Bank of Ireland creates €17m fund for innovative firms

13 Dec 2010

The Government with Bank of Ireland have unveiled a new €17m fund aimed at funding innovative new firms that are creating high-quality jobs.

The Bank of Ireland Start-up and Emerging Sectors Equity Fund will help entrepreneurs to turn ideas into new products and services for export markets.

The fund will be managed by Delta Partners on behalf of Bank of Ireland and the Government’s job creation agency, Enterprise Ireland.

This is the second fund launched by Bank of Ireland and Enterprise Ireland for start-up and early-stage growth firms and it is the 10th new fund supported by the Government through Enterprise Ireland’s Seed and Venture Capital Programme 2007-2012.

Bank of Ireland is investing €15m in the fund, with €2m provided by the Government through Enterprise Ireland.

The fund will target investments between €100,000 and €500,000.

Export-led growth

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Batt O’Keeffe said the new fund would support early-stage entrepreneurs in driving export-led growth in the domestic economy and creating new high-quality jobs.

“Our banks have a key role to play in economic recovery and initiatives such as this one will allow innovative firms to leverage new capital in scaling their businesses and creating jobs at home,” O’Keefe said.

“To create a thriving high-value indigenous enterprise sector we must broaden the funding base to turn good ideas into sustainable jobs.

“The Government continues to support Enterprise Ireland in working with its investment partners to build a strong, self-sustaining, indigenous venture-capital industry in Ireland,” said O’Keeffe.

The move follows the Taoiseach’s announcement in July of Innovation Fund Ireland – a €500m fund for enterprise development and job creation aimed at drawing top venture capitalists to Ireland.

“That fund enables entrepreneurs to co-invest with the Government in high-potential start-ups that can create high-quality jobs in key growth sectors of the economy,” said O’Keeffe.

Economic recovery

The director of Bank of Ireland Business Banking, Mark Cunningham, said: “In the current economic climate, supporting high-potential start-ups is critical to Ireland’s economic recovery and growth and the objective of this fund is to help stimulate economic activity.

“Bank of Ireland continues its commitment to supporting the small-and-medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector and to supporting those early-stage companies with significant growth prospects.

“Since 2000, Bank of Ireland has committed over €100m in venture capital to developing Irish companies.”

“The introduction of a new fund by Bank of Ireland and Enterprise Ireland ensures an available source of equity for Irish companies that require additional capital to support their strategic growth and export potential,” said Shay Garvey of Delta Partners, whose firm will manage the new fund.

“With over €230m under management and an experienced management team, Delta is well-positioned to manage this fund and to generate activity for start-up and early-stage companies across key sectors,” Garvey said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years