The Media Cube at IADT Dún Laoghaire marks 10 years of success

7 Dec 2017

From left: Head of creative engagement at IADT, Jessica Fuller; IADT president Dr Annie Doona; and Ann Marie Phelan, enterprise and innovation manager at IADT, outside the Media Cube. Image: Brian Farrell

The incubation centre in IADT Dún Laoghaire has been supporting start-ups since 2007.

High-potential start-ups in the technology, creative and culture sectors have called the Media Cube at IADT Dún Laoghaire home for a decade now.

Originally established in 2007 with funding from Enterprise Ireland under the National Development Plan, the incubation centre has successfully supported 80 companies, which have generated an impressive 756 jobs and €25m in equity.

Dr Annie Doona, president of IADT Dún Laoghaire, spoke of the significant output that the Media Cube has generated, despite opening right before the devastation of the recession was about to hit: “The Media Cube has supported over 80 successful companies that are still growing and thriving today.

“The impact to the local and broader economy is very significant when you consider these companies employ approximately 756 people in highly skilled positions.”

Doona went on to highlight the global ethos and approach of these companies, and the collaboration between the firms and researchers at IADT. “Many of them are tapping into the research expertise within IADT to consolidate their positions as leaders in their sectors.”

She also reaffirmed the Media Cube’s commitment to its Innovation 2020 goals.

Notable successes that have emerged from the Media Cube include Your Smile Direct. CEO Graham Byrne commented on the importance of the Media Cube in fostering growth for the company: “Your Smile Direct began its life at the Media Cube back in 2014. We were able to get the help, support and contacts at critical times in our growth journey.”

He stressed that the biggest boost for him was the sense of kinship present. “But possibly the biggest benefit I found was that the Media Cube has a rare community where you can just sit down and have a cup of coffee with five different entrepreneurs all going through the same journey.”

ThinScale Technology, a fourth-place winner at the Deloitte Fast 50 Awards, is based at the Media Cube. Its managing director, Brendan Kiely, mirrored Byrne’s sentiments: “Being part of the enterprise community here, combined with having the opportunity to tap into the graduate base within IADT, has provided us with the right environment and support to help us scale up as our company has grown.”

The Media Cube has become a central hub for the high-technology start-up community in the digital media and creative technology sectors, and works closely with Enterprise Ireland, the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Local Enterprise Office and other key agencies.

There are strong links between the companies and IADT staff on innovation and research projects. Students from IADT often intern with the companies and, although 50pc of the businesses that started out at the Media Cube have scaled globally, the benefits found in this incubation hub mean that many have put down roots in the local area.

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