Announcing the results of Enterprise Ireland’s 2013 High Potential Start-up (HPSU) Funding programme, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD, predicted 1,850 new jobs will be created over the next three years by 122 HPSUs.
To qualify as a HPSU, start-ups must be based on technological innovation, export-oriented, led by an experienced team with a mixture of technical and commercial competencies, and likely to achieve significant growth in three years, such as sales of €1m per annum and employment of 10 people.
Last year, Enterprise Ireland invested in 103 HPSUs – the highest number ever supported during a single year of the programme and ahead of the 2013 target.
At the announcement in Dublin Castle, Bruton also revealed that 41 female-led HPSU projects won investment in 2013, up from 16 the previous year. This growth has been attributed to women’s initiatives launched by Enterprise Ireland in 2012.
Last year also saw a rise in the number of overseas entrepreneurs setting up businesses in Ireland, with these projects representing 15pc of 2013’s HPSUs. Enterprise Ireland-supported third-level research commercialisation also resulted in 10 HPSUs emerging as spin-outs from Irish universities and institutes of technology.
“All the companies here today have the potential to grow rapidly and become significant exporters. These companies play a really significant part in stimulating local economies and employment,” said Lisa Vaughan, Enterprise Ireland’s head of HPSUs and scaling. “The push now must be to help these young companies to realise their full potential to achieve significant scale and become major international businesses in markets across the globe.”
Bruton commended Enterprise Ireland on the achievements of the HPSU programme and expressed his optimism that the companies involved would grow to world-class companies of scale, creating jobs in Ireland.
The event in Dublin Castle also showcased 85 early stage projects supported in 2013 by Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund, as well as representatives from the 2013 New Frontiers entrepreneur development programme.