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Enterprise Ireland increases international and domestic export focused trade events by 50% to offset Brexit threat

Leading the joint Enterprise Ireland/IDA Ireland trade & investment mission to the USA, Minister Humphreys welcomes the launch of Enterprise Ireland’s trade event programme supporting the growth of Irish exports internationally

2018 trade event programme launched at SXSW where Enterprise Ireland is supporting 10 Irish startups at the influential global tech conference

Enterprise Ireland today announced that it is set to undertake over 200 international and domestic trade events in 2018 to accelerate the number of Enterprise Ireland clients diversifying into new markets, beyond the UK and into the Eurozone and global markets. The number of trade events being undertaken represents a 50% increase on 2017, reflecting the serious challenge that Brexit poses for Irish businesses. 70 of these export focused trade events will be led by Government Ministers.

The majority of international trade missions will take place in the Eurozone, North America and Asia Pacific regions, which present the strongest export growth opportunities for Irish companies. 55 trade events will be hosted in Ireland.

Across international and domestic markets, the trade events will be focused on promoting the innovative capabilities and competitive offers of Irish companies to international buyers, in sectors including internationally traded services, fintech, high-tech construction, engineering, ICT and lifesciences. This will be critical to helping largely UK focused and Brexit exposed companies find buyers in new markets.

Details of Enterprise Ireland’s 2018 international trade event programme were announced today at SXSW where 10 Irish start-ups are being supported by Enterprise Ireland to exhibit at one of the most influential global tech conferences, including: AR/VR pioneer, WarDucks; vulnerability management firm Edgescan; female social network, GirlCrew and content marketplace, VideoElephant. The Enterprise Ireland / IDA Ireland trade & Investment mission to the USA supports Irish companies to develop in-market expertise and networks, influence decision makers, while re-enforcing Ireland’s strong reputation internationally and stimulating demand for Irish products and services.

Launching the trade event programme today at SXSW, Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland CEO said “Promoting the capabilities of our clients to potential business partners and customers in international markets is a priority for Enterprise Ireland in 2018. We are currently selling into more diversified markets than ever before, but the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit negotiations and the continued decline in the value of sterling has highlighted the need for Irish companies to look to alternative markets beyond the UK.

While consolidating exports to the UK, we have set ambitious targets to increase exports to the Eurozone by 50% by 2020 and for exports to markets outside of the UK to account for two thirds of total exports. Through over 200 international and domestic trade events planned for 2018, Enterprise Ireland will promote the innovative capabilities of our clients in sectors that have been identified as areas of opportunity in global markets. This extensive programme of trade events and our network of 33 international offices are essential supports to prepare clients to enter and grow in new markets internationally.  Additionally, the new Market Discovery Fund will support clients to research and validate opportunities for products and services in new markets.”

Leading Enterprise Ireland’s current trade mission to the USA, Minister for Business Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said “In the context of Brexit it has never been more important to support Irish companies to achieve their global ambition. Enterprise Ireland has a clear mandate to achieve this and support Irish companies to reduce their Brexit exposure and expand into new international markets.

This Enterprise Ireland / IDA Ireland trade and investment mission which I am leading to the USA, covering SXSW in Austin, Texas and San Francisco, supports early entrants and established Irish companies to expand key business relationships with their US counterparts. In San Francisco alone, 89 Enterprise Ireland client companies have a presence. Throughout this mission I will be engaging with key decision makers in Government and industry to promote the innovative capabilities and competitive offers of Irish companies.”

North America represents the fastest export market growth for Irish companies with Irish companies seeing a 19% year-on-year gain in their market share and exports growing to €3.74bn in 2016. Over the past five years, 180 Enterprise Ireland backed companies have established new presences in the US, with 59 new offices opened in 2017, an 18% increase on 2016. According to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2017 the value of Ireland’s foreign direct investment (FDI) was calculated at over 85 billion USD, ranking Ireland the 9th largest source of FDI.

In support of the international trade event programme, Enterprise Ireland has introduced the new Market Discovery Fund to support Enterprise Ireland backed companies when researching new markets for products and services.  The new fund is designed to help companies of all sizes to meet the key challenges of market research.  There are three levels of funding available to companies: up to €35,000, up to €75,000 and up to €150,000.

Link to 2018 trade event programme:



For further information contact Press Office, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation: Phone: 01- 6312200; email:

For reference, please contact:

Conor O’Donovan, Head of Communications, Enterprise Ireland 087-9671342

Marika MacCarvill, Press & Media Relations, Enterprise Ireland 01-7272857 / 086-171 2568

Enterprise Ireland companies exhibiting at SXSW

Digisoft delivers custom video solutions including VOD, OTT and VR for some of the world’s biggest brands.

Edgescan provides application and hosting/cloud environment security solutions and serves full-stack vulnerability management for thousands of enterprise systems globally.

FoodMarble are the makers of AIRE, the first personal digestive tracker, to help you get control of your digestion. It is designed to help people who struggle with digestive problems, triggered by the body's response to particular foods. AIRE helps figure out which foods are causing these problems.

GirlCrew is a social network for women to make new friends.

LearnUpon is a powerful Learning Management System (LMS) that simplifies online learning. Their cloud-based platform allows organisations to train their employees, partners and customers around the world.

Usheru works with global movie distributors to help sell cinema tickets direct-to-consumers.

Tito is a simple, powerful event software

Tweak provides cloud-based design and marketing technologies that enables professional-grade editing and versioning without a professional designer.

VideoElephant aggregates professionally produced short-form video content from hundreds of content providers and licenses the content to online web publishers, OTT platforms, DOOH and ad tech providers.

WarDucks is a pioneer in virtual and augmented reality space. The company produces RollerCoaster Legends, the fourth best-selling title on EU PlayStation VR for December, and Sneaky Bears RollerCoaster, a No.2 title on Samsung Gear VR.

About Enterprise Ireland Enterprise Ireland is the Irish State agency that works with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. Enterprise Ireland partners with entrepreneurs, Irish businesses, and the research and investment communities to develop Ireland’s international trade, innovation, leadership and competitiveness. In this way, we support sustainable economic growth and regional development, and help create and sustain employment in Ireland.