IRELAND NOW HAS its very own ‘Wikipedia for Irish startups’ which has been launched to help paint a better picture of the country’s startup sector.
TechIreland, which is the brainchild of Dublin commissioner for startups Niamh Bushnell, is a database of companies and organisations involved in the Irish startup sector.
The project is currently in beta and only features 500 startups on the website, with information such as total funding, employee numbers and contact details listed.
In addition to the treasure trove of early-stage companies featured on the website, TechIreland also has details on multinationals, hubs of startup activity and investment firms based in the Republic.
Speaking to Fora, Bushnell said TechIreland will be a useful tool for anyone who wants to get a grip on the Irish startup sector and there are plans to grow the number of companies on the database up to 2,000 ahead of the official launch in October.
“We’re taking our startups out of incognito … First of all, it presents them in a very clean, clear and complete way and allows them to be more discoverable than they have been before,” she said.
“One of the other big advantages of this will be all the metrics and tracking we can do of Irish startups, their stages of development, the clusters we are strong in and the funding they are getting.”
She added that TechIreland has partnered with other renowned startup databases such as Crunchbase and AngelList, which she said have “incomplete and very minor data about Irish companies”.
The development and maintenance of such a large database of companies isn’t cheap and Bushnell said TechIreland wouldn’t have come about if the Dublin-based IT firm Pivotal Labs had not offered to create the website for free.
At present the project has two data analysts working on it full time and Bushnell said the plan is to take on two or three more people to help manage the database.
“We’re not going to rely on crowdsourcing of the information. We are going to encourage people to add information about their companies, but ultimately we will be responsible for keeping the data up to date ourselves and that costs money.
“Between now and October when we launch the platform in its complete form, I will be doing fundraising for it and looking for key sponsors to put their name and their brands behind this blueprint of innovation in Ireland.
“There is absolutely no point in spending the whole of the last year building this thing for it not to have a life that goes on for a decade plus.”
Some early sponsors of TechIreland include Google, Liam Casey’s manufacturing company PCH and Bank of Ireland.
The Advisory board of the project also includes names from high profile multinationals and members of the Irish startup community such as Facebook head of partnerships Joe Morley, Start-Up Nation Central technology officer Omri Baumer, Portershed co-founder John Breslin and Draper Esprit partner Brian Caulfield.