The State agency responsible for the growth of Irish businesses supported a total of 161 start-ups, more than a third of which are led by women.
Enterprise Ireland invested €27m in 161 Irish start-ups last year, the State agency has revealed at its Start-Up Showcase 2023 event today (18 April).
Of the companies, 91 are high-potential start-ups (HPSUs). These are companies that have the potential to create 10 jobs and €1m in sales within three years of establishment. Of the HPSUs, 13 emerged from academic research.
A further 44 start-ups received the new Pre-Seed Start Fund investments introduced last year, while 16 Irish start-ups benefitted from the Competitive Start Fund.
More than half of these companies are based outside Dublin, and more than a third are led by women.
The Start-Up Showcase sees 600 delegates including founders, investors and Enterprise Ireland representatives coming together to highlight the growth of Irish enterprise and discuss its future impact on the economy and society.
Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Dara Calleary TD, who is at the event, congratulated the founders of the start-ups being showcased for “having the ambition to take the brave leap to start a new business”.
“My department working with our agency Enterprise Ireland supports entrepreneurs and start-ups with the ambition to grow their business in global markets and late last year we introduced the new Pre-Seed Start Fund to support the specific early-stage funding needs of start-up companies,” Calleary said.
“There has been a very positive response to the first call, and this is just one of a series of specific targeted initiatives which my department through Enterprise Ireland is taking as part of its strategic ambition to encourage and support an increased number of new high growth start-up companies in Ireland.”
Some of the start-ups invested in last year include Yonder, Ufurnish.com, Zeus Scooters and Promotion Rewards.
in 2021, Enterprise Ireland invested €28m in 125 Irish start-ups. This included promising companies such as Tympany Medical, Kianda Technologies, Equal1 and TerminusDB.
“A strong start-up eco-system is vital to the future of Ireland. Start-ups are a powerful driver of economic growth, new talent and innovation,” said Kevin Sherry, executive director of Enterprise Ireland.
Sherry noted that some of the sectors that start-ups saw success in last year were ICT, medtech, fintech, food and manufacturing.
“The class of 2022 will serve as role models for new founders who have the determination and resilience required to get their enterprises up and running,” he added.
10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.