Dublin 8’s GEC and NDRC top the world for start-ups

Dublin 8’s Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC) and the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC) have each been ranked among the top start-up incubators and accelerators in the world, respectively.

NDRC was recognised as one of the top Public Business Accelerators in the world, while GEC was rated as one of the leading Private Business Incubators globally.

UBI Global ranked accelerators and incubators from 82 countries worldwide.

“With both NDRC and GEC operating in close proximity, and the likes of The Digital Hub also playing a key role in Dublin 8, it’s clear that this creative cluster brings about its own series of benefits to the startup ecosystem”

The UBI Global World Benchmark Study 2019 – 2020 shows that participating incubation programmes had an average budget of more than $4.5m. In total, the assessed programmes were responsible for the successful incubation or acceleration of 153,000 startup companies through the active participation of almost 25,000 coaches, mentors, and volunteers.

The rise and rise of Dublin’s Innovation District

The neighbouring organisations’ performances held up against similar programmes and initiatives from all over the world at UBI Global’s World Incubation Summit in Doha, Qatar.

These latest accolades draw focus to Dublin 8’s thriving startup environment. A recent report from TechIreland revealed that the Liberties region has the largest startup cluster in Dublin, with 115 startups, largely driven by the presence of the NDRC, GEC and Digital Hub.

Both GEC and NDRC achieved “outstanding impact and performance” when measured up to international peers. They outperformed global peers “with regard to the value they provide to their innovation ecosystems and client startups, as well as the attractiveness of the programs themselves,” according to UBI Global’s recently published international report.

The Dublin 8 organisations were up against more than 350 other organisations, highlighting the international regard the Irish startup scene is held in.

The GEC is a world-class enterprise centre for ambitious and innovative companies. It provides a modern, spacious and flexible working environment supported by best-in-class business support services.

“We always strive to place the entrepreneur front and centre in the GEC,” Eamonn Sayers, Centre Manager at GEC, said. “We are delighted to be recognised at the prestigious UBI Global awards.

“With our expansion development of the GEC our rapidly growing University program and continuing rollout of our regional programs CoConnect and Prosper, this gives us great impetus and drive as Ireland’s Home for Entrepreneurs. It is also fantastic to see our neighbours in Dublin 8, the NDRC, being similarly honoured. Dublin 8 truly is Dublin’s Innovation District.”

NDRC builds and invests in very young digital companies, or startups. To date, a portfolio of almost 300 business has seen more than €250 million raised in follow-on investment.

“Recognition such as this from UBI Global once again highlights the hard work we have been doing at NDRC for more than ten years now,” said Gary Leyden, Commercial Director at NDRC. “Building a pipeline of digital startups, constructing a portfolio of internationally scalable ventures and developing Dublin’s entrepreneur ecosystem has long been part of NDRC’s mission.

“It’s also great to see GEC recognised, too. The importance of innovation and Ireland’s indigenous economic capacity is clear. With both NDRC and GEC operating in close proximity, and the likes of The Digital Hub also playing a key role in Dublin 8, it’s clear that this creative cluster brings about its own series of benefits to the startup ecosystem. We hope that NDRC’s acceleration activities in Waterford and Galway will, in time, bring similar benefits to the West and South East of the country.”

Pictured above (from left): Holger Meyer, Head of Research at UBI Global, Gary Leyden, Commercial Director at NDRC, Madison Roche, University Partnership Manager at GEC, Eamonn Sayers, Centre Manager at GEC, Ali Amin CEO of UBI Global. Image: UBI Global

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 7 November, 2019