From start-up to growing up

Business, Finance, Technology | Tue 25 Aug | Author – Business & Finance
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Across Ireland there are numerous accelerator hubs that nurture early stage enterprises as they take their first tentative steps running their own businesses.

Citi, the global bank, along with the Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Simon Harris, Dublin Start-up Commissioner Niamh Bushnell and the IDA officially opened the Citi Accelerator Hub in June. Based at Citi, the hub will provide office space for fintech start-ups to work from.

Equipped with wi-fi, video conferencing and additional office facilities, fintech start-ups will also have access to Citi’s mentoring network, which will be on hand to advise and support them with their business, as well as organising industry meet-ups to help strengthen their network further in the fintech sector.

Citi’s chief administrative officer and head of the Citi Service Centre, Cecilia Ronan said: “Citi has been an avid supporter of the fintech sector since opening the first Citi Innovation Lab in 2009. We now employ 400 technologists out of a total workforce of 2,500. We believe that there is a huge opportunity for early innovators and emerging start-ups here in Ireland to create disruptive technology that will help map the future of financial services.”

One of the biggest challenges fintech start-ups face in Ireland is their ability to secure city centre office space. “Citi currently partners with programmes such as LaunchBox, upStart and Stemettes, and, having worked closely with these teams over the last number of months, we saw an opportunity to extend our support of this sector by refurbishing an existing office space in our North Wall Quay building to accommodate start-ups that need access to a state-of-the-art office space to work out of,” Cecilia Ronan explained. “The Citi Accelerator Hub will also give these start-ups access to Citi mentors who will be on hand to guide and support them as they navigate their way through setting up a new business,” she added.

We must nurture the talented young innovators we have in this country who are making an important contribution to our thriving financial services sector

Minister of State, Simon Harris TD, said: “Ireland has one of the most dynamic fintech sectors around, but with that comes challenges. Organisations such as Citi stepping up to the mark and opening their doors to support these start-ups is crucially important, not just in providing the office space for them to work out of, but by also providing them with access to the Citi mentor network,” he explained. “We must nurture the talented young innovators we have in this country who are making an important contribution to our thriving financial services sector. Citi has led the way in supporting the development of the fintech industry in Ireland,” the minister added.

BIG AMBITIONS

Dublin start-up commissioner, Niamh Bushnell, said: “It’s exciting to see another collaborative workspace open up in Dublin city centre and welcome the start-up community in. Particularly at Citi, where the team is offering not only strong wi-fi and coffee, but also their knowledge and time in mentoring start-ups based on their broad range of in-house expertise. I’d recommend the new Citi Accelerator Hub to all fintech start-ups with big ambitions – and we’ve no shortage of those in Dublin.”

Martin Shanahan, CEO at IDA Ireland, added: “Fintech is an area that we are focusing on here at IDA Ireland. We believe Ireland can become a world centre for this industry. Citi, a company with a truly global network, is offering a great opportunity to help foster those early stage firms in this space.”

For more information on how to access the Citi Accelerator Hub, email startups@citi.com.

ACCELERATOR PROGRAMMES 

NDRC LaunchPad

DCU Propeller

Health XL

LaunchBox.ie

Startupbootcamp

DogPatch Labs

Scalefront

NDRC VentureLab

Enterprise Ireland also has a list of all the campus incubation spaces in Ireland, including University and Institute of Technology incubation centres.