Access to finance and staff are biggest issues facing tech start-ups

Accessing finance and retaining and recruiting staff are the biggest challenges facing local tech start-ups, according to the results of a new survey.

Scale Ireland’s first Startup State Survey has been launched to gauge the sentiment of entrepreneurs in the sector on key issues including the economy, jobs, taxation, state aid and incentives , skills, gender and sustainability.

It also found that the vast majority of the 230 start-up founders and CEOs who responded had not applied for key government programs, including the job incentive investment program, tax credits for R&D or the KEEP stock option program.

Most founders also indicated that their company did not have a sustainability or climate action plan.

The survey will serve as the backdrop to Scale Ireland’s first regional start-up summit, which will be launched on Friday by Taoiseach Micheál Martin, and will include some of the country’s leading start-ups, including Fenergo and Teamwork.

Scale Ireland’s chief executive, Martina Fitzgerald, said: “This survey highlights the challenges faced by local tech start-ups. At a time when the sector is experiencing significant growth, it must not be slowed down.

“The ambition and dynamic of start-ups must now be accompanied by increased support from the State. With this support, indigenous start-ups will create more jobs and grow globally. »

Scale Ireland Chairman Brian Caulfield added: “We now have further evidence of the challenges founders face in retaining their staff.

“It’s getting tougher, with four out of ten founders who contributed to our survey losing staff in the past twelve months. This is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed urgently.

“It’s also critical that we look into why many founders aren’t taking advantage of state incentive programs. We need to make sure they’re user-friendly.

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