Tech City Spotlight: Dublin
While cities like London, Berlin and Amsterdam have been shouting about being the tech capital of Europe, Dublin has quietly been stepping up to the plate. Having the youngest population in Europe and a low corporate tax rate (12.5%) are just a couple of the factors that have been enticing entrepreneurs and emerging growth startups to the city over recent years. The neighbourhood bordering the Grand Canal Docks is where much of the action is taking place but many areas of the city have a new life to them.
Despite being a fifth of the size of San Francisco over 260 global companies have now opened offices in Dublin, including tech heavy hitters Airbnb, Amazon, Google, Paypal and Twitter. The combination of having a few big companies with top talent and excellent job opportunities and great educational institutions (including Dublin Institute of Technology) has meant Dublin has blossomed into a talent hub, again making it attractive to entrepreneurs. The internationality and small size of the city have allowed a tight knit community to be established and the international competition cluster only seems to boost opportunities from Irish entrepreneurs.
Dublin also has two world class tech events which every year attract some of the world’s top entrepreneurs and technologists. F.ounders is an invitation-only gathering of the founders of 150 of the top tech companies of the globe. It is a chance for founders to relax in the company of their peers, to build relationships and have fun together. Then there is the Dublin Web Summit – the biggest tech conference in Europe. The topic of the conference is centered on internet technology and attendees range from Fortune 500 companies to the most promising tech startups.
Where to live:
Stoneybatter and Smithfield have turned into some of Dublin’s trendiest areas and are basically the equivalent of London’s Shoreditch. Naturally techies are drawn into the Docklands development which is close by to Google at its peers. Phibsboro is the up-and-coming hipster neighbourhood and Donnybrook falls on the other end of the spectrum – an old school classic area with plenty of independent cafes and bars and yummy mummies.
Where to eat:
Dublin’s restaurant scene has undergone a dining revolution and is truly thriving. The Greenhouse has just been added the Michelin guide and has incredible tasting menus without any of the stuffiness you might expect. Chapter One serves up contemporary Irish cuisine with a French twist. It is pricey, but the pre-theatre menus offer value for money. The House offers breakfast, dinner and everything inbetween. On Thursday evenings you can grab dinner for a tenner, and Tuesdays you can BYOB.
Where to drink:
Of course Dublin is famous for its drinking culture so you’ll never be stuck for somewhere to grab a pint. Grogans is a very popular traditional Irish pub famous for being frequented by writers and artists. Arthur Mayne’s has a fine selection of craft beers and The Bar With No Name is a hip hangout. For an excellent gastro pub check out the Exchequer. To continue the night avoid the famous Temple Bar (tourist trap) and head to House or The Black Door for a more sophisticated clubbing experience.