At a time when many European countries are looking to tighten borders, Ireland’s international focus and young, educated workforce are among some of the many features paying dividends for their growing startup community. The economic recession initially drove many Dubliners to entrepreneurship (with great success) and now the region looks to a promising future with the economic downturn behind Ireland. Dublin’s next wave of growth as a startup community will rely on an uptick in angel investments and new, supportive investors at the local and international level. Here are a few key features that position Dublin as an excellent place to start an angel investing journey:

Dublin’s startup ecosystem is established and respected.

The Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking named Dublin just outside of the top 20 startup ecosystems in 2015. According to Compass, the firm behind the ranking, the ecosystem is now estimated at roughly $2.8 billion. This may not sound like a lot when compared to the likes of London (estimated at $43.9 billion), but its value comes in right alongside Amsterdam – despite being a third of the size.

The community uses its small size to their advantage.

At just over 527,000 people, Dublin is notably cozy in size — a trait that would, for some areas, indicate a lack of resources. For Dublin, the smaller population has served as an advantage for early-stage startups in particular. Startup Commissioner Niamh Bushnell points out that Dublin’s size makes for a naturally connected, supported community where entrepreneurs can seek out advice and next steps from a VC even if the company isn’t quite ready for funding. Dublin’s small size also means that sourcing talent through the tech community and scaling at earlier stages is highly feasible, making it a great test market for many young companies.

“Irish Hospitality” holds true for startups.

When it comes to finding a supportive, tight-knit ecosystem to start your company, Dublin outclasses most. The city has a vibrant pay-it-forward mentality that emulates what made Silicon Valley great. This pay-it-forward mentality is one of the primary non-financial motivations that drives entrepreneurs to become angels. Having this supportive foundation should motivate more right-minded angels as Dublin sees more and more startup successes.

Champion startups have modeled success for newcomers.

Dublin is home to numerous enterprise software companies, a reputation that is steadily growing. Fintech is another hot area in Dublin’s tech scene that has thrived with special emphasis on payments. Some of the most notable startups to come out of Dublin’s ecosystem include Intercom, Boxever, Ding, CurrencyFair, Teamwork, and FoodCloud. Apart from leading startups, many corporations have taken root in Dublin thanks to their 12.5% corporate tax rate (one of Europe’s lowest). Microsoft has been in Ireland for 30 years and employs 1,200 people, Apple took up roots in 1980, Intel has been in Ireland for 27 years and employs over 2,000 people, and Google has had its EMEA Headquarters in Ireland for 13 year and employs over 5,000 people. More recent arrivals in Dublin include Facebook, Airbnb, and Twitter.

Community support for startups is strong.

Dublin’s leaders recognize the power of a strong startup ecosystem. Local fixtures such as the Dublin Commissioner for Startups, Startup Ireland, Dogpatch Labs, and many more exist solely to support Dublin’s aspiring entrepreneurs. Dublin also benefits from a government that values startup, as seen with recent efforts to drive additional support through Enterprise Ireland, an organization that aims to help new companies start, grow, and find their place in global markets. At the earliest startup stages, Startup Weekend Dublin consistently brings together aspiring entrepreneurs to continue building and testing new ideas. Most recently, events like AngelSummit Europe have signed on to bring more investors into Dublin to motivate more local angel investing and share best practices that can be applied within the community – a gathering hosted by Google for Entrepreneurs and Startup Angels.


International Investors continue to fund Dublin’s potential.

In 2015, over $300 million in funding was secured for Dublin-based companies, and over 46% of those funds were brought in through international investments. According to the Irish Venture Capital Association Venture Pulse survey, first-round seed funding in Ireland has doubled from the same time frame last year, and about half the funds raised in the region came from international investors. Dublin alone attracted more than 2/3rds of these funds. Since 2008, over $1.4 billion has made its way into Dublin’s tech community via international funds – a clear indicator that the region draws consistent interest from around the globe.