REPUBLIC of Work, as part of the Irish Tech Hub Network, partnering with Dogpatch Labs and leading multi-national technology companies, has announced a major initiative to help Irish startups scale and expand internationally.
The monthly virtual ‘First Fridays for Startups’ event delivers curated expert workshops, advisory panels and fireside chats with globally successful startup founders.
Central to the programme will be the opportunity for Irish startup founders to engage in one-on-one mentoring sessions with key employees and experts from the world’s leading multinationals.
This new, revised, All-Ireland version of the programme will see 1,000 plus employees from global technology companies committing resources to support the indigenous start-up community via free monthly mentoring and other software support.
Founding First Friday multi-nationals that have committed to support the Irish startup ecosystem include Google, HubSpot, Microsoft and Salesforce with further partners to be announced. Other multi-nationals are expected to make meaningful contributions in the coming months.
Every month the delivery of the event will rotate around the country across the network of startup and innovation hubs — Republic of Work (Cork), Ludgate Hub (Skibbereen), Portershed (Galway), RDI Hub (Kerry), Ormeau Baths (Belfast) and Dogpatch Labs (Dublin).
The initiative is a significant expansion of the successful programme run by Dogpatch Labs and Google in Dublin for the past five years, which has to date attracted more than 7,000 attendees, 650 startups and delivered more than 1,000 mentoring hours.
The programme’s existing mentor network includes Google employees, entrepreneurs, and industry subject matter experts.
With the additional multinational partners, the programme will further extend this mentor knowledge pool and reach all four corners of Ireland to support even more entrepreneurs.
Speaking about the announcement, Republic of Work, CEO Frank Brennan said: “We’re so excited to be joining this initiative, alongside all our partners in the Irish Tech Hub Network. Through this programme, startups all across Ireland will be able to access mentors from some of the World’s top technology companies. For companies in Cork, this means…”
Speaking at the launch, Portershed CEO and CEO of the Irish Tech Hub Network, Mary Rodgers, said: “This is a real boost for the regions, extending equal access to the wealth of multi-national talent to founders across the island of Ireland. We hope to inspire founders and give Irish startups unrivalled access to global networks as they seek to go out beyond our shores and conquer the world.”
Commenting on the existing five-year programme, Paddy Flynn, VP of Google said: “Over the past 10 years Google has taken great pride in supporting First Fridays as well as a broader set of initiatives as part of our long-term commitment to this country.
“I’m pleased to see the broader FDI community engage in this important expanded initiative with the shared intent of building a stronger ecosystem.”
Recent years have seen record levels of investment; growth among indigenous Irish startups, with six unicorn companies showing what is possible for domestic innovators.
Fenergo, Intercom, Workhuman, LetsGetChecked and most recently Flipdish and Wayflyer are all Irish-origin companies who have passed the $1bn valuation mark in the last few years.
The First Friday initiative will work to foster innovation across Ireland, providing entrepreneurs with the skills and tools to build high-growth startups of their own.
Further information and registration are available at www.firstfridays.ie (live now), or by reaching out directly to Frank at email@example.com