The Mill Enterprise Hub wants to bring more innovative start-ups to the north-east

3 Sep 2018

The board of The Mill Enterprise Centre with Dr Michael Mulvey (centre back), president of DkIT, at the strategy launch. Image: The Mill Enterprise Centre

The Mill Enterprise Centre in Drogheda wants to help highly skilled locals create new start-ups in the Boyne region.

Drogheda-based enterprise hub The Mill has unveiled its action plan for 2018 to 2020. The strategy has a particular focus on highly skilled commuters, who often spend hours travelling to and from Dublin every day.

Focusing on innovative commuters

According to Breanndán Casey, manager of The Mill, availing of the local resources could help those skilled workers establish start-ups in the north-east. He said: “The 2016 census shows that up to 33pc of the local population are commuting daily to Dublin, often up to three hours per day.

“This is an incredible waste of energy, and The Mill is here to support those individuals who have the skills and desire to work for themselves and create a scalable, high-value business.”

The strategy wants to increase The Mill’s role in overall national economic development through the creation of start-ups with international potential. An accelerator programme is also in the works, while the M1 Payments Corridor is continuing to develop the region as a fintech hub.

Building an innovation hub in Drogheda

The Mill has been open since 2014 and currently houses 31 companies ranging from start-ups to emergent FDIs. In total, 83 employees work there daily. In 2017, a 750 sq m extension of The Mill was opened, with the help of Louth County Council and Enterprise Ireland, among others. Local businesses also contributed approximately €350,000 in philanthropic donations.

As well as hotdesks and workspaces, The Mill also houses mentoring and learning services such as Drogheda Young Innovators.

The Mill is fortifying its existing relationship with Enterprise Ireland, Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT), Dublin City University, and the Louth and Meath Local Enterprise Offices, among others.

President of DkIT, Dr Michael Mulvey, was present at the launch of the strategy and said: “DkIT is a longtime supporter and board member of The Mill. This plan recognises that we need to further develop the north-east as a standalone economic zone whilst capitalising on our proximity to Dublin and Belfast, and on the large, highly skilled population within our region.”

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects