Business News

Enterprise Ireland launches Competitive Start Fund

By Business & Finance
10 April 2014

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, today launched a special €500,000 Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund targeted at stimulating new start-up business activity in both the aviation and manufacturing sectors.

This fund, which provides for up to €50,000 in equity support for each successful applicant, is now open for applications. The call closes on Wednesday, April 30th 2014.

This €500,000 Competitive Start Fund for entrepreneurs active in the aviation and manufacturing sectors will help start-up and early stage companies to get off the ground and launch new products and services in the international marketplace. The priority of the Fund is to provide young companies in these sectors with the critical early stage funding for the key commercial and technical milestones that will ensure delivery of their product or service, and help them get their project to a key funding milestone.

The fund is open to applications from the aviation sector including financial services associated with the sector, aircraft and engine leasing, aviation software and IT, training, travel related software and related services, small aircraft assembly, aircraft dismantle, maintenance repair operations airframe and components, composite repair, parts manufacture, aviation services, and other engineering and technical activities. Manufacturing sector applications are welcome from start up businesses proposing to use mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering technologies for the production of goods as well as new  start ups involved in activities such as material forming, tooling, automated systems and additive processes and  related technical activities.

Making the announcement Minister Bruton said: “A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is targeting specific sectors where we have established strengths, and supporting growth and expansion in those areas in order to create jobs. New businesses create two thirds of all new jobs in the economy, and we have made a deliberate decision to support more start-ups in sectors where we have real established strengths. Today’s announcement marks the delivery of two key measures under the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, and is aimed at stimulating start up activity in both the aviation and manufacturing sectors.

“The Aviation focus follows on from the Government’s Publication of the ‘Shannon Aviation Business Development Task Force Final Report’ and the need to encourage and support entrepreneurship in the aviation sector. The focus on the manufacturing sector is a direct response to one of the recommendations of our manufacturing plan. Today’s announcement will make a real contribution to supporting more businesses and ultimately more jobs in these important areas.”

Brian O’Neill, head of High Potential Start-Ups Industrial & Life Sciences at Enterprise Ireland, added:  “By introducing a targeted Start Fund for indigenous manufacturing start ups, Enterprise Ireland is emphasising the importance of retaining a focus on production, stimulating interest in new manufacturing technologies and materials and contributing to the creation of a positive environment to encourage more start up businesses in the manufacturing sector.

“We already have in place a world-class aviation ecosystem, which offers tremendous potential for new businesses with new innovative products and services.  This  Competitive Start Fund follows on from the successful Enterprise Ireland Competitive Feasibility Study Fund call launched in July 2013 where 20 entrepreneurs and businesses in the aviation sector were supported with an overall fund of €375,000 to investigate the viability of growth orientated opportunities in the aviation sector.”