Enterprise Ireland creates new fund to entice overseas start-ups

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From left: Sarita Johnston, HPSU Start manager, Enterprise Ireland; Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD; and former CSF recipient Anne Lawlor, CEO and founder, Journey Protector. Image: Colm Mahady/Fennell Photography

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New funds will help experienced business professionals to start up as well as encourage start-ups from overseas to locate in Ireland.

Two new Competitive Start Funds (CSFs) totalling €1m have been established to encourage experienced professionals as well as overseas entrepreneurs to start new businesses in Ireland.

The CSFs will be run simultaneously by Enterprise Ireland. Each fund will provide up to €50,000 in equity funding for up to 10 successful applicants.

‘The CSF for overseas entrepreneurs is specifically for these entrepreneurs and successful applicants from outside the EU will be eligible for a Start-up Entrepreneur Visa’
– SARITA JOHNSTON

The CSF for overseas entrepreneurs is a competition specifically for start-ups that are currently based overseas but are willing to relocate to Ireland. As well as securing up to €50,000 in funding, the successful applicants will have the opportunity to participate in a business development programme delivered over three months by DCU Ryan Academy.

The CSF for experienced business professionals is directed at highly experienced business professionals with 25 years or more of relevant business experience in Ireland or abroad, of which at least 10 years should be at a senior or leadership level.

Applications for submissions to both funds will be open from Tuesday 21 August and will close on Tuesday 4 September. To learn more, click here.

Do you have the potential to succeed?

“Adequate funding and support for all innovative start-ups with the potential to succeed is a key priority for this Government,” said the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD.

“My department, through Enterprise Ireland, has provided financial and mentor support to female entrepreneurs, graduates and regionally based start-ups as part of the Competitive Start Fund, in addition to early-stage companies in niche sectors such as marine technology, agri-tech and deep tech.”

This CSF is part of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy for increasing the number and quality of high-potential start-up companies (HPSUs) that have the potential to employ more than 10 people and achieve €1m in export sales within three years.

“The funds for overseas entrepreneurs and experienced business professionals are central to the Competitive Start Fund, which is designed to inject crucial funding into early-stage start-ups with the potential to scale to international markets,” explained Sarita Johnston, HPSU Start manager at Enterprise Ireland.

“The start-up ecosystem in Ireland is a talent-rich community, however, we understand that there is a significant number of entrepreneurs that are keen to relocate to Ireland. The CSF for overseas entrepreneurs is specifically for these entrepreneurs and successful applicants from outside the EU will be eligible for a Start-up Entrepreneur Visa.

“Similarly, experienced professionals represent a largely untapped segment of the entrepreneurial community in Ireland,” Johnston continued.

“Business people with 25 years or more relevant experience bring key skills and resources to start-ups that we don’t necessarily see among younger founders. This CSF call was created specifically to support these entrepreneurs who bring something different to the table.”

Updated, 9 August 2018 at 12.49pm: This article has been updated to correct the total value of both funds as €1m, not €1m each as previously stated.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com