Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Ireland eyes up technology opportunities in Central Europe as nearly a third of Irish CEOs target the region

The Irish Chamber of Commerce in Central Europe (i-Cham CE) will host a Central European Technology Conference in Dublin this morning, Monday 3 November, 2014 at the CCD, sponsored by PwC.  The event will focus on bringing together Irish and Central European based technology companies with a view to developing new cross-border business relationships and partnerships.

Nearly a third (30%) of Irish CEOs plan to target Central and Eastern Europe, up from 19% last year, according to PwC’s 2014 CEO Pulse Survey.  The conference will provide a unique platform for developing new business prospects, strengthening the existing links and driving Ireland’s on-going engagement with the region to connect around bilateral Trade and Investment opportunities and policy.
iCham photo
Central Europe, with its pool of top IT talent, presents huge opportunities for Ireland
The Tech sector represents the area where there are most synergies between Ireland and Central Europe. Central Europe has a reputation for turning out among the top IT professionals in the World. This region consistently ranks at the very top of the world ranks in educational achievement in maths, science and technology. In 2013, 16 out of the 24 finalists of Google’s annual Code Jam programming competition were from Central Europe. From this pool of the top IT talent in the World, Central Europe has produced global tech companies such as ESET from Slovakia, AVG and Avast from the Czech Republic, Nordeus from Serbia, Filestube from Poland, BitDefender and Soft32 from Romania, Prezi from Hungary, and Skype from Estonia.
Likewise, Dublin has a booming tech sector and is host to the European Headquarters of all major Silicon Valley companies, Google (who will address the conference), eBay, Twitter, PayPal, Zynga, AirBnB and Facebook. We also have a dynamic domestic technology eco-system that has produced international tech companies such as Stripe and arguably the most vibrant technology start-up scene in Europe. Dublin’s reputation in this sector is further cemented and validated by the fact that the Web Summit, Europe’s largest annual technology event, began here just 4 years ago and when it opens tomorrow will welcome over 20,000 people through its doors.
Speakers at the event include:
  • Conor Fahy, Regional Director, Central Europe  & High Growth Markets, Enterprise Ireland
  • Stephen Caulfield, Executive Director, Dell EMEA and General Manager, Dell Slovakia
  • David Sneddon, Director, Large Customer Sales, Germany, Austria & Switzerland, Google
  • Barry O’Brien, Managing Director, Silicon Valley Bank
  • Mary Moloney, Global CEO, CoderDojo Foundation
i-Cham CE President David Pierce commented “During the most high profile week for technology globally at the Dublin Web Summit, i-Cham is very proud to promote the top IT talent from Europe.  There is a huge opportunity for Ireland now to really look East to Central Europe in terms of opportunities for Irish exports and collaborate on the IT talent pool in  the region.”
John Murphy, Tax Director, PwC and primary sponsor to the event, said: "Nearly one third (30%) of Irish CEOs are targeting Central and Eastern Europe, up from 19% last year, according to PwC's 2014 CEO Pulse Survey.  There is an untapped opportunity for Irish and Central European businesses to work more closely together.  With many of the key US technology companies in Ireland, we have a unique opportunity to be a 'tech hub' for Central European companies looking to access the US market.  Central Europe also offers a perfect location for Irish companies seeking to expand into new export markets or source key talent or new partners to develop their business."
Simon McKeever, Chief Executive of the Irish Exporters Association:“The Irish Exporters Association is delighted to be the Dublin Hub of i-Cham CE, which provides support to Irish SMEs and indigenous exporting firms looking to compete in the CE Region and assist Irish companies to develop in a competitive global market. This initiative not only gives confidence to Irish exporters at each stage of their exporting journey but seeks to educate and inform companies around best practice in the region.”
Enterprise Ireland’s Regional Director Conor Fahy said: ‘Ireland ‘s technology and start-up eco-system is  uniquely located to provide a platform for Central European companies in the ICT and Technology  space to expand into US and UK markets, while providing a dynamic environment for Central European entrepreneurs to migrate their ideas into businesses. Enterprise Ireland is pleased to support such Start-ups, and events such as the Central European Technology Conference are a key channel to heighten awareness of Ireland’s Start-Up advantage’.
Margaret Byrne, Market Development Manager, Vhi International commented “As the leading health insurance provider in the Irish Market, Vhi Healthcare is pleased to partner with i-Cham on this Central European Technology Conference.  This provides fantastic opportunities for all of the companies involved in developing cross-border business relationships and partnerships.  Vhi International provides innovative ex-patriate health insurance policy for those planning to relocate abroad for a number of years. We work closely with companies in the technology sector to provide cover for professionals moving abroad for extended periods of time, and have seen first-hand the exciting opportunities this can bring.  We are proud to support today’s event and hope it benefits all involved.”