Start-up Showcase reveals €32m invested in start-ups in 2016

9 Feb 2017

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, with company founders at the Start-up Showcase in Dublin. Image: Connor McKenna

Enterprise Ireland’s Start-up Showcase revealed that the State agency invested €32m in more than 200 start-ups in 2016.

The Enterprise Ireland Start-up Showcase 2017 held in Dublin this morning (9 February) revealed the extent to which the agency had invested into start-ups, both fledgling and the next potential big hitter.

In total, Enterprise Ireland invested €32m in Irish start-ups over the course of last year across a total of 229 companies, equating to just under €140,000 each.

53pc of start-ups outside of Dublin

This, the agency claims, is the highest number to date in a single year across both its Competitive Start Funds (CSFs) and High Potential Start-Up (HSPU) funding programmes.

CSF made up 128 of the companies funded, while 101 were HPSU businesses with the potential to create 10 jobs and €1m in sales in its first few years.

Nearly half of all start-ups were within the Dublin region, with 53pc outside of the capital.

33 of the new companies were established by overseas entrepreneurs who moved to Ireland to establish their businesses from Russia, Europe and the US.

There was also a marginal increase in the number of woman-led businesses, rising from a total of 61 in 2015 to 63 last year, bringing it to a total of 28pc.

€188m of available new capital to market

In total, 17 of the funded HPSU and CSF businesses operate in fintech, indicating continued growth in the sector.

Last January, Enterprise Ireland launched its Build Scale, Expand Reach 2017-2020 strategy to support more start-ups of scale.

Speaking at the launch, Orla Battersby, manager of Enterprise Ireland’s HPSU division, said: “In the past week, we have seen the launch of four new funds in which Enterprise Ireland is involved, including fund announcements by Seroba Lifesciences, Frontline Ventures, ACT Venture Capital and Suir Valley.

“These four new funds combined bring, on their first closings, €188m of available new capital to the market, helping companies to reach out to global markets.

“The Irish start-up ecosystem will continue to strengthen as a result of these investments, building a platform for HPSUs that is strong, effective and sustainable.”

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Updated, 14 February at 6.59pm: An earlier version of the headline on this article mistakenly claimed that €32m was invested solely in High-Potential Start-ups. This has been amended to clarify that €32m was the total sum invested by Enterprise Ireland in all start-ups in 2016.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic