Dogpatch Labs and the Irish Tech Hub Network in partnership with leading multinational technology companies, today announced a major initiative to help Irish startups scale and expand internationally.

‘First Fridays’ for startups consists of monthly virtual events delivering 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 1-to-1 mentoring sessions with key employees and experts from the world’s leading multinationals.

RDI Hub is based in Killorglin County Kerry and will play a significant role in supporting local tech startups by helping to expand the vibrant community of start ups with access to a network of expertise to help and support the expansion of business both locally and further afield.

Liam Cronin, CEO of Kerry’s RDI Hub had this to say about the project: “RDI Hub is delighted to be involved in this important ecosystem initiative. Supporting founders to scale from the South West is core to what we do. First Friday for Startup leverages Ireland’s current strength around FDI to support the creation of Ireland’s next unicorns and is key to achieving our goal of making Irish globally great at entrepreneurship. We are very much looking forward to running these startup supports from RDI Hub” 

This new, revised, All-Ireland version of the programme will see 1,000+ employees from global technology companies committing resources to support the indigenous start-up community via free monthly mentoring and other software support. The multinational founders of ‘First Friday’ for startups multinationals that have committed to supporting the Irish startup ecosystem include Google, HubSpot, Microsoft and Salesforce with further partners to be announced. Other multinationals are expected to make meaningful contributions in the coming months.

Every month the delivery of the events will rotate around the country across the network of startup and innovation hubs – RDI Hub (Kerry), Ludgate Hub (Skibbereen), Portershed (Galway), Republic of Work (Cork), 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 over 7,000 attendees, 650 startups and delivered over 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 at the launch today, Portershed CEO (Galway) 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 multinational 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.” 

Recent years have seen record levels of investment and growth among indigenous Irish startups, with 6 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 Fridays for startups initiative will work to foster innovation across Ireland, providing entrepreneurs with the skills and tools to build high-growth startups of their own.

By Jim O Brien/CEO

CEO and expert in transport and Mobile tech. A fan 20 years, mobile consultant, Nokia Mobile expert, Former Nokia/Microsoft VIP,Multiple forum tech supporter with worldwide top ranking,Working in the background on mobile technology, Weekly radio show, Featured on the RTE consumer show, Cavan TV and on TRT WORLD. Award winning Technology reviewer and blogger. Security and logisitcs Professional.