Startup Gathering 2015 is already part of the recent history of the Irish startup ecosystem. With more than 400 events that took place across the country in five cities over five days - Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Limerick and Galway, the Irish startup ecosystem has shown to the world how to orchestrate a big joint and coordinated effort when there is a true and shared vision to become Ireland in a world-class startup ecosystem by 2020, able to catalyze talented entrepreneurs, innovators, researches, big companies, investors and public entities.
Led by Startup Ireland, Startup Gathering 2015 is an important private & public initiative of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2015 and is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation with strong support by Bank of Ireland, which is actively involved at different levels across the country to enable economic growth via supporting entrepreneurs and startups.
Group photo at Science Foundation Ireland, in Dublin. From left to right: Oscar Ramirez, CEO at Startup Commons; Valto Loikkanen, Co-Founder at Grow VC Group; Ged Nash, Minister of State for Business and Employment; Mark Ferguson, Director at SFI; Ben Lang, Cofounder at Mapmeapp; Eoin Costello, CEO at Startup Ireland
Startup Commons was invited by Startup Ireland to facilitate different breakout sessions aimed to help accelerate the momentum towards the 2020 goals. The theme of the Startup Gathering 2015 was about getting the fundamentals in place to build towards the goal of becoming a global startup hub by 2020, and that basically means by Startup Commons Startup Key Stages, to get as much as possible more people in the five cities starting with great business opportunities and getting to zero phase (committed founding teams), increasing the likelihood to get more startups scaling and succeeding.
Via facilitating the breakout sessions, we collected views, questions, challenges and ideas about how these six key pillars in the early stages of a startup’s development – environment, culture, skills, education, networks and state support, will impact to have high volume of committed founding teams. Beyond the gathered information that will be part of a final report aimed to build a national Startup Manifesto, we highlight some high level numbers that help to understand the volume of work that Startup Commons team managed during the five days:
In addition we participated on Science Foundation Ireland Founders Forum event breakout discussions with two key challenge topics: “Embedding Entrepreneurial Thinking in the Irish Research Ecosystem” - How can entrepreneurial skills, thinking and perspectives be embedded in the Irish research ecosystem? And “Enabling Entrepreneurial Endeavour” - How can researchers in Irish researcher bodies be supported and enabled to pursue entrepreneurial endeavours?
Over the last 10 years, on behalf of the Irish Government, SFI has been investing in world-leading research in Irish higher education institutes. This investment is yielding results as is evidenced through our rising global scientific rankings and also in terms of commercialisation outputs – patents, licensing, start-ups, spins outs etc. But this was the first time that SFI brought together their funded researchers who have founded/co-founded a spinout, to share their experiences, raise questions and challenge policies in relation to the start-up sector in Ireland.
As part of our participation in these discussions and also in connection with parallel work we have done as Advisor for some EC Horizon 2020 program, we identified some common challenges and shared some already identified solutions to help embed entrepreneurial thinking and enabling entrepreneurial endeavour among research and higher education, as well as how more effectively move and utilize research findings as for innovation and more specifically to help feed the open innovation and startup ecosystems with deeper knowledge and research to make startups more competitive in a global scale.
While the work with Startup Ireland continues on various tracks and we will continue to analyse the inputs further, we share here some of the initial key findings that were asked to be summarized by each of the group coordinators and that resonate with the startup ecosystem concept:
It will take some time before digesting all of what Startup Gathering 2015 meant. While we focus on empowering and measuring the progress as things develop, we get the real results in the long run. Meanwhile, there are clear next steps to keep the momentum alive in Ireland in the short term:
It is fantastic to discuss about how to see or develop startup ecosystems but in essence, startup ecosystems are about doer people, about their visions, motivations and actions to make a region more innovative and prosperous. We saw that in the eyes of each of the Startup Gathering team members. They are hungry to shake the world. Eoin Costello, CEO at Startup Ireland, and all his team can be proud. The real challenge and commitment starts now. The national effort is guaranteed. The irish future is promising. Let’s make it happens.
Click to see video summaries from each of the cities: Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Limerick and Galway
This is an originally posted by Startup Commons Team. You are free to re-edit and repost this in your own blog or other use under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License terms, by giving credit with a link to www.startupcommons.org and the original post
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