An open letter to the members of the next Government from over 50 of Ireland’s most successful entrepreneurs has called for high-growth, innovation-led business to be given greater priority. The letter, whose signatories include Intercom founder Des Traynor and Peter Coppinger, the co-founder of Cork-based Teamwork, acknowledges that the existing taxation-led policy for foreign multinational has been a runaway success but says policy failings have hampered the development of indigenous startups.
The letter states:
“Since the 1960s Ireland has become a world leader in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)… However, when it comes to backing home-grown innovation, Ireland has taken a piecemeal approach to policy for startups. We have now fallen behind.”
The letter is also signed by Liz McCarthy, the CEO of Scale Ireland, a non-profit organisation that supports the development of a policy environment that allows innovation-led companies to scale their operations.
Ms McCarthy said:
“If Ireland is serious about creating a leading global knowledge economy and really driving balanced regional development, we need to unlock the potential for the growth of startups throughout the country. We’re seeing pockets of exciting startup activity emerging outside the major cities, and as a country, we have to do more to support this.”
Drawing on policy proposals put forward by Scale Ireland the letter, which can be read here, makes a number of concrete proposals for how the next Government could greatly improve the environment for high-growth, innovation-led companies. It calls for the appointment of a Minister for Startups, a new National Startup Strategy, and for changes to existing schemes that would make it easier for startups to secure investment and attract talent.
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