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

15 Sep 2015

Start-ups developing new technologies and methods in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors can now avail of a new €500,000 Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund.

The new start-up fund is the first to target the two sectors, with the aim of helping companies launch new products and services in the international marketplace.

Announcing the fund, Enterprise Ireland (EI) said that the priority of the fund is to help companies pass the critical early stage of funding, particularly to make the first commercial and technical milestones.

The eventual goal for EI is to increase the number of high-potential start-up companies in the country that after three years would be capable of achieving €1m or more in export sales while supporting employment of more than 10 people.

The Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund is being aimed particularly at those who are working in mechanical engineering and development, as well as advanced sciences in agriculture, including farm-related software and related services; vet-pharma, animal health and chemical products.

Create jobs in important sectors

Additionally, EI said that early-stage food companies with the potential to export are also encouraged to apply.

Launching the fund today (15 September), Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash said: “In Ireland we have very strong agricultural and manufacturing sectors, with great entrepreneurs at the coalface of international business competition.

“New businesses create two-thirds of all new jobs in the economy, and we have made a deliberate decision to support more start-ups in sectors where we have real established strengths. This fund will make a real contribution to supporting more businesses and ultimately more jobs in these important sectors”.

EI said that the fund will open for applications tomorrow (16 September) and will close two weeks later on 30 September.

Vet with farm animals image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic