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Mark John, Tramshed Tech

Tech teams from Wales and Ireland join forces to cement new creative partnership

Tramshed Tech launches Dublin digital tie-up with GEC

On the eve of the Grand Slam game in Cardiff on Saturday (16 March), two of Wales’ and Ireland’s leading tech organisations have joined forces to cement a new creative partnership across the Irish Sea. 

At a civic reception for Irish dignitaries and members of the Irish and Welsh digital and tech communities hosted at Cardiff’s Tramshed building on Friday 15th March, Cardiff and Dublin’s leading co-working accelerator hubs — Tramshed Tech (TT) and the Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC) — will be announcing a tech partnership, to allow them to cooperate and collaborate on the world stage.   

Tramshed Tech principal and co-founder Mark John said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to partner with one of Ireland’s (and the world’s) premier tech organisations, GEC, which has a truly global profile, after being awarded the prestigious title of the  No 1 Incubator in the World at the World Incubation Summit in 2018. Our newly-announced partnership is the result of many months of work behind the scenes, facilitated by Welsh Government and the DiT, to optimise share growth opportunities across the Irish Sea.

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“Having already worked with Dublin’s business community over a number of years, for me at Tramshed Tech this represents a whole new chapter in cross-border co-operation and economic collaboration with our closest EU neighbours, so important at this particular time.”

Tramshed Tech, established in 2016, now houses over 50 tech, digital and creative sector companies in its iconic building in central Cardiff with specialisms in AI, Data and Cyber, offering a range of Accelerator services for start-ups and fast-growth scaling companies (like Amplyfi, MyPinPad and Urban Intel). TT is also just entering a rapid expansion phase.

Dublin’s GEC is an entrepreneurial community of over 500 people working in a dynamic and supportive environment which offers the full range of start-up business services under one roof. It is in the middle of an expansion phase which will see it hosting over 160 companies in a 100,000 sq. ft. new space in Dublin.

Guinness Enterprise Centre manager Eamonn Sayers said:  “We are delighted to partner with Mark and his progressive team in Tramshed. This is an exciting development not only for our hubs, but for our cities and nations. It will be fantastic for Irish firms to have a friendly home across the Irish Sea. We are looking forward to build this partnership and thank the Welsh Government and the Department for International Trade for initial introductions.”

As a result of meetings initiated by Welsh Government and the DiT at last year’s FutureScope tech conference in Dublin, between the respective company principals Mark John and Eamonn Sayers, Tramshed Tech and GEC will be formally announcing their new partnership at Friday’s event.

This will enable them to share best practice and offer co-working opportunities to their respective tenants and members – both within their capital cities of Cardiff and Dublin, but also further afield in the other cities, towns and rural economies of Ireland and Wales.

Through its CoConnect program, the GEC already offers a ‘home away from home’, for regional companies to engage in collaborative activities, tapping into their extensive network of centres nationally to develop regional start-ups and support and grow networks of entrepreneurs working together.

Similarly, Tramshed Tech is now part of the Welsh Government’s Enterprise Hubs network, with six new sites coming on stream in West Wales (Carmarthen, Llanelli and Pembroke Dock) and Mid-Wales (Newtown, Lampeter and Aberystwyth). This provides a range of growth opportunities for like-minded entrepreneurs, via start-up business advisory services and access to seed capital investors through accelerator access programmes, getting Welsh businesses investor-ready and helping them secure finance.

Via this new international tech tie-up, companies, organisations and individuals in Wales and Ireland will have access to each other’s sites and services on a reciprocal basis — and it doesn’t end there.

Both Tramshed Tech and the GEC’s unique proposition attracts companies from all over the globe, adding diversity that benefits all in our community, for example, more than 30% of GEC’s companies are led by overseas entrepreneurs — and over 25% of Tramshed Tech’s tenants are FDI companies, with more than 50% of its members already working on a global basis, serving more than 80 countries around the world with products and services – e.g. TT-hosted Amplyfi’s core market and client-base for its world leading DataVoyant AI/Machine Learning product is wholly outside Wales.

A key objective for this international tech tie-up is to enable our respective companies to grow internationally, with access to programmes specifically designed to assist companies break into and succeed in overseas markets. Tramshed Tech (and other Welsh tech sector) companies will now be able to tap into the GEC International Partnership Programme, a collaboration between the GEC and enterprise centres globally to create a network focused on building entrepreneurial communities. Tramshed Tech will be integrating its own developing international network into GEC’s extensive network of international clusters, allowing it to access new locations from the Far East (e.g.  Seoul and Hong Kong), and Middle East (Dubai and  Abu Dhabi), to Europe and North America.

Eluned Morgan AM, Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language said: “The partnership being launched between Tramshed Tech and the Guinness Enterprise Centre will enhance the opportunities for further co-operation between Wales and Ireland and is a result of the hard work between the companies, the Welsh Government and the Department of International Trade.

“Tech is a key sector for Wales – we have world-class expertise in areas such as cyber and AI. There is a lot of synergy between what we are doing and what is happening in Ireland and we will ensure this key sector and this type of partnership features strongly in our international strategy.”

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