Enterprise Ireland reveals latest €750,000 Competitive Start Fund

16 Jan 2019

From left: Joe Healy, Enterprise Ireland; Caroline Gleeson, BidRecruit; and Minister Heather Humphreys, TD. Image: Orla Murray/SON Photo

New Enterprise Ireland fund open for start-ups in all sectors.

Enterprise Ireland has revealed its 2019 Competitive Start Fund (CSF), which will provide up to €50,000 in equity funding for up to 15 successful entrepreneurs and start-ups.

The fund closes to applications at 3pm on Tuesday 12 February 2019.

The CSF provides entrepreneurs and start-ups with critical early-stage funding to test the market for their products and services, and progress their business plans for the global marketplace. The fund is designed to enable those companies to progress in key technical and commercial milestones.

“In Ireland, we have cultivated an environment for entrepreneurs where they can turn innovative ideas into a business reality,” said Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD.

“Targeted initiatives such as the Competitive Start Fund are vital supports for early-stage start-ups and the fund is an integral element of my department’s support for entrepreneurs through Enterprise Ireland. As well as crucial funding, the CSF provides valuable business support and networking opportunities to innovative entrepreneurs and companies at the start of their journey.”

All-star players from all sectors needed

To be eligible, the product or service must have reached a minimal viable product (MVP) stage or be in live beta, have demonstrable customer validation, address a clear market gap, and have identifiable channels to international markets.

“A fundamental aspect of Enterprise Ireland’s support for indigenous businesses is the support for our robust start-up ecosystem, both financially and in terms of mentoring,” said Joe Healy, divisional manager in charge of high-potential start-ups (HPSUs) at Enterprise Ireland.

“The CSF provides critical, initial funding for early-stage start-ups with the potential to take their product to international markets. This all-sector CSF will provide a kick-start for up to 15 companies who have an idea, have a plan, have a team, but don’t have the resources to go to market. A funding boost of up to €50,000 in addition to mentoring opportunities and access to networks will help these companies get off the ground.”

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