Thirty Dublin start-ups promise 218 jobs

Announcement follows creation of €125m investment fund for medium-sized business

Thirty start-up companies will create 218 jobs over the next 12 months, Taoiseach Enda Kenny is expected to announce tonight.

Details of the jobs at companies backed by the Dublin Business Innovation Centre will emerge at a function to mark the centre’s 25th anniversary.

The new jobs will be created across a range of some 30 entrepreneurial firms, including Davra Networks, EmpowerTheUser, iCabbi, Learnosity, MMSOFT Design, OpenJaw Technologies, Point of Care, Stratus5 and SafeFood 360.

They come a day after Enterprise Ireland agreed to stump up a quarter of the equity for a new €125 million investment fund for more established, medium-sized businesses.


The rest of the cash will be provided by AIB, which has committed €20 million, and three foreign investors.

Action plan
The initiative, which forms part of the Government's Action Plan for Jobs, was launched yesterday by Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton, and Julie Sinnamon, chief executive of Enterprise Ireland. Executives from London-headquartered MML Capital partners, which will manage the fund, were also at the announcement. In addition to the cash committed by AIB and Enterprise Ireland, €80 million will be invested by the EU-backed European Investment Fund, GoldPoint Partners, which is owned by New York Life Insurance, and US healthcare investor Cigna.

Irish businesses
The fund will invest between €2 million and €12 million in growth-oriented, medium-sized Irish businesses.

Richard Brooks, a founding partner of MML, said yesterday the fund would be "sector agnostic", although he indicated it would not invest in retail, property or start-up companies.

It also will not buy distressed loans or assets.

Mr Brooks said the money would be used to take majority and minority stakes – mostly in exporting companies – to fund organic growth, acquisitions, debt restructurings and shareholder restructurings.

Mr Bruton said the State would adopt a “hands off” approach to the fund, although MML said yesterday it still expected to work closely with Enterprise Ireland.

MML, which is 25 years old this week, operates similar funds in central and eastern Europe and has previously worked with the EIF, GoldPoint and Gigna.

MML also has operations in the US, London and Paris.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times