Bill Liao on why Ireland needs to grow its tech talent right now (video)

20 Apr 2012

Entrepreneur and investor Bill Liao

At Angel MeetUp this week in Dublin, internet entrepreneur and investor Bill Liao pleaded with people to support the new Open Ireland movement. He also spoke about Ireland’s critical need to grow its tech talent and open its borders to spawn a new generation of coders, programmers and designers.

In the second of our video series featuring Liao, who gave the second keynote at Ireland’s first-ever Angel MeetUp this week, the XING co-founder and venture partner at SOSventures spoke about how Ireland needs to foster a new generation of tech talent. Liao also offered advice to investors and start-ups alike.

Growing tech talent in Ireland

Liao made an impassioned plea to the investors to support the new Open Ireland movement, which is aiming to help Ireland bridge its tech skills gap.

“The tech industry, particularly software, is still growing at a double-digit rate … Right now, in Ireland, there’s 20,000 unfilled jobs in the tech sector!

“We need, as Ireland, to open our borders and we need to grow our tech talent right now,” said Liao to the angel investors and start-ups who were at the conference.

He encouraged investors to go to to support it, because he said Ireland needs more programmers. He also encouraged people to open their own CoderDojos (to teach kids how to code) in their businesses.

“Support it, because the more great programmers there are, the more your investments are going to do well,” he said. “Why? Because we have enough entrepreneurs. I’m sorry, we do. We don’t have enough designers and coders to go with them. The best support I can ask you for is to grow the number of coders in this country now,” said Liao.

Altruistic angel investing

He also spoke about his altruistic vision as an entrepreneur.

“I strongly recommend that you look at something altruistic,” Liao told the investors. “Because I don’t know anyone on their deathbed who says ‘I wanted to spend more time at the office’. Everyone says, ‘I wanted to spend more time with my family. I want to have more impact’.

“Well, Ireland is in a place right now where it needs a lot of impact. It needs everyone to pull together. This community, right here, in this room, can have an impact on Ireland’s economy and thereby on the economy of the world. Because people are looking at Ireland right now. They’re looking to see are we pulling ourselves up out of the mud or are we ready for the slaughter … ” said Liao.

Check out the video of Bill Liao at Angel MeetUp here:

Bill Liao offers advice to angel investors and covers the Open Ireland movement – Part 2 

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic