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Capturing All-Island Business - a Missed Opportunity for the Tech Sector

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by Startacus Admin


The first Innovation Island Connect event hailed a success and paving the way for more cross-border collaboration for SaaS companies and professional services firms on the island of Ireland.

TechIreland POST 20 A WEEK TO CONNECT + Innovation Island CONNECT Sept2022 03A recent report by the Economic & Social Research Institute (ESRI) highlighted the low level of tech services between the Republic and Northern Ireland. To address this, Startacus have partnered with TechIreland, another organisation that promotes the tech startup sector on the island to organise a series of cross-border business networking events. The first event took place recently at the SaaStock conference in Dublin’s RDS. The event involved enterprise software businesses and companies that offer Software-as-a-Service from across the island and saw an overwhelming participation by tech companies, investors and support agencies from both sides of the border. Subsequent events will focus on other technology and business sectors and will take place in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. 

The meetup was organised with support from InterTradeIreland’s Synergy initiative. Synergy is a cross-border cluster initiative set up by InterTradeIreland, the cross-border trade and business development body. It aims to scale cross-border collaboration among SMEs and other players such as universities, third sector organisations and government agencies using cluster and networking supports. 

Screenshot (547The overall event series is called “Innovation Island Connect” and the participants are selected to ensure real potential synergy among the attendees. As the organisers remarked, “If you can bring people together who have shared business expertise and goals and encourage them to network, that is when the magic happens”. 

For Northern Irish companies, this was an opportunity to meet with similar tech companies in the Republic, identify those that are selling or hope to sell into the UK market, and explore ways to collaborate. Investors from both sides of the border were excited to meet some of the best startups building innovative products on the island. 

The networking session was kicked off by one of Ireland’s most successful tech entrepreneurs, Peter Coppinger, CEO of Cork-based Teamwork, a company that fully understands the benefit of an all-island approach – they have offices in both Cork and Belfast. 

Screenshot (5Over one thousand cross-border ‘exploratory meetings’ came out of the 90-minute speed-networking session and over 650 ‘solid meetings’ were reported. 99% of the participants agreed the event had paved the way for cross-border collaboration and that they hope to do business together as an outcome. 

Responding to the event, InterTradeIreland’s Damien McConville said, ‘‘We’re thrilled by the interest, support and enthusiasm shown by tech leaders and investors in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. The survey results are a testimony to the benefits of bringing businesses together where they can clearly recognise the opportunities of cross-border collaboration.” 

We appreciate the strong support provided by all sponsors including InterTradeIreland, Beachhut, Enterprise Ireland, Ethico, SaaS Network Ireland, SaaStock and Waypoint



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Published on: 7th November 2022

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