Digital investment helps start-ups create 221 jobs
SOME 221 jobs were created in start-up digital companies as the Irish economy was mired in crisis. And another 70 are expected to be created in the next six months.
Even though the country was haemorrhaging jobs over the last four years, the new positions were created through investment and revenue into ventures backed by the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC). These include 155 full-time and 66 part-time jobs.
The NDRC's initial tranche of €25m in state funding is due to come to an end in July, but the organisation, which helps entrepreneurs turn their ideas into businesses, is confident the same level of state aid would be provided.
"We're working within a fairly tight budget, but what we're looking to do is apply the maximum amount of that towards development of new ventures," said NDRC chief executive Ben Hurley.
More than 80pc of the capital is invested into innovation activities, with less than 20pc going on overheads and administration.
Ventures emerging from NDRC have been valued at nearly €30m by third-party investors.
Key points from the annual report include:
• Investment from commercial investors emerging from NDRC doubled to €9.6m, up from last year's figure of €4.8m.
• More than 70 projects and businesses have emerged from NDRC portfolio in the past four years.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said he was determined to support expanding companies in the sector.
"One of the challenges we have is to take good ideas that might be coming from very immature entrepreneurs or from colleges and universities and bring them to the point where they can be commercially successful," he said.