Friday 27 April 2018

Tech start-up gets €37.5m injection from pension fund

Brian Hutton

THE Government is putting €37.5m from the State pension fund into a technology investment company.

Polaris Venture Partners is a US-based firm which gives cash to start-up companies in the hope they will grow into successful businesses and give a return on the investment.

As part of the deal, the venture capitalists will set up a centre in Dublin for up to 50 budding entrepreneurs to kick-start their enterprises in a shared open office space.

It will be the fourth so-called Polaris Dogpatch Lab -- with three already in Cambridge, Massachusetts; New York; and San Francisco -- and the first outside the US.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen said attracting the facility was a "significant coup for Ireland".

"I believe it will help us bring people from around Europe to start their companies in Dublin," he said.

Dogpatch Labs offers desk space, internet connections, coffee and lunch to aspiring entrepreneurs.

Polaris Venture Partners, which has offices in Boston and Seattle, has €2.2bn invested in more than 100 companies in the technology, manufacturing, communications, healthcare and business services sectors.

The Government is taking money from the National Pension Reserve Fund and ploughing it into Polaris through a fund aimed at attracting venture capital fund managers to Ireland.

Polaris said its Dogpatch Labs in the US have a fresh intake of entrepreneurs and start-ups every six months.

The company's managing partner Terry McGuire said the start-up centres have been highly successful.

"We are excited to be taking that model to Ireland and are hopeful that Dogpatch Dublin will emerge as a key hub for entrepreneurs across Europe," he said.

Irish Independent

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