Mayo’s ambitions to market the county as one of Ireland’s leading locations for start-ups, particularly in the technology sphere, are in full flight this weekend.
The county’s attractiveness as a place in which to work, live and play, is being showcased to some 300 tech experts who are converging in Mayo for two Web Summit spin-off events.
Both events, which constitute the biggest concentration of technology expertise outside of the capital this week, mark the beginning of a major international employment and local innovation drive to create 3,000 jobs in the county over the next 10 years.
It is hoped the Mayo-bound entrepreneurs, investors and Silicon Valley journalists will enjoy some networking, rest and relaxation in the county of sea, sand and surf, and their visit here will ultimately inspire some to consider locating in Mayo.
One group of 200 of the world’s leading technology experts are attending the inaugural ‘Surf Summit’ in Westport and Achill.
The event will see delegates attending conferences in the Westport area as well as travelling to locations throughout the county to enjoy some of Mayo’s world class outdoor adventure offerings, such as kite surfing, biking and climbing.
A second event at Breaffy, Castlebar, is drawing in the region of 100 experts from the field of drones and big data.
Mayo County Council’s chief executive, Peter Hynes, said the county’s ambition to create and attract 3,000 new jobs over the next 10 years could be achieved by positioning Mayo as the heartbeat of the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s top location for adventurers and the best place in the country in which to live and do business.
“Mayo’s enterprise credentials are already strong with multinational businesses like Allegran, Coca Cola, Baxter and Hollister and many large indigenous companies as well as many new start ups,” he said.
“We believe we have much more potential, especially in the technology sphere, with a new fibre optic trans-Atlantic cable in the pipeline as well as a 132-kilometre fibre network along the national natural gas network.
“As Ireland has been recognised by Forbes as the best small country in the world in which to do business, Mayo aims to be the best county for new investment opportunities.
“Having an international airport, high quality infrastructure and a large available and talented workforce both locally, and with many abroad who want to return, makes Mayo an appealing business location.”