Industry heavyweights & startups converge at the TM Forum in Dublin

Walking into a mobile trade show, you’re immediately hit with company names you recognize from everyday tech life. 

Displaying huge signs and interactive posters from major companies like AT&T to T-Mobile to Verizon and everyone in between, it sometimes feels like a crowded mall more than a mobile trade show. Walking into the TM Forum in Dublin, Ireland is no different, that is until you get to the second floor.

Tucked away in a corner on the second floor is the Innovation Spotlight, an energetic mini conference within the TM Forum focused on ten particularly interesting startups based in Ireland.

The brainchild of some energetic mobile industry veterans, the TM Forum kicked off the week’s festivities with the Innovation Spotlight highlighting new and interesting companies in Ireland’s mobile space.

The TM Forum is a mobile industry association for service providers that organizers the mobile conference every year. The goal is to provide discussion on industry standards and expertise in the mobile space, as well as showcase new products and announcements.

This year’s conference attracted around 4,000 attendees to Dublin’s brand spanking new Convention Centre Dublin right on the dazzling River Liffey across from Facebook’s Dublin HQ.

As part of the Innovation Spotlight, small startups are given the chance to stand out in the crowded TM Forum, dominated by big names. The idea is to link venture capitalists and major companies with Irish startups whose solutions answer a particular problem in the mobile space.

One of the major media partners involved in the Spotlight is Enterprise Ireland, a government-run VC organization funding Irish-based companies. Interestingly enough, Ireland’s investment into the high tech mobile industry startup scene remains strong, despite severe economic hardships.

Ireland has always been a hub for technology and innovation, which is perhaps why the government and its people feel a commitment towards maintaining the tradition.

As a whole, the country and its mobile leaders are looking towards long term high tech success rather than a short-term fix for immediate economic problems within Ireland. They understand the importance of investing in technology now for payoff down the line.

With an extremely low corporate tax and huge government incentives to relocate, many international companies are looking to Dublin as a gateway into Western Europe.

Today (Tuesday)  marks the official start of the forum, with major keynotes from Verizon, Deutsche Telekom, Oracle and Telstra on the agenda.