€7m seed fund for BMW regions

11 Apr 2003

Enterprise Ireland has established a €7m fund with Enterprise Equity Venture Capital Group as part of a public private partnership aimed at providing much needed seed finance and mentoring for young companies in the border, midland and western (BMW) region.

The new fund plans to invest on average €500,000 in start-up companies and its remit also covers non-IT companies.

Tánaiste Mary Harney TD said that the fund will help boost the Government’s policy of regional economic development and will help create new enterprises as well as strengthen existing ones in the BMW region.

Enterprise Equity Venture Capital Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the International Fund for Ireland. William Carter, the chairman of the venture capital firm, said: “As managers of the fund we will provide not only much needed seed finance, but mentoring expertise to young companies in the BMW region.

“We will be targeting those enterprises which have the potential to grow significantly in the future,” Carter said.

Conor O’Connor, Enterprise Equity Venture Capital Group’s chief executive, said: “We plan to invest sums of up to €500,000 in individual companies and start-ups. This seed capital will be provided at a much earlier stage than normal venture capital investment. While we will be most interested in new technology businesses, we will also look at non-IT potential high-growth sectors.”

The fund will be administered from the group’s offices in Galway and Dundalk and it is the only venture capital company that operates in the BMW region.

By John Kennedy