Irish start-ups received €28m from Enterprise Ireland in 2021

7 Apr 2022

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy at today’s Start-Up Showcase. Image: Maxwell Photography

The State agency supported 125 start-ups in Ireland last year, with companies working in a variety of areas from fintech to healthcare.

Enterprise Ireland invested more than €28m in 125 Irish start-ups last year, which included 82 high potential start-ups (HPSUs).

The HPSUs were approved for more than €18m in funding, with 24 of these being led by women and 11 emerging from academic research.

The figures come as the State agency kicks off the annual Enterprise Ireland Start-Up Showcase 2022 event at the Aviva Stadium today (7 April), which will bring together more than 150 entrepreneurs and representatives from early-stage businesses alongside investors, mentors and other members of the broader Irish start-up ecosystem.

Among the start-ups Enterprise Ireland supported last year was Tympany Medical, which is developing cutting-edge endoscope products for ear, nose and throat surgeries and featured in’s Start-up of the Week series this week. Enterprise Ireland supported the Galway start-up in a €3.5m seed investment round announced in November last year.

Dublin-based SaaS company Kianda Technologies also received a €1.5m investment, including support from the State agency, in October last year to expand its team and further develop its low-code platform for businesses.

Meanwhile, University College Dublin spin-out Equal1 secured a multimillion-euro investment for its quantum computing tech with backing from Enterprise Ireland.

Earlier in the year, Trinity College Dublin spin-out TerminusDB, which creates tools for managing and utilising data, raised €3.6m in a seed funding round with support from the organisation.

Opening the Start-up Showcase this morning, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, TD, said it’s important to recognise the extraordinary growth and accomplishments of Ireland’s start-ups.

“I have seen the enormous resilience of Irish start-ups and I admire the tenacity of every Irish entrepreneur leading Ireland towards a future where innovation is front and centre,” he said.

Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy added that it’s important to recognise the perseverance and achievements of the ‘Class of 2021’ start-ups. “We are committed to supporting this drive and ambition, not just with funding, but also with strategic guidance and other development supports.”

Record employment figures

Investment was provided to Irish start-ups last year in the form of equity through the Competitive Start Fund and HPSU funding programmes by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment through Enterprise Ireland.

As well as investing more than €28m in start-ups, figures from earlier this year showed that 2021 was a record year for employment in Enterprise Ireland client companies.

Companies supported by the agency increased net employment by almost 12,000 in 2021, with the majority (68pc) of these jobs created outside Dublin.

The strongest jobs growth was seen in life sciences (14pc), business services (12pc) and digital technology (10pc).

The employment numbers were revealed along with the agency’s latest three-year strategy, which outlined plans to grow its cohort of HPSUs by 20pc.

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Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic