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We're an EU hotspot for tech start-ups – survey


Jobs Minister Richard Bruton

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton

IRELAND is Europe's most entrepreneurial country when it comes to technology, according to research by Dow Jones.

Ireland attracted four times as much venture-capital funding per capita as the European average and a staggering 650 times as much per capita as bottom-ranked Bulgaria, according to figures compiled by Dow Jones VentureSource.

The data looks at the total amount of venture capital raised by tech companies in each European country since 2003 and adjusts for population size.

After Ireland, the next nine are: Sweden, the UK, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, France, Germany and Switzerland.

The bottom three are Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria.

The data show that Ireland's tech start-ups have largely survived the recession.

Two-fifths of the 311 venture capital-backed deals since 2003 were done after the economy collapsed in 2009.

Britain has been hit harder by the financial crisis, the research suggests.

Ireland's tech industry has continued to thrive thanks to low corporation tax and the hundreds of multinationals that have set up their European base in Dublin or elsewhere.

Around 800 Irish firms have raised €1.7bn from the venture capital sector since the credit crunch began, a separate report found last month.

The Irish Venture Capital Association's VenturePulse survey says that SMEs raised €113m in the second quarter of this year or three quarters more than in the same time last year.

Total funds raised in the first half of 2013 were €164.9m, which was 41pc higher than the same period last year.

In September, the association called on Irish pension funds to invest 2pc of their capital in Irish technology companies.

Chairman Mark Horgan said that €500m could be injected into Irish companies if a third pension funds followed this advice.

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Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton has said that venture capital funds are "central" to the Government's plans to cut unemployment.

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