Silicon Valley lends companies a helping hand
SOME of the world's leading technology leaders have travelled to Ireland to mentor start-up companies and young entrepreneurs.
The delegation of 25 executives from the technology hotbed of Silicon Valley in California has been brought over for a three-day event to help start-up companies here "internationalise" their business and strengthen ties between Silicon Valley and Ireland.
A total of 12 Irish companies have been chosen to showcase their work to the delegation.
Among the delegation is chairman of Intel, Craig Barrett, and John O'Ryan -- originally from Tipperary -- who is the founder of Rovi Corporation, a digital entertainment company, which is worth €5.6bn.
The event has been organised by the Irish Technology Leadership Group, which is comprised of Irish and Irish-American business leaders who head up major technology companies in the US.
"Our economy is in a really bad way right now, but this is the way forward," John Hartnett, president and founder of ITLG, said.
"We strongly believe that investment in research and development and investment in young Irish companies is the way forward. Our goal over the next 10 years is to see Irish companies quoted on NASDAQ. Today there are about three of four, whereas Israel has 127.
"If Ireland will be successful over the next 10 to 20 years it will be based on having up to 30 companies on Nasdaq over that space of time."
Mr Barrett agreed: "The next 20 years are going to be tough and Ireland will have to compete with the rest of the world in innovation and creating its own wealth. That wealth creation will come from the smart people and ideas created here. . . that's why education and investment in research is so important for the Irish future."