Wednesday 21 August 2019

Mid-east in agtech top 10 - global report

Ireland's mid-east region has created $150m (€135.6m) worth of startup
Ireland's mid-east region has created $150m (€135.6m) worth of startup "ecosystem value" over the past two-and-a-half years, according to a major international report. (stock photo)

Fearghal O'Connor

Ireland's mid-east region has created $150m (€135.6m) worth of startup "ecosystem value" over the past two-and-a-half years, according to a major international report.

The 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report by San Francisco-based research body Startup Genome found that the mid-east region - which comprises counties Meath, Kildare and Wicklow - now ranks among the top 10 new regions for young companies in the 'Agtech and New Food' sectors.

Startup Genome president and chief policy officer Dane Stangler said the results were "exciting" for the region and put the mid-east's startup community "on a global stage".

He said that the inclusion of the region in this year's report sent "a strong signal" to local stakeholders that startups are essential to the region's economic future.

"And, it broadcasts to the world that the area is a good place for startups and investors. We were delighted to showcase the region's strength in Agtech and New Food. The three counties are also leading the way in diversity: the regional ecosystem has the second-highest share of female founders out of all the places we analysed," he said.

The research particularly highlighted Ireland's low corporate tax rate and the ability for research-intensive startups to take advantage of tax credits at 25pc of qualifying R&D costs.

It also highlighted potential cost savings for young companies, citing $44,583 (€39,690) as the average salary of a software engineer in the region, well below western European counterparts where the average, it said, was almost $60,000. The report noted that Ireland's food industry is projected to be worth $21.6bn by 2025 and represents 12.3pc of the country's total export revenue.

It said that the Boyne Valley Food Innovation District, centred in the Mid-East Region, acted as a base for some of Ireland's leading indigenous and high-growth food businesses such as Dawn Farms, Kerry Foods, and Epicom.

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