Waterford – At the Center of ICT Start-Ups?

Sources of Funding

By Guillaume Van Aelst

On the 26/11, I had a 2 hours presentation about “The Impact of Digital Technology – Implications for the Compliance Professional” for work related purpose.

During this presentation, I had the opportunity to listen to Barry Downes, CEO of TSSG (Telecommunications Software & Systems Group).

Before being the CEO of TSSG, Barry Downes was the founder of “FeedHenry”, which is an Irish startup cloud based mobile applications platform based in Waterford and Boston (USA).

“Red Hat” later bought this company for $82 Million in 2014.

All of this to introduce the fact the TSSG is an Irish ICT Research institute, based in Waterford, which partly focuses on incubation and innovation space.

According to TSSG, “Creating new start-up companies is recognised as a key contributor to economic growth and development.” (TSSG, 2015)

They successfully “spun-out” 15 companies so far, one of which (Waterford Technologies) is an important service provider to the company I work for.

They also collaborated with AltoCloud, who’s CEO Barry O’ Sullivan (ex-Dragon’s Den) to implementing offices in Galway.

TSSG keeps on adding new jobs in Ireland (and abroad), and some of the services they provide are the following:

  • Innovation Vouchers: distribution of 25 5000€ vouchers per year to “small companies and typically these are small problem solving projects.” (TSSG, 2015)
  • Consulting & recommendations: Typically, the output is a report / white paper for the company.
  • Innovation Partnership: in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland, to ease the process of being supported by the latter.
  • Knowledge Transfer

Waterford is at the centre of ICT start-ups according to TSSG’s CEO.

Also to quickly finish this blog, here is the quote taken from another founder in Waterford: ““I’ve chosen to stay in the South-East for the past 11 years,” said Miguel Ponce de Leon, founder of Kodacall (one of TSSG’s Spin-Out), a company that creates customer service software. “I stay in this location for my family’s quality of life, the relatively good weather, beaches, surfing, mountains for walking and climbing and artisan food.”” (Weckler, 2014)



TSSG, 2015. Services. [Online]
Available at: http://www.tssg.org/industry/services/
[Accessed 07 12 2015].

TSSG, 2015. Spin Outs. [Online]
Available at: http://www.tssg.org/industry/spin-outs/
[Accessed 07 12 201].

Weckler, A., 2014. Waterford’s specialist start-ups take over the mobile world. [Online]
Available at: http://www.independent.ie/business/small-business/latest-news/waterfords-specialist-startups-take-over-the-mobile-world-30542439.html
[Accessed 07 12 2015].




Irish tech sector experiencing explosion of job opportunities
Start-ups and small business funding

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