Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD with (L-R): Keith Brock, Development Advisor, HPSU Start, Enterprise Ireland; Ian Nolan, CEO, Brightflag; Tom Early, Department Manager, HPSU Start, Enterprise Ireland. (Photo: Karl Hussey/Fennell Photography)
Enterprise Ireland’s first Competitive Start Fund (CSF) of €750,000 opens on Tuesday, 23 January and closes on 3pm Tuesday, 6 February.
The fund will be spread across 15 successful applicants, each receiving €50,000. The purpose of the CSF is to encourage growth in start-up companies that have the ability to compete in the global market by helping firms build prototypes, develop key markets and secure third-party investment.
Applications are welcome from individuals, early-stage companies or prospective businesses running in the manufacturing and internally-traded services sector, particularly within ICT. Subsectors which are to be included fall under Internet, Games, Apps, Mobile, Software as a Service (SaaS), Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Life sciences, Cleantech and Industrial Products.
The All Sector CSF is part of Enterprise Ireland‘s plan to increase the number and quality of High Potential Start-Up (HPSUs) companies with the potential to employ more than 10 people and achieve €1 million in export sales within three years.
The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, said: “I’m delighted to see that the rates of early stage entrepreneurship in Ireland have returned to pre-recession levels, but in order to grow our levels of start-up activity, supports like Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund are vital. As well as crucial funding, the CSF provides valuable business support and networking opportunities to innovative entrepreneurs and companies at the start of their journey.”
Tom Early, Department Manager, HPSU Start, Enterprise Ireland, said: “A key priority for Enterprise Ireland is to help Irish entrepreneurs and companies with global ambition to start and grow their businesses internationally. This All Sector CSF, with a particular focus on the ICT sector, is the first of eight start-up funds planned for 2018 and provides a kick-start for innovative early stage companies to get off the ground while receiving a critical funding boost of up to €50,000.”
Full details of the application criteria can be found on the Enterprise Ireland website and applicants will also be asked to prepare an online video pitch.