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News : Innovation Last Updated: Feb 13, 2015 - 2:32 PM

Irish tech startups may create 1,850 jobs in 3 years; Zero past evidence presented
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Feb 19, 2014 - 2:08 PM

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Richard Bruton, enterprise, jobs and innovation minister

Irish tech startups may create 1,850 jobs in the coming 3 years according to the Government today. That aspiration may turn into a reality but today in the Irish system of official spin, there is zero evidence presented of performance related to past targets and wonder why both Richard Bruton, enterprise minister, and Enterprise Ireland, the State agency, can take for granted that in the announcement to the media, there is no need to credibly support the published figures.

This week Finfacts outlined how official spin works and in this particular case it's a relevant issue as the Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation confirmed to Finfacts in 2012 that no longitudinal studies are done by the enterprise agencies to track over several years the development of both successful and failing firms, to provide feedback for policymaking.

All the firms that are classified as 'High Potential' startups, are in the tech sector even though US and UK research shows that high growth firms are not typically in the high tech sector.

These issues are covered in Finfacts articles:

How official spin and distortion works - in short-term

Irish Innovation: Evidence of science policy failure mounts - - including US and UK research on high growth firms

Irish Medium-Term Economic Strategy 2014-2020: Innovation and entrepreneurs? - - Part 3

Davos 2014: Copying Silicon Valley no jobs engine solution for Europe

Irish Innovation: US research debunks policy makers' myths in Ireland

Irish Innovation: Craig Barrett says triple R&D spending; Public welfare?

Enterprise Ireland said the results of the Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start Ups programme 2013, showed that:

  • "1850 new jobs will be created over the next three years by 122 High Potential Start Up companies
  • 103 new High Potential Start Up companies received investments from Enterprise Ireland during 2013, the highest number of new HPSUs supported during a single year and ahead of target
  • 41 female-led HPSU projects won investments during 2013, a major rise from 16 in 2012, as a number of women-specific initiatives by EI showed results
  • 2013 also saw a rise in the number of overseas entrepreneurs setting up their businesses in Ireland, and overseas projects represent 15% of the HPSU class of 2013."

Speaking at the announcement Bruton said: “The results published today show that the HPSU programme goes from strength to strength, with more companies, more overseas companies, more female-led companies, and more jobs than previous years. Enterprise Ireland deserve real credit for these achievements. I wish each of these companies every success for the future, I commend them on their achievements, and I look forward to seeing them grow into world-class companies of scale, creating the jobs we need”.

A 'high potential start up' is defined as a company that is:

  • Based on technological innovation
  • Likely to achieve significant growth in 3 years (Sales of €1m per annum and employment of 10)
  • Export oriented
  • Led by an experienced team, with a mixture of technical and commercial competencies.

Highlights from 2013 include:

  • "significant increase in female led investments up from 16 in 2012 to 41 in 2013, through  HPSU and CSF funding supports. This is in direct response to the Enterprise Ireland female specific initiatives introduced in 2012.
  • strong result from Enterprise Ireland-supported third-level research commercialisation with 10 High Potential Start-ups emerging as spinouts from Irish Universities and Institutes of Technology.
  • 13 of the HPSU companies and f of the CSF companies originated from outside of Ireland."

Sectoral breakdown of 2013 HPSU Companies

Sector Number
Software and Services 62
Cleantech and Engineering 19
Food and Consumer Products 17
Medical Devices & Pharmaceuticals 5
Total 103

Sectoral breakdown of 2013 CSF Companies

Sector Number
Software and Services 66
Cleantech and Engineering 6
Food and Consumer Products 10
Medical Devices & Pharmaceuticals 3
Total 85

Regional Distribution of 2013 HPSU Companies:

Region Number
Dublin 55
Mid East 7
South 17
Border 5
West 7
Mid-West 8
Midlands 4
Total 103

Regional Distribution of 2013 CSF Companies:

Region Number
Dublin 53
Mid East 4
South 14
Border 4
West 3
Mid-West 5
Midlands 2
Total 85

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