Ninety-two high-potential start-ups (HPSUs) supported by Enterprise Ireland are aiming to employ 1,600 people between them by the end of 2013, as well as generating a combined €200m of sales within three years. That’s according to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD, who was speaking at the opening of the Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start Ups Showcase today.
Bruton said these companies will vie to employ more than 1,600 new staff by the end of 2013 and to generate more than €200m in annual sales within three years.
Today’s showcase also features 55 early stage entrepreneurs who have been supported by the Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund to test the market for their products and services and progress their business plans for the international marketplace.
Enterprise Ireland also released its Q4 results today pertaining to HPSUs. According to the agency, support was agreed during Q4 2011 for 19 companies, which have committed to creating 365 jobs by the end 2013.
New technology ventures
To give you a flavour of the type of HPSUs that are aiming to create jobs, Enverian is a clean-tech venture that provides software solutions to the renewable-energy sector. Digital start-up Betapond, meanwhile, sells bespoke Facebook apps to large brands and PR agencies. Back in January, Betapond raised €1.15m in venture capital funding.
LightKeeper Media is another digital start-up that has created Fantom, an online community for fans who enjoy collecting and trading digital trading cards. Fantom raised €600,000 in investment late last year. Hailing from DCU Invent, Pilot Photonics is another HPSU that is developing technology to increase the capacity of existing telecom networks.
High-growth small firms to help rebuild Ireland’s economy
Speaking about rebuilding Ireland’s economy, Bruton spoke about how the country needs to also support the creation of high-growth small businesses, as well as attracting multinational giants.
He said the Government, under its Action Plan for Jobs, has committed a series of targets for 2012. Bruton said this would include supporting 95 of these companies in 2012, as well as an increase of 50pc in the number of overseas entrepreneurs supported and an increase of 40pc in the number of new HPSUs arising as spin-outs from research.
“I am determined to achieve these ambitious targets so that we can create more high-growth indigenous companies and achieve the employment levels we so badly need,” said Bruton.
Hugh Cooney, chairman of Enterprise Ireland, also spoke about initiatives such as the Competitive Start Fund, which provides early stage financing to entrepreneurs. He said both this fund and the €10m International Start-Up Fund for overseas entrepreneurs to locate start-up businesses in Ireland are already “paying dividends”.