says. "That's 10 years -- or three good shots in a career. But what we want to do is create more companies faster, by developing a portfolio at once."

Blanchfield says the falling costs of starting tech firms made it easier to "bootstrap" several projects at once.

"You don't need to be in Silicon Valley anymore," he says, and aims to prove it.

Scale Front's businesses include an instant messaging service and Techteams.ie; a directory to help link small businesses to technical engineers capable of developing them anything from phone apps to interactive websites.

Blanchfield adds that Scale Front has had talks with a large east coast of America venture capital fund which is interested in gaining exposure to European start-ups. Blanchfield's company has also been engaging with indigenous investors.

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