Finding suitable staff is biggest problem for Irish tech firms
Published 27/03/2014 | 02:30
Irish indigenous technology companies reported a rise of over 30pc in revenues in the last year to achieve €2bn in sales, according to a major new survey of the sector.
AIB's Technology Outlook Report, compiled by Amarach Research, also revealed that three-quarters of 700 "significant" indigenous Irish technology companies say hiring decent employees is a bigger challenge than raising money.
The report says that indigenous technology firms now employ 30,000 people here and that just one in eight receive any funding from venture capital firms.
The survey also said that over one in five applicants to 27 start-up 'accelerator' and 'incubator' funds now comes from overseas, a big increase on the same time 12 months ago.
"There is a boom in accelerators and now we're seeing that in Ireland," said John O'Dwyer, head of technology and telecoms at AIB.
"That figure of overseas tech start-ups coming here is really significant. These guys are looking at Berlin and London and they're coming here."
The survey also said that the biggest sectors targeted by Irish indigenous tech companies are so-called 'business to business' markets, principally finance and insurance (39pc) and digital media (31pc).
Consumer sectors represent 31pc of Irish tech firms' focus.
"The capital costs of starting a company have come down a lot," said O'Dwyer.
"You can rent hardware and target advertising much cheaper than before. It's really brought these companies into the area of angel investing."
The survey was completed by 106 start-ups in 20 of the 27 national accelerator funding programmes currently in existence here.
Almost nine in 10 (87pc) Irish tech firms believe their outlook for 2014 is better than 2013 and three-quarters (74pc) plan to grow their workforce this year.
Meanwhile, three-quarters (78pc) employ fewer than 50 people while 8pc employ more than 250 people.
Fifty-nine per cent of those surveyed had been in business for more than five years while one in eight is in business more than 20 years.