Thursday, January 26, 2012

Kick start for entrepreneurs from Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD today (Thursday) announced the 15 successful Lifesciences, Cleantech and Industrial companies that have been awarded funding under Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund.  This is one of four rounds of the fund rolled out by Enterprise Ireland over the past 12 months.  The Competitive Start Fund provides young companies with the critical early stage funding to test the market for their products and services and progress their business plans for the global marketplace.

Minister Bruton also announced that four more rounds of the Competitive Start Fund are planned for 2012, the first of which is being launched today Thursday, with advertisements in national press.  The closing date for applicants is Thursday 9 February, and this call is open to start-ups from both ICT and Industrial sectors including sub-sectors such as Internet, Games, SaaS, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Telecoms, Lifesciences, Cleantech and Industrial Products.

Making the announcement Minister Bruton said:  “If we are to get out of this crisis, we must work hard to create an indigenous engine of growth. While multinational investment in Ireland is and will remain crucial, it is vital that we find ways of enabling our indigenous firms to perform better and take full advantage of export opportunities. As I have said before, our industrial policy must not just be aimed at attracting the next Google or Microsoft to Ireland – we must strive to create the next Google or Microsoft here in Ireland, and in the coming weeks the government’s Action Plan for Jobs will implement a series of measures to deliver on our ambitious aims.

“Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund has clearly struck a cord with the innovative and ambitious entrepreneurial community. The continuing strong response and the quality of the applications submitted is proof that there are significant numbers of entrepreneurs with the necessary technical and commercial skills willing to take a risk and set up their own businesses. My priority is to ensure that they are fully supported to do what they do best, starting new businesses.  Access to early stage funding is critical, and this fund is part of the Government’s and Enterprise Ireland’s response to support them to get into business, expand, create jobs, and contribute to our recovery”.
Commenting on the announcement, John O’Dea, Enterprise Ireland Manager Industrial High Potential Start Ups, said: “We see this fund as a strategic investment in these young companies.  They represent some of Ireland’s newest and most exciting entrepreneurs and this fund gives a vital injection of funding and support when they most need it”.
About the Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund Under the terms of the Competitive Start Fund, start ups will receive an equity investment of up to €50,000 for a 10% ordinary equity stake.  In addition to funding, each start up will be provided with an experienced business mentor to support them. The application process has been designed and improved to be fast and efficient to allow the new start ups to concentrate on validating their business concept and getting to market entry stage as quickly as possible.  Visit www.enterprise-ireland.com/csf

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