Bush­nell ready to launch tech in­dus­try data site

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

months, and that the new ma­jor spon­sors would be on board be­fore then.

“In my job as Com­mis­sioner for Star­tups I had very lit­tle ac­cess to good data in terms of dif­fer­ent sec­tors, dif­fer­ent ge­ogra­phies, what’s strong in the re­gions, what’s strong in Dublin, where the fund­ing is go­ing, who the movers and shak­ers are,” Bush­nell said.

“The op­por­tu­nity here is to not only tell us here in Ire­land who we are and where we’re strong. It’s to take that mes­sage... out to the world.

“This is a com­mu­nity re­source, it’s a pub­lic and free re­source. We want the com­mu­nity to be as­so­ci­ated with it, to be proud of it, to be be­hind it and to use it,” Bush­nell said.

Bush­nell said the team be­hind the project gather data from sources in­clud­ing the me­dia, the Com­pa­nies Regis­tra­tion Of­fice, le­gal firms and PR firms, and pull it to­gether in or­der to pro­vide a sin­gle source of in­sight. She said, as the project de­vel­ops, it will look to gather in­for­ma­tion from other sources.

She added that it would also look to gen­er­ate rev­enue through paid-for re­ports.

It re­cently car­ried out a re­port on the Fin­tech sec­tor for the Cen­tral Bank, and an­other for Ire­land Smart Age­ing Ex­change on com­pa­nies with the po­ten­tial to move into the smart age­ing sec­tor. Bush­nell re­turned to Ire­land from New York — ar­guably the busi­ness cap­i­tal of the world — in 2014 to take up the role as Dublin Com­mis­sioner for Star­tups.

“In terms of the ac­tual busi­ness cul­ture, I think we’re still less com­fort­able with fail­ure and still less open to do­ing new things than Amer­i­cans would be. But we’re get­ting there,” Bush­nell said.

“Even in the two years I’ve been home, I’ve seen a lot of cel­e­bra­tion of fail­ure and recog­ni­tion of the value of it,” she added.

Bush­nell has been a per­sis­tent critic of Ire­land’s cap­i­tal gains tax regime. The head­line rate of 33pc has been crit­i­cised by some as a dis­in­cen­tive to scal­ing a busi­ness. An en­tre­pre­neur’s re­lief mea­sure was in­tro­duced in re­cent years, which now charges 10pc for €1m of gains. That scheme is far less gen­er­ous than its UK equiv­a­lent and Bush­nell said it doesn’t go far enough.

“It needs to be a pol­icy ad­vo­cacy ex­er­cise that we con­tinue through­out the year... what it’s telling young com­pa­nies is: ‘You are small. Think small, and stay small’.

“When are we ever go­ing to sup­port the idea that ‘large com­pa­nies in Ire­land’ is not just an­other way of say­ing ‘FDI’?”

Ni­amh Bush­nell is gear­ing up for the for­mal launch of her new ven­ture, Tech Ire­land — with Google and Bank of Ire­land back­ing the project

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