Entrepreneurs can secure up to €200,000 each as part of a new start-up fund backed by AIB and Frontline Ventures.
AIB and Frontline Ventures have launched the second AIB Discovery Programme to provide 15 high-potential start-ups with a total of €3m – or €200,000 each – enabling them to expand into a larger market.
The fund was first launched in 2013 and has so far supported companies familiar to Siliconrepublic.com readers, including online clothing store Pointy, smart weighing scale Drop and online jewellery store Love & Robots.
While an initial focus for AIB and Frontline Ventures will be on meeting entrepreneurs working in the fintech sector, the two organisations said that they will also be looking to hold meetings exclusively with women entrepreneurs as part of a larger inclusion effort.
AIB’s head of equity investment unit, Ray Fitzpatrick, said: “As one of the largest seed capital providers in Ireland, AIB recognises the importance of supporting this vital sector and its future growth potential.
“This initial stage of development in an entrepreneur’s journey is often the most difficult, and AIB, in ‘backing brave’, is keen to support their first step on that journey.”
Meanwhile, Frontline Ventures partner Shay Garvey added: “Often the hardest stage to find finance is when a company is doing customer discovery, and this is the area where the programme has the biggest impact.
“We have been very happy with the progress of the companies that have been supported to date and we are excited about broadening the programme for the coming years.”
The new fund comes a number of months after Frontline Ventures made headlines with the opening of a €60m fund for European B2B software start-ups as part of its continuing effort to grow outside of its native Ireland.
Speaking at the time, Frontline Ventures partner Will Prendergast said that the fund was to help European start-ups break into the lucrative US market.