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Small is beautiful for the IDA as focus shifts to growing start-ups


From left: The IDA’s Barry O’Leary; Patrick Moran from New Relic; and Jobs Minister Richard Bruton. Photo: Maxwell Photography

From left: The IDA’s Barry O’Leary; Patrick Moran from New Relic; and Jobs Minister Richard Bruton. Photo: Maxwell Photography

From left: The IDA’s Barry O’Leary; Patrick Moran from New Relic; and Jobs Minister Richard Bruton. Photo: Maxwell Photography

THE Government is branching out from targeting massive multinationals in its bid for investment into Ireland – its plan of attack now targets young, small foreign businesses too.

IDA Ireland is increasingly working with foreign start-ups who are considering opening their first overseas offices, Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said yesterday.

"It's been a very successful add-on to what IDA traditionally built its strong reputation on, which was winning big iconic names," he said. "Now we're seeing new companies picking Ireland to use as a base for internationalising their business."

Mr Bruton was speaking at the announcement of 132 jobs by five different IDA-supported companies. All five are relatively small and young in comparison to traditional IDA targets, which include global giants like Facebook and Pfizer.

"The thinking behind the drive is that these companies will establish deep roots here from early in their growth, and make a substantial impact on the economy," he said.

Mr Bruton denied that their decision had been motivated by Ireland's low corporation tax base. "They are here for the talent," he said.

The five companies include technology and internet businesses, a medical device manufacturer and an energy consultant. For several, Ireland will be home to their first office outside of the US. "We hope to have the next Amazon, Google and Oracle in this group of companies," said IDA Ireland chief executive Barry O'Leary.

The five foreign-owned start-ups creating 132 jobs:


This software analytics company helps computer applications to work more efficiently by making sense of millions of pieces of data. It was founded six years ago and currently has 350 employees based between offices in San Francisco, California, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. Reports suggests it will go public soon. It is creating 50 jobs with the opening of its first international office in Ireland – with 12 people already hired – and is looking for people with language skills. "One of the early things we decided was that we were only going to hire good, warm-hearted people – no jerks," said chief marketing officer Patrick Moran. "We picked Ireland and Dublin specifically because of the access to good people with a wide range of skills – you don't have to be a technical expert to work for us,. You just have to be smart and interested in working for a very compelling company".


This Paris-headquartered business makes money by registering and then selling popular internet domain names. Founded just three years ago, its domain names target the architecture, real estate, ski and biotechnology sectors. It's setting up a finance and operations centre in Dublin, creating 10 jobs including sales, finance and customer support roles. Its management come from all over the world but chief operating officer Derek Burke is a TCD gradate.


Logistics company SEKO already has 15 people working in Ireland and is now opening up a new base for its medical technology business in Galway. This will create 30 jobs, working on tracking and delivering medical devices for SEKO clients across Europe. "Galway is the medical cluster of Ireland," said managing director Terry Allen.


US-headquartered NeoMed builds medical equipment for neonatal care. Its devices, like breast pumps and customised syringes, help to feed and heal premature babies. The company was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in a suburb of Atlanta. Its Dublin office will become the company's Europe, Middle East and Africa headquarters, creating 22 jobs. The new roles will be mostly sales based, responsible for all of NeoMed's sales outside of the US.


This consulting and technology business works with the energy sector. It helps clients streamline their management of commodities like crude oil, natural gas, coal and iron ore, and provides custom-built software, if necessary. Its new Dublin operation is CapSpire's first international office, which will allow it to better reach European clients. It's creating 20 new jobs in business consultancy and software development.

Irish Independent