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Ireland a global “hot-bed” for AI talent, says InsideSales chief as company expansion continues

Posted: 4 May 2017 | By Michael Garwood

Ireland is set to become a key destination for scouting the latest AI and machine learning data scientists, according to AI specialists InsideSales.com.

Utah based AI firm InsideSales is currently undergoing an international expansion strategy, and now has offices in Reading (UK), two in North America (Boston and San Mateo) two in Utah (Salt Lake City and Provo) and will soon be opening a new one in Ireland.

The company announced previously, that although the company has yet to pick a location for its Ireland office, the sales acceleration platform plans to hire a staff of 120. The professionals would work on product development and engineering, sales and sales operations, and back office teams over the next three years.

The company has a long-term goal to create a worldwide InsideSales.com centre of excellence for AI and machine learning in Ireland.

Speaking exclusively to Access AI, the firm’s CEO Dave Elkington said he chose Ireland due to its abundance of qualified data scientists in the country compared to the US, making it a perfect location,

“One of the reasons we opened an office in Ireland was because we did a lot of market analysis to find where there was the most and the best talent,” explained Elkington. “In North America, there is just so much demand for the talent, making it difficult. We looked all over the world, looking for two things. What geographies had large population bases of data scientists and which were growing at the fastest rate.

He continued: “Spain had a very large population, but they didn’t have a lot of growth, which meant they all had jobs. In Ireland, we found that it wasn’t the biggest population base, but it was number three in terms of the growth rate. That means there would be a lot of new data scientists emerging in that region and was one of the key reasons we decided to open an office there.”

Partnerships

As part of InsideSales’ move it will partner with Ireland’s Insight Centre for Data Analytics. The centre is a joint initiative between researchers at Dublin City University, NUI Galway, University College Cork, University College Dublin and other partner institutions.

The partnership aims to advance data science and machine learning as an emerging highly skilled industry in Ireland. An internship programme will be established, with a goal of advancing the careers of top data science and engineering interns annually from within the Irish University system.

“The expansion of our operations in Ireland signals the commitment we’re making both to Ireland and to expanding support for our growing international customer base. Building a research and development hub in the region will allow us to capitalise on new pools of talent,” added InsideSales.com managing director, Martin Moran.

“This will be helped by the new partnership with the Insight Centre for Data Analytics. We foresee a productive partnership between both Insight Centre’s researchers and our own, tackling both data-driven problems and immediate commercial opportunities.”

Investment

InsideSales.com announced in January the close of a $50 million growth equity round, led by returning investor Polaris Partners with support from Microsoft, also a returning investor. New investors include QuestMark Partners and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. Existing venture investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Hummer Winblad, U.S. Venture Partners, Epic Ventures, and Zetta Venture partners also participated. The round brings the company’s total venture capital funding to over $250 million.

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