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Ireland is recognised as a global leader in medical technologies, the sector employs 25,000 people and 80% of the industry based here are SME’s.
Ireland does not produce enough start-up firms and not enough small companies reach scale. Many EU countries have a much stronger indigenous SME base, while Irish-owned firms account for only about 15% of total exports. Business financing, access to export markets and the ease of doing business all remain significant problems for business. We need a business environment that supports entrepreneurship and rewards innovation and risk taking. The Irish Government have set out a number of disruptive changes in Action Plan for Jobs 2014, of which Entrepreneurship is a key focus. It is of utmost importance that the development of entrepreneurial attributes and skills at all levels of the education system are prioritised.

"Entrepreneurship is about creating meaningful businesses out of the raw materials of people, ideas and customers. These raw materials need to be forged out of what we have, what we can grow and out of what we can attract to ourselves". (Strengthening the Startup Community - Report of the Entrepreneurship Forum, January 2014)

In 2014, the Irish Medtech Association and Enterprise Ireland launched a newly developed unique Medical Technologies Pilot Mentoring programme which enables client and member organisations to progress on their companies to achieve scale-up swifter, by utilising experts in the Medtech industry through mentor-mentee partnerships. This Medtech Pilot Programme paired four industry experts with four identified SME’s (i.e. 4 mentors and 4 Mentees). The four High Potential Start Up (HPSU) companies, who felt they would benefit from an assigned mentor, are sharing their experience and challenges over the course of a six month period, with the overall aim of improving their business. A primary mentor will be allocated to each HPSU, with a mentor network to provide support if required in other areas of the business where necessary.
January 2014
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