Enterprise Ireland launches fund for marine and agritech entrepreneurs

29 Jun 2018

From left: Joe Healy of Enterprise Ireland with Minister of State, Michael Creed, TD. Image: Peter Fealy

A new Competitive Start Fund from Enterprise Ireland will support start-ups in the marine technology and agritech sectors.

Seafest 2018 Galway played host to the launch of a new Competitive Start Fund from Enterprise Ireland, targeting the marine technology and agritech sectors. The €500,000 fund to support start-ups in the sector was announced on 28 June by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, TD, at the Our Ocean Wealth Summit.

Competitive Start Funds are tailored to a variety of industries and provide business supports and networking opportunities as well as the capital injection young businesses need.

Thousands of euro in funding up for grabs

Up to €50,000 in equity funding will be provided for each successful applicant and will be open for submissions on Tuesday, 10 July, closing on 24 July. The Competitive Start Fund provides start-ups and entrepreneurs with crucial early-stage funding to test the market for their products and services and improve their business plans for the global market.

Enterprise Ireland is seeking early-stage projects that can demonstrate having reached minimum viable product stage. Applicants must also have proof of customer validation, a proposition addressing a clear gap in the market and have identified suitable channels to market their product internationally.

Creed said: “Ireland boasts a diverse and highly skilled community of entrepreneurs and these sectors in particular are very progressive. Ireland’s marine and agriculture industries are at the core of the Irish economy. Start-ups in these sectors have the capacity and commitment to contribute to global developments and make positive impacts on a global scale.”

Small but powerful

Joe Healy, divisional manager of HPSU at Enterprise Ireland, said that although the marine technology and agritech industries are small, they are fundamental to the Irish economy on both a regional and national level.

He added: “While the fund provides a much wider business development support platform, it does also provide a vital injection of funding totalling up to €500,000 to help launch these young and innovative companies with global ambition and bring business ideas to an international market.”

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects