Last night at the Pub Summit I spoke to Eoghan Jennings, ex-CFO of Xing, and the man behind the new Bootcamp accelerator that will be launching in 2012. I was struck by his optimism, and he gave me 12 reasons why Ireland is a good place for startups (credit to Colm Rafferty from Maples & Caulder who gave Eoghan input on the list). I was covering the event for Wired UK and didnt have space to put the list into the full Wired piece. I think his reasons are interesting and worth sharing here.
(a) Common law legal system which is, from a corporate perspective, very similar to that of the United Kingdom;(b) Pricing for professional services is much more competitive than in the UK(c) very active domestic seed capital and venture capital markets;(d) Investment structures and deal terms generally track US norms;(e) High level of comfort amongst institutional investors investing in Irish companies eg: Balderton, Polaris, Amadeus, DFJ Esprit, 3i, Summit, IVP, SAP Ventures, Scottish Equity Partners, Apax(f) Many significant technology companies have international operations with Irish holdcos eg: Riverdeep, Aepona, Fleetmatics, Hostelword.com, Seagate, Openet, Iona, Trintech(g) Significant international tax planning opportunities with an Irish company in your structure(h) Emerging hub of US social media and gaming companies establishing Irish group entities(i) Destination of choice for many international redomiciliations (like Seagate)(j) Significant positive experience of US corporates acquiring Irish vehicles (eg Google, First Data, SunGard, Amdocs, BEA, Intel, Informatica)(k) Ireland positions itself between the US and Europe with significant double taxation treaties making it an attractive location for holding companies with shareholders from different jurisdictions.(l) Ireland is the only English speaking country in the Euro zone