Tech giant Amazon has officially opened its Startup Loft in Dublin to help support early-stage tech entrepreneurs.
The co-working facility offers technology start-ups office space at one of Amazon Web Services’s (AWS) offices in Dublin city centre. Located in Charlemont Street, the coworking space is free for start-ups to access, offering desk space, phonebooths, internet access and regular sessions with venture capital, legal and accounting firms.
It also offers time with AWS solution architects and account managers for regular Ask the Expert sessions, allowing start-ups the chance to discuss issues such as a start-up’s technology roadmap, architecture guidance or cost optimisation.
“At AWS, one of our leadership principles is to think big. Here in Dublin, we want to enable a culture of thinking big by providing some of Ireland’s brightest entrepreneurs with a space for their ideas to grow,” said Mike Beary, country manager at AWS Ireland. “This new Startup Loft will create the ideal forum for new companies to meet other founders, interact with VCs and discuss how to take their businesses to the next level.”
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The facility was officially opened by Minister of State in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment Dara Calleary, who described it as an important addition to the entrepreneur and start-up ecosystem in Ireland.
“This space and others like it play a vital role by supporting early stage and start-up companies test out their ideas, pitch for investment, and build their networks,” he said. “I’m pleased to support the launch today which will complement the range of Government supports and schemes available through our enterprise agencies, including the Local Enterprise Office network and Enterprise Ireland, to help Irish start-ups scale up, grow and succeed both at home and on the global stage.”
Although Tuesday marks the official opening of the facility, start-ups have already been working from the offices for some time. Travel and corporate security app KowRoo has been using the coworking facility for a while. Cofounder Sheelagh Brady said it had proven useful to the company on several fronts.
“We’re based out in Dublin City University, and having an office space you can go to when you’re in the city, after meetings or between meetings, it’s really useful. It has been great in being a conduit between the technology that we’re using and stress testing of ideas,” said Ms Brady. “A couple of elements we will be able to test with AWS tools first before we fully decide on how we’re going to integrate those options into our system. ”
She also praised the network of venture capital companies and ecosystem experts, which enables the company to learn from experts easily, without having to navigate complex introductions.
“Spaces like this give the VC community a chance to work with some of the most interesting founders in the country as they get their new companies up and running,” said Elkstone’s Kate Fullen. “The AWS Startup Loft is a great addition to the business ecosystem in Dublin.”