Cork’s three-year-old innovation space has received an investment from two of Ireland’s most celebrated entrepreneurs.
Voxpro founders Dan and Linda Kiely have stepped up as investors in Republic of Work, an innovation campus located on Cork’s South Mall.
The Kielys join Republic of Work co-founders DC Cahalane and Dave Ronayne as investors in the company, with a €250,000 injection.
‘Linda and I are delighted to be able to support the space and hopefully help the next generation of Cork entrepreneurs’
– DAN KIELY
Voxpro itself started out as a small operation in Cork and has since become a multinational customer and technical support services provider with a global staff of more than 6,000 people. In recent years, the business was sold in two phases to Telus International. The Canadian company first acquired a 55pc stake in Voxpro in 2017 before following through on the option to acquire the rest of the company last year in a deal worth up to $150m.
Cahalane describes Republic of Work as “a business by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs” and it has been 100pc privately funded to date. The hub was opened in 2017, and facilities available across its three floors include 140 co-working desks, an events space, workshop areas, boardrooms, private offices, a large business lounge and a dedicated accelerator lab for programmes and training.
‘We want to see more entrepreneurial activity in Cork – more start-ups, more scale-ups, more businesses thinking differently about their future’
– DC CAHALANE
Republic of Work will be three years in operation come April. In that time, it has seen more than 100 companies set up shop there, including a handful of international businesses. A further 500 or so companies have used its multi-use space for workshops, accelerators, meetings and events.
The company’s goal is to provide its clients with a great place to work and network, and space is rented via 30-day rolling contracts. The space has attracted a mix of freelancers, entrepreneurs and start-ups, as well as teams from larger companies. In fact, in the early days of Republic of Work, Voxpro based a marketing team there.
“From day one Dan and Linda have been our biggest supporters and cheerleaders, always helping out where they could,” Cahalane wrote of the investment announcement.
The Kielys will also contribute to Republic of Work as key members of its advisory board.
“Having two of Ireland’s leading businesspeople to guide and advise will be transformative for Republic of Work’s future business,” Cahalane added.
“For the four of us, our vision for Republic of Work is crystal clear: we want to see more entrepreneurial activity in Cork – more start-ups, more scale-ups, more businesses thinking differently about their future,” he added, indicating that there are “huge plans” on the horizon for 2020 and the next decade.
Dan Kiely described what the Republic of Work team has done to “drive forward the Cork entrepreneurial ecosystem” as “nothing short of excellent”.
“Linda and I are delighted to be able to support the space and hopefully help the next generation of Cork entrepreneurs,” he added.