Ireland ranks 4th on EU start-up scoreboard

15 Mar 2016

Ireland has been ranked fourth in the EU by the European Digital Forum (EDF) as part of its 2016 Startup Nation Scoreboard looking at how established a nation’s start-up ecosystem is.

The EU start-up scoreboard was devised through a crowdsourcing exercise involving the national experts of 25 countries, most specifically looking at the outcomes of the StartUp Manifesto written back in 2013.

The manifesto was a 22-action roadmap supported by nine of the leading European entrepreneurs – divided into 72 measurable actions to spur discussion on improving the start-up ecosystem and digital-era performance in the EU’s 28 member states.

In the manifesto, so far signed by thousands across Europe, there are six key pillars on which this recent scoreboard was defined.

These include an institutional framework, access to education and skills, available talent, amount of funding available, data protection standard and finally, digital leadership within a nation.

In the report, Ireland is shown to have adopted the recommendations in the manifesto at a rate of 72pc, compared with the EU average of 60pc, putting it in fourth place overall.

Europe map start-ups

Image via EDF

The Netherlands has been ranked first by the EDF with 85pc, followed by Italy (82pc) and the UK (77pc).

The worst-ranked nation in the EU is its latest addition, Croatia, which has an adoption rate of the manifesto of just 32pc of its key targets since 2013.

In its focused explanation of Ireland’s ranking, the EDF cites Irish entrepreneurs’ demand for a start-up manifesto for the country as being a key factor, given Ireland’s hosting of  Startup Nations Summit this November, the first time it is to be held in Europe.

Ireland breakdown

Image via EDF

“Ireland’s start-up ecosystem seems to be at a phase of network growth where individual pockets of excellence are increasing in density and starting to connect with each other nationally,” says the report.

Despite Ireland ranking an adoption rate of 100pc in terms of digital leadership, it has only ranked 50pc in terms of access to talent, despite many of the major tech companies having their headquarters here.

Principal author of the report and director and co-founder of Open Evidence, an online consultancy firm, David Osimo, says: “On balance, Europe is making good progress in key areas. But many countries need to move beyond words.

“Policymakers need to take harder decisions to deliver more progress in areas that would make it easier for start-ups to scale up. And we need to involve the start-up community more directly in setting challenges – and monitoring progress.”

EU flag image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic