ACCORDING to a new report tracking innovation and technology companies in Ireland, Cork is top of the regional charts when it comes to tech companies in Ireland.
TechIreland’s 2017 Regions Review looked at more than 600 companies who operate outside Dublin, of which 142 are based in Cork.
In terms of individual sectors, Cork tops the pile for number of companies involved in Agritech/Food, eCommerce, Education, Security and more.
DC Cahalane, CEO of Republic of Work, believes there is a renaissance afoot in Cork: “A lot of new businesses are starting and you can feel a lot more positivity around.
“There is always room for improvement but we have had a fantastic year in tech in Cork.
“Even last week, Teamwork.com winning Cork Large Company of the Year - it is nice to see tech has become a strong part of the local economy.
He is particularly pleased by native successes: “It is not all about the big American companies coming into town. We’ve got great companies like Poppulo and Teamwork, homegrown businesses that have grown to have more than 150 employees."
However, Cork companies were beaten into fifth place when it came to funding in 2017, with 25 companies accessing €22,878,849 in funding in the Rebel county. TechIreland tracks both foreign direct investment and funding from within the country.
Limerick topped the charts for funding, with seven companies picking up a whopping €72,713,439 in funding. Companies in Louth, Kilkenny and Galway also received more funding than their Cork counterparts.
Mr Cahalane is not concerned about the funding statistics, saying a few large investments in Limerick were skewing the overall picture.
On the contrary, he said funding in Cork was healthy and improving.
“We had a particularly good year in Cork last year in terms of funding. One of the really nice things that is happening is that you are seeing successful Cork business people investing back into companies.
He gave the example of Dan and Linda Kiely, who this year sold their company Voxpro to Telus for €150m: “They had a great year themselves, and straightaway they are back investing in local companies.” Caroline O’Driscoll, Chair of IT@Cork also lauded the work done in Cork last year and is upbeat about future prospects.
“Cork realised some key ambitions in 2017 by securing Regional Enterprise Development Funding through IT@Cork, and by launching a new Security accelerator through CorkBIC.
“With over one million square foot of office space coming on stream in the next 12 to 18 months, and with office rental costs at half that of other European cities, in 2018, Cork is ready to show the world what it is capable of.”