Enterprise Ireland invests €23m in 132 start-ups in 2018

Enterprise Ireland invested €23m in Irish start-ups in 2018 and supported a total of 132 start-up companies.

More than 600 entrepreneurs and representatives from early-stage businesses representing the start-up class of 2018, alongside investors and members of the start-up community, gathered for Enterprise Ireland’s Annual Start-up Showcase event at Croke Park today.

Investment was provided in the form of equity through Competitive Start Funds (CSFs) and High Potential Start-Up (HPSUs) funding programmes by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland.

Funding awarded to start-ups in 2018 included two calls for up to €1.5m in funding open to all sectors. €500,000 in funding targeted recent graduates while €750,000 in funding was made available through a fintech and deep tech CSF.

    Start-ups supported by Enterprise Ireland in 2018 include:

  • 82 High Potential Start-Ups – start-up businesses with the potential to create 10 jobs and €1million in sales within three to four years of starting up
  • 50 Competitive Start Funds (CSFs) – critical early-stage funding into new businesses to accelerate growth
  • 28 new female-led HPSUs
  • 15 new fintech HPSUs and a further five fintech start-ups were supported under a dedicated CSF fund
  • 15 spin-out companies from higher education institutions
  • 26 additional HPSUs which received follow-on investment funding as their businesses scaled.

Joe Healy, Manager, HPSU Division, Enterprise Ireland said: “Even in today’s challenging business climate with Brexit looming, the appetite and enthusiasm amongst entrepreneurs is strong. In 2018 alone, Enterprise Ireland received over 1,300 start-up enquiries, representing a 30% increase on the previous year.

"Enterprise Ireland’s strategy for 2017- 2020 is to support more start-ups with global ambition to build scale and expand reach. Now at the halfway mark into our four-year strategy, we are on course to meet the ambitious target of creating 60,000 new jobs by the end of 2020."

Opening the start-up showcase event in Croke Park today, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys said: “As we reach near full employment, our focus must shift to ensuring our workers and firms are resilient in the face of new challenges and embrace new opportunities.

"In that regard, the Government is developing a new strategic framework called Future Jobs Ireland, which is due to be launched in the coming weeks. Future Jobs Ireland will underpin the next phase of Ireland’s economic development by enhancing productivity, ensuring we have talented workers embedding resilience and securing long-term economic prosperity.”

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