€500,000 fund for agri and manufacturing start-ups launched

9 Sep 2016

Now in its second year, an Enterprise Ireland (EI) fund for agricultural and manufacturing start-ups worth €500,000 has been launched with applications opening on 21 September 2016.

Start-ups are encouraged to apply to the Competitive Start Fund with EI estimating that the agri-engineering sector is worth €250m in exports to the Irish economy.

The specific aim of the fund is to enable companies reach their key commercial and technical milestones and project themselves on the wider global market.

The fund is also part of EI’s strategy for increasing the number and quality of high potential start-up companies that have the potential to employ more than 10 people and achieve €1m in export sales within three years.

The fund is open to applications from individuals, early-stage companies or prospective businesses operating in the agri-business sector.

These include, but are not limited to: machine design and manufacturing; fabrication; engineering and technical activites; life science products; farm-related software and related services; and vet-pharma, animal health and chemical products.

Applications open end of September

Anne Lanigan, manager of EI’s high-potential start-ups programme, said, “We were encouraged to drive forward with this year’s competition, following the level of interest and the quality of applications we received last year.

“Applications to this year’s fund will be considered on a competitive basis and we encourage ambitious individuals and start-ups to apply.”

Also at the launch was the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, who said: “The Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund aims to provide a launch platform for young companies in this sector to establish their business and launch new products and services in international market places.

“A priority for the Government is to help Irish entrepreneurs grow their business and the €500,000 fund, will go towards supporting the next generation of Irish agri-businesses and manufacturers to compete in export markets, creating valuable jobs throughout Ireland.”

Each successful applicant will be provided with €50,000 in funding. Submissions open on Wednesday 21 September and will close on Wednesday 5 October this year.

Farm machinery image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic