An overview of this growing innovation cluster in Galway's inner city.
In 2015, the Galway startup ecosystem was suffering from the lack of a downtown hub for startup companies to locate in – either indigenous and international. As participants in FDI company visits, the GCID founders were dismayed when many potential incoming companies chose not to locate in Galway for this reason. Also, it seemed that an opportunity was being lost in not allowing Galway’s innovation-driven enterprises to cluster and thrive together. The non-profit Galway City Innovation District (GCID) was founded by some experienced like-minded volunteers in July 2015 to address this particular problem. Its purpose was to attract creators, innovators and entrepreneurs who wish to work in close proximity to others in a supportive and connected environment in Galway's inner city, as well as young technology companies with strong growth potential and, eventually, larger companies and multinationals.
We started with the PorterShed, a downtown innovation hub that houses high-potential startups, innovation-driven entrepreneurs, a coworking space, and an open events area for workshops/talks. The PorterShed opened in May 2016, with the aim of showing how well this could work and to make the case for expansion into additional buildings and spaces.
The Galway City Innovation District (GCID) has been located behind Ceannt Station since 2016. It will move to a new location between Bowling Green and Market Street in 2020-2021.
PorterShed 1 (for startups) will relocate to Naughton's Shed on Bowling Green in 2020, and PorterShed 2 (for scaleups) will locate in the adjacent Connacht Tribune offices on Market Street in 2021.