450 tech jobs to be created via new US$70m investment fund
Mark Lowth, CFO SmartInvest; An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD; Gerry Moan, CEO, SmartInvest; John Hughes, limited partner, SmartInvest

450 tech jobs to be created via new US$70m investment fund

6 Oct 2014

The launch of a new US$70m transatlantic investment fund by SmartInvest to support Irish companies expanding the US and US firms expanding into Europe will lead to the creation of 450 new jobs across Ireland.

The jobs will be spread across the island of Ireland, impacting at a regional and local level in counties such as Louth, Donegal, Meath, Roscommon and Antrim.

The SmartInvest fund will provide 30 early stage technology-led companies with continued access to capital to encourage further growth and development. In addition, the rigorous selection process will include mentoring, advice and training for over 300 prospective companies nationally representing some 1,500 employees in the same period.

The Fund will leverage relationships and prospects identified through the SmartStart mentorship programme and similar incubator and accelerator programmes which have been operational in Ireland and Philadelphia since 2011.

These programmes have attracted funding from, and established strong working partnerships with, preeminent academic institutions including the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University in the US, and regional economic development initiatives in Ireland including New Frontiers, Discovery Zone and Best Young Entrepreneur.

Spearheading regional growth

The SmartStart mentorship accelerator programme has achieved 20pc IRR with 2-3 times invested capital returns on a five year cycle. SmartStart recently announced the creation of 50 new technology jobs for Meath as two of its accelerator programme participants, SWG and MDS Global Technologies committed to establishing their European operations in Kells Technology Centre, Meath.

“The SmartInvest fund recognises excellence in Ireland, both as a place to do business and its entrepreneurial spirit,” said SmartInvest CEO Gerry Moan.

“We will work with evolving technology enterprises to address the early stage funding gap and further develop their overall businesses.

“There is an appetite among investors to capitalise on the opportunities that Ireland and the US offer as places to do business and gateways to large markets. The SmartInvest model of combining capital and expertise will look to develop this two way transatlantic flow of entrepreneurial talent and investment.”

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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