New €500,000 fund for regional start-ups unveiled

More than 600 companies and investors attend Enterprise Ireland event at Croke Park

Enterprise Ireland invested €31 million in 181 Irish start-ups last year.

Enterprise Ireland invested €31 million in 181 Irish start-ups last year.


A new €500,000 fund for regionally based start-ups was unveiled by Enterprise Ireland at its annual Start-Up Showcase event in Croke Park on Wednesday.

The fund will provide up to €50,000 in equity funding for up to 10 successful applicants. The scheme will open for applications based outside of Dublin from February 27th to March 13th.

The State agency, which is responsible for the development and growth of Irish companies in global markets, also said that it invested €31 million in 181 Irish start-ups last year. More than half of these (55 per cent) were based outside Dublin.

Investment was provided through Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up (HSPU) and Competitive Start Fund programmes by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

At the event, which was attended by more than 600 companies and investors, Joe Healy, manager of Enterprise Ireland’s HPSU Division, said cultivating an environment that allows start-ups and entrepreneurs with global ambition to prosper was a “key focus”.

“Last year, we supported 181 high quality start-ups that we believe have the potential to scale and expand in international markets,” he said.

“Crucially, 55 per cent of these companies are based in regions outside of Dublin, in line with our strategic objective of driving growth at a regional level.

“Over one third were female-led start-ups, continuing our emphasis on supporting start-ups in under-represented sectors.”

Among the start-ups supported by Enterprise Ireland in 2017 were 90 new high potential start-ups, which are defined as start-up businesses with the potential to create 10 jobs and €1million in sales within three to four years of starting up.

“Our focus for 2018 is on the quality start-ups that we engage with, both in Ireland and internationally,” said Mr Healy.

“Our strategic objective is to scale more of these start-ups more quickly. These start-ups must have potential to scale and have a plan to credibly expand in international markets.

“We are also focusing on spin-outs from research which have higher than average success rates.”

Mr Healy said Enterprise Ireland would focus on companies in the “strategically important sectors” of MarineTech and DeepTech this year in order to “encourage and support new start-ups” in these areas.