Bank of Ireland is first Irish bank to establish NY start-up incubator

11 Mar 2017445 Shares

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From left: Tom Hayes, CEO of corporate banking at Bank of Ireland; Claire Mc Hugh, CEO and co-founder of Axonista; Jon Bayle, founder of Deposify; and David Tighe, head of innovation at Bank of Ireland. Image: Naoise Culhane

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Bank of Ireland has opened an incubation office in New York to support the Irish start-up community on its march westwards.

In an unexpected move, Bank of Ireland (BOI) has established StartLab NYC, a new incubation space to support Irish start-ups entering the US market.

The collaborative space, located in Manhattan on the 41st floor of 2 Grand Central, is the first offering of its kind from an Irish bank outside of Ireland.

‘Having a free, professional, and highly sought-after location to work from, in a city of real growth potential, is an invaluable support for entrepreneurs’
– DAVID TIGHE

StartLab NYC offers seven scalable technology companies the opportunity to gain access to a free incubation space in New York City for a 12-month period.

The bank has selected innovative Irish tech start-ups Deposify, Pulsate and Axonista to join the incubator, and an application process for the remaining four places will open in the coming weeks.

First, we take Manhattan …

“At Bank of Ireland, we are focused on fostering entrepreneurship, and helping our customers to grow their businesses,” said David Tighe, head of innovation at BOI.

“Having a free, professional, and highly sought-after location to work from, in a city of real growth potential, is an invaluable support for entrepreneurs.

‘We are approving credit for technology sector companies on a daily basis’
– TOM HAYES

“Moving into the American market can be a daunting experience for an Irish start-up. Our team in New York, along with our innovation team and technology sector specialists in Dublin, will give the seven companies who join StartLab NYC all the support they need to scale their business, seek investment and, ultimately, grow and succeed Stateside.

The decision to open StartLab NYC was taken in response to demand from customers, and represents the next step in the bank’s aim to foster entrepreneurship.

The incubator, specifically for scaling start-ups, is an extension of existing successful BOI facilities already available in several locations in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway, namely Workbench and StartLab.

“We are approving credit for technology sector companies on a daily basis,” said Tom Hayes, CEO of corporate banking at BOI.

“In January 2017 alone, our approvals ranged from €300,000 for a healthcare software company to €3.1m for an enterprise software company. On the equity side, Bank of Ireland has committed over €150m of own capital to venture capital funds such as Kernel Capital and Delta Partners.

“These funds have helped companies such as FeedHenry scale their business, and continue to support other upcoming technology companies,” said Hayes.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com