Raising capital and recruiting staff top problems for start-ups, survey finds
Raising capital and recruiting and retaining staff are the biggest challenges facing Irish tech start-ups, according to the findings of a survey carried out by Scale Ireland.
230 start-up founders and CEOs contributed to the survey, which aims to gauge the sentiment of entrepreneurs in the sector.
It looks at key issues including the economy, employment, taxation, state supports and incentives, skills, gender, and sustainability.
The survey reveals that raising capital is the top priority for Irish start-ups.
However, 79% of those surveyed said they found it difficult to do so.
The majority of respondents said the State incentive schemes available are not appealing to startups.
Over 74% said they did not avail of EIIS, while over 77% did not avail of KEEP and over 65% did not avail of the R&D credit
The survey also suggests that keeping staff is becoming more difficult for startups.
Over 45% of respondents said they found it more difficult than last year, while over 41% said they lost staff in 2021.
When it comes to sustainability, the findings show that over 70% of start-ups don’t have a climate action plan, with 45% saying it is not a priority.
“This survey highlights the challenges facing indigenous tech start-ups,” said Martina Fitzgerald, CEO of Scale Ireland.
“At a time when the sector is experiencing significant growth, it should not be held back.
“The ambition and momentum of start-ups must now be matched by increased state support,” she added.
The Chair of Scale Ireland, Brian Caulfield, said the research is further evidence of the challenges start-ups face when it comes to retaining staff.
“It is becoming more difficult, with four out of ten founders that contributed to our survey, losing staff over the last twelve months.
“This is a pressing issue, that needs to be urgently addressed,” he said.
Mr Caulfield said it is also critical to examine why many founders are not availing of state incentive schemes.
“We have to ensure they are user-friendly,” he said.
Scale Ireland’s ‘State of Start-ups’ survey will form the backdrop for Scale Ireland’s first regional start-up summit, which will be launched today by Taoiseach, Micheál Martin.