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We could be new Silicon Valley, say top techies

DESPITE our economic woes, the technology sector is booming in Ireland and we are a mini Silicon Valley in the making, some of the country's most creative entrepreneurs believe.

Conor Murphy, right, co-founder of Datahug, described Ireland as a "fantastic place to do business."

Conor was speaking at this week's Web Summit in Dublin's RDS, where just two years ago he and co-founder Ray Smith won the Spark of Genius competition.

The win helped them gain credibility from international customers and they have since gone on to expand beyond Ireland.

Conor told the Herald: "When we stood on the stage two years ago it was literally the two of us with an idea and a bit of a mock-up. We now have 16 people in Ireland, we have an office in London and we're opening an office in New York at the end of this month."

Datahug is an analytical database which helps to build business relations between customers and their clients.

Conor pointed to Twitter, LinkedIn, Google and Facebook choosing to come here as proof of Ireland's attraction.

He said: "I have lived overseas for seven years and the view is that Ireland is a fantastic place to do business, and it's a fantastic place to live. Half of our team come from New York and Canada. They're all telling their buddies that this is a great place to live."

Datahug was just one of many success stories on show at the 2012 Web Summit, which attracted 4,000 people and featured 200 speakers.

The summit closed yesterday.

Also in attendance was Irish enterprise company pTools, which announced an investment of more than €1m in redeveloping its software.

"It's great to be able to launch this in our home city, Dublin, at what is effectively one of the biggest and most dynamic new technology conferences in the world this year", said Keith Wood, CEO of pTools.