• Reaction to Budget 2015

    Having led the #StartupIreland pre-budget submission (see here, herehere and here, I was extremely disappointed by Budget 2015. Not only did the government fail to introduce any of the low-cost high-impact measures we recommended, but it actually introduced further disincentives directly targeted at the self-employed.

  • Reforming R&D Tax Credits

    In this fourth (and final) post in my series covering the budget recommendations that I coordinated at StartupIreland, I’m talking about our recommendations for the R&D tax credits. Startup companies are R&D wunderkind, but they are avoiding this tax break due to the cost and uncertainty of accessing it. This means that scaled up tech companies (e.g., international IDA clients) are benefiting from this tax break, whereas younger home-grown tech companies (Enterprise Ireland clients) are not. We should level this playing field.

  • Employee Ownership Schemes in Ireland

    In this third post in my series covering the budget recommendations that I coordinated at StartupIreland, I’m republishing our rundown on the current problems encountered by Irish startups that want to give their employees a stake in the success of the company.

  • Looking to the UK - Entrepreneurial Incentives

    In this second post in my series covering the budget recommendations that I coordinated at StartupIreland, I cover our recommendations to reform Ireland’s myriad of incentive schemes into a single coherent policy modelled after the United Kingdom’s successful SEIS scheme. In addition we recommend the introduction of UK-style Entrepreneur’s Relief on Capital Gains Tax.

  • Equal Income Tax for Entrepreneurs

    I was honoured to lead the pre-budget submission project for #StartupIreland. Our goal this year was to identify a number of “low-hanging fruit” budget measures that could reduce the friction felt by entrepreneurs as they try to get their businesses on a stable footing in Ireland. I’m re-publishing our recommendations here in serial form, so that there’s an easy version for people to read and share without having to download the entire 20 page submission.

  • Easy Startup Dashboards

    At PageFair we’ve repurposed all our spare monitors as cheap real-time business dashboards. Here’s how you can do the same (especially if you’re in Dublin).

  • The Scale Investor

    I’ve written before about the venture chasm - the widening gulf between the founders and the funds, a gap that continues to widen as technology startups figure out how to get more done with less money. This idea occurred to me one night at one of our regular secret Techpreneurs meetups in Dublin. When I asked the room of tech CEOs how many were venture funded, or expected to be, only half the hands went up. Numbered among the other half were some of the best companies in the room. What was going on?

  • Trademark Phishing Scam

    We recently filed a trademark application for our company, PageFair. This morning I received (by snail mail) this official-looking invoice from the “European Patent and Trademark Register” for extra filing fees. It turns out it’s a complete scam. A Polish company appears to be monitoring for new trademark applications and attempting to phish a thousand Euro from each applicant.

  • 5 Ways Employees Need to Think Like Investors

    Are you thinking of taking a job in a startup? If so, this post is for you. Every employee in a startup is making an investment, but rarely do they treat it as such. Here’s 5 ways to make a smarter decision about whether or not to take that new startup job.

  • Awkward Bedfellows: Xero and AIB

    In PageFair I’m striving to automate as much admin as possible. This means figuring out for once and for all how best to handle startup accountancy in Ireland, stretching all the way from receipts and invoicing all the way up to on-demand management accounts and cashflow projections. After much searching I found Xero, a terrific cloud-based accountancy system. Getting it to play nice with AIB banking was another matter.