German start-ups visit Dublin to build partnerships and share skills

11 Sep 2015

Tarek Hohberg, co-founder of German start-up Pfeffermind Games

A trade mission focused on software development and gaming brought Irish and German companies together over a three-day event to foster collaborations and partnerships.

Hosted by the German-Irish Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Dublin’s Guinness Enterprise Centre, the German-Irish Digital Innovation Summit introduced us to companies such as indie games studio The Good Evil; Kunst-Stoff, which aims to make foreign-exchange trading as simple as Tinder; and Semknox, which provides a B2B ‘search-as-a-service’ for online shops.

“The idea behind the event really was to bring together the expertise in Ireland with the expertise from Germany and just to look at what kind of co-operations can come out of it,” said Aideen Keenan, head of marketing for the German-Irish Chamber.

Entrepreneurial know-how meets tech expertise

The visiting delegates hoped to find potential partners or customers through this trade mission, and all seemed quite won over by Ireland’s reputation and tech pedigree.

Tarek Hohberg from Pfeffermind Games labelled Dublin the tech hub of Europe, but Berlin as the region’s start-up hub.

“So, maybe, while in Berlin you’ll find a lot of entrepreneurial know-how, you’ll find a lot of tech know-how here, and I think there are a lot of synergies to be discovered,” he said.

‘While in Berlin you’ll find a lot of entrepreneurial know-how, you’ll find a lot of tech know-how here’

While the ambitions of entrepreneurs the world over are shared, cultural attitudes can create differences which, when combined, might just be the perfect complement to one another.

“I think German entrepreneurs always have a tendency to be a little bit too risk averse,” said Robert Bachmaier, head of sales for 30-year-old software development company Bittner + Krull.

“Irish people have a lot more courage to engage into new opportunities, new challenges, new products.”

These comments will be music to the ears of Startup Ireland, a collective of public and private partners with a plan to make Ireland a global start-up hub by 2020.

Startup Ireland’s first annual Startup Gathering will play host to more than 300 events across the country in October.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic