Belfast Telegraph

Now is 'best time in 30 years' for Irish start-ups

By Staff Reporter

The availability of seed funds to invest in Irish firms is at its highest level in 30 years - despite the Republic's economic crisis.

Speaking at the launch of the InterTradeIreland Annual Venture Capital Conference, Kernel Capital founder Niall Olden said that despite the economic downturn, there had never been a better time to start a business in Ireland.

He said business costs were at an all-time low for start-ups, as they could now hire staff and lease premises at more cost-effective levels.

"In 30 years of Irish venture capital, there has never been more seed and early-stage funding available than there is today," Mr Olden said.

The conference will take place at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Dublin on April 7.

It will focus on three key areas: securing investment, becoming self-sustaining and realising the investor exit.

Delegates at the conference will hear practical examples of companies who have successfully achieved an exit, including the story of BCO Technologies, which was founded in Belfast by Scott Blackstone. The electric components company was sold to US company Analog Devices in 2000 for £100.7m.