Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence - Penn State Altoona

Blogs: Rachel Miller

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ireland is a unique non-profit that encourages companies to expand in Ireland through "connectors." The idea was developed by an Irish entrepreneur, Terry Cloom, to create jobs during an economic recession in Ireland. Connectors is a network of 20,000 people who refer companies who are thinking of expanding to Connect Ireland. If their reference created sustainable jobs the connector will receive money from the Irish government. I thought this was brilliant and while it operates on a country wide level here I believe it could be implemented in placed throughout the world.

Our morning also included a visit to the Kilkenny Design Centre was another incredibly unique business. Located across from the Kilkenny Castle was store fronts owned by the design centre. It featured hand made crafts by local artisans using Irish textiles. They also offered workshops to train men and women in numerous trades. This type of work really demonstrated their country pride.

Ireland is home to numerous computer giants. Intel just celebrated their 25th year in Ireland. Their campus is comprised of 37 million square feet and cost about 7.5 billion dollars. They are a key research and development location as well as a growing hub for silicon design. I was very interested in a topic presented called Moore's Law. The law is the economics of double the power and half the price for each generation of product. Currently in the transmitter market that means shrinking the product size in half and cutting cost. However, this has physical limitations and the current definition of the will only apply another decade. The evolution of Moore's Law will not be solely about size but of another cost benefit.

Ireland offers a unique business climate for potential corporations and small businesses alike looking for a presence in Europe. Ireland had attractive finances such as tax incentives and low corporate tax rates. Since their is a high emphasis on education there is a well educated workforce available. Ireland is also unique because they are an English speaking country.

Their business culture is very different from that of the states. I expected Intel to be full of black, grey, and blue suits but almost every employee had jeans on. They put a higher priority on employee comfort and satisfaction instead of uniformity. I see the very conservative, professional dress in the workplace dying in the United States over the next few years in most sectors. I feel this type of culture encourages group think and stifles innovation. However, business culture in Ireland does the opposite.

Tomorrow, we visit the Galelic Athletic Club, Sententa Sports, and Jameson. More posts on that tomorrow!