Attracting and Retaining Migrant-led Start-ups and Innovative Entrepreneurs from outside the EU

29 Jan 2020

This conference was co-hosted by EMN Ireland, within the ESRI, and the Department of Justice and Equality on 29 January 2020. It provided a timely opportunity to consider how best Ireland can harness non-EU start-up talent in the context of a newly revised Start-Up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP).


09:30   Arrival and Registration
10:00   Welcome: Alan Barrett, Director, Economic and Social Research Institute
10.10   Opening remarks: Oonagh Buckley, Deputy Secretary General, Civil Justice and Equality Pillar, Department of Justice and Equality

Session I: International start-up migration patterns and trends

10.30   Chair:  Clare Dunne, Assistant Secretary General, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation

Start-up visas: A passport for innovation and growth? International trends, parallels and differences
Liam Patuzzi, Policy Analyst, MPI Europe

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Migratory pathways for start-ups and innovative entrepreneurs in the EU: Key findings from the EMN comparative study
Margaret James, Head of the EMN Service Provider/ICF Associate, ICF

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Migratory pathways for attracting start-ups and innovators: the case of e-Estonia
Ave Lauren, Senior Researcher, Estonian Business School

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11.30   Questions and Answers

11:45   Coffee Break

Session II: Migration of innovative entrepreneurs to Ireland

12.00   Chair:  Michael Kirrane, Head of Immigration Service Delivery, Department of Justice and Equality

Migration to Ireland of start-ups and innovative entrepreneurs
Emma Quinn, Head of Irish National Contact Point, EMN Ireland/ESRI

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Start-up Entrepreneur Programme: Migrant Entrepreneur’s Gateway to Ireland
Aonghus O’Connor, Principal Officer, Immigration Service Delivery, Department of Justice and Equality

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When Immigration meets innovation: An experience of navigating a path to Ireland for non-EEA start-ups and entrepreneurs
Aoife Gillespie, Consultant, Philip Lee

12:50   Questions and Answers

13.00   LUNCH

Session III: Supporting start-ups and innovative entrepreneurs

14.00   Chair:  Pramod Pathak, Dean of School of Computing, National College of Ireland

Supporting start-ups and innovative entrepreneurs
Kevin Donnelly, Overseas Entrepreneurship Manager, Enterprise Ireland

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The International Security Accelerator: attracting global start-ups to scale from Ireland, a case study
Michael O’Connor, CEO, CorkBIC

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The Central Bank of Ireland’s Innovation Hub
Denise Delaney, Head of Function, Central Bank of Ireland

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The funding process for an Irish start-up
William Conaghan and Lizzy Hayashida, Change Donations

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15.00   Questions and Answers

15.15 Close