It feels almost like a luxury to talk about the UK and Brexit in the aftermath of the recent US election, but when other European tech capitals like Berlin start to boast about luring companies away from London, it’s tempting for Dublin to break out with some shrill headlines of our own. But should we?
Brexit or no Brexit, in Dublin we understand that quality companies won’t move lock, stock and barrel out of the UK market unless they’re forced to do so, and that’s unlikely to happen any time soon. VC investment remains strong since the referendum, as does the demand for exceptional talent visas. Just yesterday, Google announced another huge investment in London saying: “The innovation we see here, the talent we have available here and the cutting edge of technology here makes it an incredible place for us to invest,”
So, no. Dublin won’t be joining the hype bandwagon or engaging in the tone and language of fear that other cities claim is working. It’s not our style and just doesn’t jive with the relationship we have with our neighbor and largest trading partner.
That said, we still have work, opportunity and a very interesting dialogue with the UK ahead of us.
Startups in London know too little about Dublin’s tech scene and we need to fix that. We also need to demonstrate to entrepreneurs over there that we care about their future and want to help them stay awesome no matter how Brexit unfolds. Dublin has been the EU destination of choice for American tech companies for decades and we can play a similar role for UK companies looking for access to capital, talent and customers in Europe. We can offer them the certainty of an EU tech hub to complement their UK HQ.
Friendship and empowerment, that’s our position with Brexit and the UK, and we’re committed to it.
Post the Christmas holidays we’ll be announcing a series of workshops in London for startups – or should I say early stage scale ups – to tell them everything they ever wanted to know about the ecosystem, sectors, talent and investment base in Dublin. We’ll do the workshops in conjunction with local London-based VCs while leveraging our extensive Irish business networks.
Best of all, the cream of Irish tech talent in London, people like Dylan Collins, Jules Coleman and Jon Bradford, will support us and help ensure that the workshops deliver, as well as the content that’s distributed afterwards.
We look forward to telling the story of Dublin to some of London’s best early stage companies. And in case you’re reading this and interested, there’s room for some of Dublin’s great startups and multinationals to tell their stories at the workshops too.
Niamh Bushnell said goodbye to 16 years in NYC to become the first Dublin Commissioner for Startups. Loving it! CoFounder IDIRUS, angel investor.
This article appears courtesy of the Dublin Globe. For more stories on Dublin startups and the tech world, visit their website.