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Connected newsletter: Ireland aims to grow more tech unicorns, ransomware gains increase

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Can Ireland grow more tech unicorns? That is certainly the ambition but how do we make it a reality? Increased funding for start-ups is obviously one way to help entrepreneurship to thrive, as are better tax incentives.

A new step undertaken by the government this week is to join the Europe Startup Nations Alliance (ESNA). The alliance seeks to grow European entrepreneurship by improving national policy frameworks in coordination with the European Commission, member states and national and entrepreneurship bodies.

Will it work or it is just window dressing? My sense is that at a time when other jurisdictions are ramping up support for start-ups, that this looks more like the latter unfortunately.

Mirai Medical, a Galway-based medtech company pioneering an energy technology for use in the treatment of cancer, has secured €4 million in funding. It is also seeking to raise up to €20 million more later this year as it seeks FDA approval for its groundbreaking tech.

Elsewhere, Screendragon, an Irish-co-founded tech company with an operation in Cork, announced it had secured €25 million in investment. The company intends to double headcount locally.

Also adding jobs in Ireland is Pentagon Technologies Group, a Japanese firm that is creating 100 new roles in Dundalk. Pentagon develops and provides products and services that improve the productivity of semi-conductor manufacturing equipment.

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Ransomware gangs stole more than $1 billion in 2023, the largest amount ever recorded, according to a report published Wednesday by blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis.

More than two in five chief executives globally intend on making the integration of AI into their business model a key priority for 2024, a new survey has found.

Staying with AI and Meta said it is to begin labelling more posts created using artificial intelligence tools and is keen to work with other tech companies to create common technical standards.

Meanwhile, big tech companies are to participate in a US government-led effort to craft federal standards on AI to ensure that it’s deployed safely.

As if that weren’t enough, Google has rebranded its chatbot and rolled out a new subscription plan that will give people access to its most powerful artificial intelligence model, in a move that places it squarely in competition with rival OpenAI.

Uber, the ride-hailing firm, performed better than anticipated in the final quarter of last year, with order totalling almost $40 billion in delivery orders compared to analysts’ average estimate of $37.1 billion

Finally, Bluesky, the decentralised social network co-founded by former Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, has opened to all in a move that saw it gain over 1 million new users overnight.

All the best,



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Quote of the week

“Reminder - ALL advanced driver assistance systems available today require the human driver to be in control and fully engaged in the driving task at all times,” US secretary for transportation Pete Buttigieg telling Tesla owners not to wear the Apple Vision Pro headset while driving


Man uses ChatGPT to talk to 5,000 women on Tinder and met his wife (Gizmodo)

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