€1.5m on offer for Irish regional and fintech start-ups

8 Jun 2017

From left: David Gildea, CloudRanger; Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; Joe Healy, Enterprise Ireland; and James O’Toole, ID-Pal. Image: Colm Mahady/Fennell Photography

Enterprise Ireland has launched two new start-up funds, targeting entrepreneurs from outside of Dublin and those within the fintech space.

With €1.5m worth of funding made available through its latest competitive start funds (CSFs), Enterprise Ireland is on the hunt for 30 new businesses.

€1m will go into a regional fund, from which 20 start-ups will receive up to €50,000 each to develop their business. The remaining €500,000 is set aside for 10 fintech start-ups. Both competitions will close at 3pm on 5 July.

Beyond the pale

Start-ups from outside of Dublin can apply for the first competition, in the latest bid to develop industry beyond the capital’s borders.

The funds are open to companies active in manufacturing and internationally traded services, including internet, games, apps, mobile, SaaS, cloud computing, enterprise software, lifesciences, food, cleantech and industrial products.

This is the largest regional competition run by Enterprise Ireland to date.

The second competition’s focus on fintech is due to its status as an area of interest for the Irish government.

“Ireland is a hub for fintech innovation, and a key focus of Enterprise Ireland is to encourage and support more entrepreneurs,” said Joe Healy, Enterprise Ireland’s divisional manager for high potential start-ups.

The areas of payments, banking, regtech, security and insurtech are of particular interest to Healy, as are solutions that leverage blockchain, the internet of things, artificial intelligence and data intelligence technologies.

Fintech appeal

Bank of Ireland will be hosting entrepreneurs for the fintech fund at its new startlab on Camden Street, Dublin.

Here, according to David Tighe, head of innovation for the bank, start-ups will be provided with desk space and access to a full range of tailored business supports, including mentorship and support from a dedicated innovation and enterprise team.

Fintech’s attraction is clear and understandable for entrepreneurs, banks and state. One example of a stunning success in this space came earlier this week, with Plynk raising €25m in one of Ireland’s largest ever Series A rounds.

Following a path laid down by Google, Plynk CEO Charles Dowd said he wants to use this investment to help his company “become a verb, in every European language”. With funding such as that on the table, it’s not a bad shout.

Young applications

Elsewhere young entrepreneurs have less than a week to submit tech proposals at pre-investment stage for NDRC and the Ireland Funds’ Business Plan Competition.

Now in its sixth year, the Business Plan Competition is offering funding and mentoring to emerging entrepreneurs under 35.

The competition is accepting pre-investment stage tech proposals until 13 June. To take part, applications can be made online here.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic