Current State of the European Tech Start-Up Ecosystem

slush is a two-day international startup and investor event, organized annually in helsinki in november. as part of the event the organisers work together with atomico , an international technology investment firm, to publish a detailed analysis of the state of play in the european tech ecosystem.   

It is a well known fault of human nature that when looking at a a photograph of people we always look for ourselves first. So naturally we wanted to review this report and see how Ireland fares . After all the thesis that Ireland is an importnat European Tech Start-up Hub is well documented. So always good to challenge this thesis through analysis of some real data sourced by an independent party. 


While Ireland doesn't appear in the a list of top computer science academic institutions,. Dublin does appear at number 10 in a nice diagram of tech clusters based on number of developers (Source : Stackoverflow) . Dublin has with 45k software developers of which 28k are full stack developers. Not bad especially if you weight this as % of city population. 


Take Away 1: Dublin #10 city in Europe for absolute number of Developers

In the very next  page Ireland features on top in  LinkedIn analysis of the  growth of tech jobs in Europe. 

Take Away 2: According to LinkedIn Ireland has the fastest growth in tech jobs in 2016 with a rate of  5.5%   

Skip two pages to an analysis of countries as a source of "mobile tech talent" and Ireland appears in seventh place. The UK is a clear leader as a source of intra European tech migrants 

Take away 3: Ireland is #7 source of "mobile" tech talent providing 4% of intra-EuropeAn tech migrants. 

A very interesting metric deployed by the researchers is the number of persons attending Tech meetups in a given city. Here according to Dublin ranks in 8th place with 32,000 people attending meetups in the first 3 quarters of 2016. This is in fact a 60% growth rate on the preceding full year. Again the figures are absolute and not adjusted by population.

Take away 4: In absolute terms Dublin  has  8th largest number of people attending tech meetups in Europe

The next section of the report deals with investment and capital flows. Ireland doesn't feature as an entity as the larger economies dominate. However another analysis by Techstars in Berlin does show that Dublin is at par with Barcelona  and Stockholm for number of active VCs in operation.

Following this the report looks at Deep Tech obviously of particular importance to Universities as research institutions . They analyse investment data from using keywords such as AI, VR, AR, machine learning, IOT, space etc.  Ireland features with 151 deep tech investments over the last 5 years which is more than Norway and Finland to name a few.

Take away 5: Ireland is ranked 6th in Europe in Deep Tech investment


Worryingly however Ireland is not listed in figures showing  the 15 Artificial Intelligence clusters in Europe. Also of concern is that Ireland not listed as a hub in Augmented or Virtual Reality.

Take away 6: Ireland does not feature as a hub or cluster in AI, VR or AR.

In conclusion , adjusting for population Ireland is truly punching above its weight and a key player  in many areas of the  European tech Startup Echo system. However in areas including  capital inflows, engagement with large multinationals and some key deep tech sectors we can not afford to be left behind.

John Whelan