€3m investment in accelerators to jump-start regional start-ups

22 Jan 2016

Jobs are growing in every region right across the country, but they are growing faster in some regions than in others

The Irish Government has made €3m available to help kickstart the establishment of start-up accelerators outside of Dublin.

The €3m scheme is the first competitive initiative to be launched under the €40m competitive regional jobs fund announced by the Government earlier this month.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD said he expects that a further €3m will be leveraged with additional private sector investment to support the entrepreneurship initiative.

Up until now, Irish accelerators – among the best in Europe – have been mostly based in cities like Dublin and Cork.

‘Start-ups create two-thirds of all new jobs’

“Jobs are growing in every region right across the country, but they are growing faster in some regions than in others,” Bruton pointed out.

“A key part of our action plan for jobs is accelerating jobs growth right across the country, and a key part of this is encouraging more start-ups in every region.

“Start-ups create two-thirds of all new jobs, and if we can support more businesses to start-up and more businesses to survive, this will make a major impact on the level of job creation in each region.”

He said the purpose of the investment is to create more accelerator spaces where start-ups can locate their businesses and access supports around the country.

“I encourage businesspeople and other stakeholders in every region to get involved in this initiative,” Bruton said.

Targeted accelerators

The investment was welcomed by Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon, who said that Enterprise Ireland is interested in funds that will support entrepreneurship outside of Dublin in key strategic sectors, including food, agritech, ICT, clean tech, life sciences, financial services, internationally-traded services and manufacturing.

“The National Policy Statement on entrepreneurship noted that a key challenge is to develop the regional spread of start-up activity by enhancing the start-up environment outside Dublin,” Sinnamon said.

“It also noted that this will include working to develop targeted accelerators where gaps exist to enhance the quality of start-ups, with a particular focus on the regional start-up ecosystem.

“This scheme has been specifically designed to meet that challenge and it forms a core part of Enterprise Ireland’s strategic objective of supporting the creation of a greater number of successful start-ups across the country,” Sinnamon added.

Rural Ireland image via Shutterstock

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