In Dublin’s tech city: Where location matters to start-ups

5 Dec 2018

Image: © Robert Wilson/

New map of Dublin’s start-up ecosystem is quite revealing in terms of how location possibly affects funding.

A new interactive map of Dublin’s start-up scene by TechIreland reveals that within a kilometre either side of the River Liffey, there are more than 250 start-ups.

In terms of a north-south divide within a kilometre of the Liffey, the southside wins, with 195 start-ups compared with 62 on the northside.

The map reveals that Dublin 8 has the largest cluster of start-ups on the city’s southside. There are more than 115 start-ups in Dublin 8, largely driven by the presence of the NDRC, Guinness Enterprise Centre and The Digital Hub.

Map showing start-ups by location in Dublin.

Infographic: TechIreland

The largest cluster on the northside of Dublin is around the IFSC and Dogpatch Labs, with more than 55 start-ups in that area. Other key clusters on the northside include Dublin City University, which has more than 44 start-ups, and Smithfield, which has more than 20 start-ups.

The map reveals that other prominent clusters in the city exist around St Stephen’s Green, Trinity College and Merrion Square, with between 35 and 65 start-ups in each of these three locations.

Map showing start-up clusters either side of the River Liffey in Dublin.

Infographic: TechIreland

On the southside, Sandyford has the largest cluster of start-ups outside of Dublin city centre, with more than 56 start-ups. Citywest and Tallaght have medium-sized clusters of around 25 start-ups each.

On the northside, smaller clusters of 15 start-ups apiece exist in Blanchardstown, Malahide and Swords.

The funding scene

When it comes to funding, there is a bit of a north-south divide because start-ups on the southside on average raise €1.8m in funding compared with €1.4m for start-ups on the northside.

Start-ups in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown are somehow raising larger-than-average funds, with €2.7m in average funding, while start-ups in Fingal are raising €620,000 on average.

In terms of early-stage investment, average funding in Dublin 8, Smithfield and DCU is below €1m while companies in IFSC, Dublin 2 and Sandyford boast average funding of more than €1.5m.

The data from Tech Ireland comes on the heels of a Disruptive Dublin report that revealed Dublin to be a city of more than 1,000 start-ups. It indicated that one in five have attracted more than €1m in funding. It also revealed Dublin to be a hotbed of disruptive technology.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years