“If Enterprise Ireland was to make 200 or 300 grants available every year at Ã¢â€šÂ¬50,000 a pop for entrepreneurs to build an online product and go to market. For Ã¢â€šÂ¬50,000, you can get three or four guys in a room for three or four months and they will build a product and go to market. If we had 300 of these groups every year, you would create a digital ecosystem.
“In the US, groups like Y Combinator are funding businesses at low levels and, in Europe, The Founders Fund is doing this.
“There are venture capitalists in the US waiting to bet on young businesses. It’s remarkable this hasn’t happened in Ireland yet. We should be supporting our young right now, instead of scaring them to death.
“For Ã¢â€šÂ¬10m a year, you could have 200 companies a year and 5% of them could emerge as Ireland’s answer to Microsoft or Nokia,” says Collins.
I’d say ‘Microsoft or Nokia’ might be a bit optimistic, but I applaud the philosophy.
On an unrelated note, I’m not a fan of the way the Irish Independent uses links. Like a few other newspaper sites, they link certain keywords such as ‘TechCrunch’ or ‘Wall Street Journal’ not to the sites, but to ‘topic pages’ on the Independent’s site.