There are a lot of mature and emerging tech hubs around Europe now. But there remains an unusually tight link between Ireland’s tech economy and Silicon Valley.
Of course, this has been controversial at times, with companies like Apple accused of using Ireland as a tax haven. But whatever the original motivations on either side, the relationship seems to have expanded considerably. In fact, 220 U.S. West Coast companies now have operations in Ireland, according to stats released today by IDA Ireland, the country’s investment agency.
Among the more notable U.S. tech companies with Irish campuses: IBM, Google, Airbnb, Dropbox, Fitbit, and DocuSign.
Just in the past year:
- Fitbit and Slack opened European HQs in Dublin.
- Amazon, Oracle, and LinkedIn all announced expansions of their Dublin operations.
This growth also seems to have benefited Irish startups. According to the Irish Venture Capital Association, Irish startups raised $952 million in venture capital in 2016, up from $304 million in 2015.
But as much of a boost as Silicon Valley has given the local economy, on this St. Patrick’s Day, IDA Ireland wants you to know that the relationship runs in both directions. With that in mind, here are a few stats provided by the agency that highlight Ireland’s impact on the U.S.:
- Irish companies have created 100,000 US jobs. According to IDA, which cites figures form the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Ireland is the seventh-largest source of foreign investment in the U.S.
- There are 9,000 Irish-born people now living in the Bay Area.
- Across the U.S., 36 million Americans have Irish heritage (including me!), and 155,000 Irish citizens live in the U.S.
- Irish companies employ 25,000 people in California alone.
And though they may not officially describe themselves as “Irish” companies, San Francisco-based startups like Stripe and Intercom have Irish founders who have established sizable operations back in Ireland.
So, this St. Patrick’s Day, maybe avoid the green beer. But do buy a beer for an Irish founder and tell them “Sláinte!”