Wednesday 25 April 2018

The difference between a hub and a Silicon Valley

THE revelation that one of the most successful Irish entrepreneurs of recent times feels he couldn't have started his company in Ireland will sadden a lot of people and upset others.

Patrick Collison was very positive on Ireland overall but when asked if he could have started his payments company Stripe in this country, he was unequivocal in his answer: "We don't have the talent and we don't have the investment structure."

The Government has put a huge amount of effort into promoting Ireland as a digital hub for overseas companies.

And the IDA has done a sterling job attracting firms here but Mr Collison's comments show just how far away we are from reaching the utopia of a European Silicon Valley on our shores.

The real Silicon Valley attracts the best talent from around the world. While we are bringing in high quality staff from overseas it is clear the best of the best still gravitate to California.

The Dublin Web Summit is an outstanding event and has really put Ireland in the shop window as a destination for technology companies, but let's not kid ourselves.

Until the best people are coming here to set up shop by choice, and don't necessarily need IDA backing to do it, we will remain what we are: a valuable hub for established companies looking to grow their overseas business, which is not a bad thing to be at all in the present climate.

Indo Business

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