I returned to Ireland about two years ago and setup a software company.
We currently have distribution in the US, Japan and Europe and are making a profit. I went to Enterprise Ireland to look for help in growing the business as I needed to take on 3 new employees to fulfill the distributors requests for new products.
Having gone through a full year of discussions with EI, the only help they can give is tied to the fact that I raise half the money required. This is not possible in the current climate, as business angel funding has all but evaporated.
Because of this lack of funding I am now moving the business to Germany, having found a partner there. While minor in the grand scheme of things, three jobs and the potential for more have been lost.
New businesses are starving of investment capital and the matched funding criteria needs to be removed as soon as possible.
Having gone through the system, at the moment I feel the knowledge based economy will remain a pipe dream until they tackle the problem of early stage funding for new companies.
While they are spending so much on University R&D with little or no success, companies in the private sector with viable businesses are leaving or not getting off the ground at all.
Hopefully David will highlight this problem in a future article for the SBP.