Coworking has really taken off in Dublin, establishing a new kind of workspace for start-ups. You’re not just a tenant in a coworking space. Instead, you’re a member of a collective, an active component of a community comprising like-minded creators, innovators and entrepreneurs. Coworking spaces tend to be in cool, contemporary, aesthetically pleasing buildings. But it’s their relative affordability that makes them so attractive – with a desk space in a fully serviced, centrally located building from only two or three hundred euro a month, and some offering pay-as-you-go and hourly pricing plans.
Dublin’s start-up ecosystem has a reputation for being diverse, welcoming and accessible. Whether you’re looking for funding and investment, supports or just to connect with like-minded startups – as well as more experienced entrepreneurs – we’ve got you covered.
Local Enterprise Offices (LEO)
The LEO network is the first stop for anyone seeking information and support for starting a business in Dublin. There are four dedicated LEO teams, one based in each of the region’s four local authority areas: Dublin City, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, South Dublin & Fingal.
LEO provides easy access to quality supports including training, networking events and mentoring. Eligible start-ups can apply for co-funding for feasibility research, salaries and other costs, as well as help in accessing other sources of finance, including Microfinance Ireland.
Enterprise Ireland (EI) supports international and Irish high potential start-ups (HPSU), developing innovative, export-orientated products and services. EI offers a wide range of funding, training and development support to eligible start-ups, making it as easy as possible to start a business in Ireland and to grow into global markets. It’s the largest seed capital investor in Ireland, investing in over 70 High Potential Start-Up companies each year and managing a portfolio of over 1300 investments in client companies.
EI offers a number of programmes combining funding and mentoring support, including the New Frontiers Programme and the Competitive Start Fund. The Innovative HPSU Fund allows EI to offer equity investment to HPSU clients, on a co-funded basis. Grants for mentoring, market research and innovation services are also available to eligible start-ups. EI also has supports specifically for female entrepreneurs.
Tax incentives and initiatives
As successful entrepreneurs themselves, business angels are a very important source of seed capital, and of valuable expertise and guidance. The main contact point for business angels in Dublin is Dublin BIC.
Other sources of funding and support
We also provide information on Venture Capital and other sources of funding and support for business.
Competitions for start-ups can be a great way of raising the profile of your start-up as well as a source of funding from prizes. The main start-up competitions include:
- Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur
- Bank of Ireland National Start-up Awards
- Google Adopt a Startup
- Intertrade Ireland Seedcorn Competition
- The Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition
Dublin area Local Enterprise Offices and Enterprise Ireland arrange a wide range of events to support start-ups. Regular startup networking events in the city, such as the very successful First Friday Brekkies, organised by The Digital Hub, are also worth checking out. For other meet-ups and events see Startup Digest and Dublin Start-up week.
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs
This programme gives aspiring entrepreneurs from other countries the opportunity to learn from experienced business people running small businesses here in Ireland. By spending time with the experienced entrepreneur, the new entrepreneur acquires the skills needed to run a small firm.
Help is at hand
There are many other online resources which will provide you with useful information on starting a business in Dublin. From writing your business plan, protecting your idea and registering your business, to buying or leasing premises, employing people and managing tax affairs:
Give your start-up a head-start with accelerators and incubators Dublin is acknowledged as being home to some of the best accelerator and incubator programmes in Europe. These enable entrepreneurs to meet with like-minded people and provide the structure, skills, investment and support they need to prove, launch and scale-up their businesses. Accelerator programmes give developing companies access to industry-specific mentors, potential investors and other supports that will help them to build their start-up. One of Dublin’s most well-known accelerators is NDRC, based in the Liberties area of the city.
Not only does Ireland’s unique strategic location make it the perfect gateway to Europe and the US, it has also been ranked the best country in Europe for startups by smallbusinessprices.co.uk. In Dublin, you will have access to a young, diverse, highly educated and highly skilled workforce, both Irish and International, who enjoy a great quality of life. Dublin is particularly well set-up for start-up businesses, with many supports both financial and non-financial in place, especially for those introducing a new or innovative product or service to international markets.