The call for applications to the Competitive Start Fund for Female Entrepreneurs opened on 22nd October, 2012, and closed on 3rd December 2012 at 3pm.
This fund is open to applications from Female-led early stage companies, who meet the eligibility criteria outlined below, from Manufacturing and Internationally Traded Services, including the following sectors: Internet, Games, Apps, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Lifesciences, Food, Consumer Products, Medical Devices and e-Health.
Overview of the Competitive Start Fund for Female Entrepreneurs
The purpose of the Competitive Start Fund for Female Entrepreneurs is to accelerate the growth of Female-led start-up companies that have the capability to succeed in global markets. The fund is designed to enable those Female-led companies reach key commercial and technical milestones, for example:
- Evaluate overseas market opportunities and reach firm conclusions regarding the viability of the proposed business
- Build a prototype
- Secure a reference site
- Develop a market entry plan for exploiting international opportunities
- Secure partnership deal or strategic alliance
- Identify suitable channels to international markets
- Secure third party investment e.g. business angel, Venture Capital
Am I eligible?
You are eligible to apply if you are an existing or potential client of Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up Department.
The Competitive Start Fund for Female Entrepreneurs is open to:
- Female-led companies who are active in Manufacturing and Internationally Traded Services [link to explanation on website] including the following sub-sectors: Internet, Games, Apps, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Lifesciences, Food, Consumer Products, Medical Devices and e-Health.
- Individuals who, prior to Enterprise Ireland’s investment, will register a company which will be active in these sectors.
In addition, applicants must fulfil all of the following criteria:
- Must be led by a female entrepreneur or must have a female as part of the lead management team.
- Must be a manufacturing or an internationally traded services business.
- Must not have received equity funding of €100K or more prior to the competition closing date.
- Must be pre-trading or recently commenced trading, i.e. does not have annual revenues in excess of €60k in any previous financial year.
- Must be less than six years old.
- Must be capable of creating 10 jobs in Ireland and realising sales of €1m within 3 years of starting up (date of application in the case of individuals or end date of current financial year in the case of companies) or, where a company is required to have FDA or CE approval, within three years of approval to sell.
- Must not be involved in activities that fall within gambling or "gaming" as defined in the Gaming & Lotteries Act 1956.
Please note applicants must be eligible to live and work in Ireland.
What is the maximum funding available and what costs are eligible?
- Applications are considered on a competitive basis.
- The maximum support available is €50,000 for a 10% ordinary equity stake in the start-up company.
- The investment shall be released in two equal tranches.
- The first tranche will be released to successful applicants only when it provides confirmation of additional new cash investment for equity of €5,000. This new investment in equity of €5,000 by the successful applicant is to occur post the relevant call close date. Capitalisation of existing director/related party loans will not qualify. The company must also meet the general terms and conditions of the scheme.
- Successful applicants will additionally be appointed a mentor who will work with the company for up to 10 days.
The overall equity investment will be towards the costs associated with developing the business plan and making progress on key technical and commercial milestones. The following activities are expected to form the basis of expenditure;
- Consultancy Fees
- Other Expenditure
How do I apply?
If you are a first-time applicant you will be required to register on the Enterprise Ireland Online Application System.
Applications must be made via the Enterprise Ireland Online Application System between Monday 22nd October 2012 and Monday 3rd December 2012 at 3pm. We strongly recommend that you commence your application well in advance of the call close date and time. You can commence your application and save it to revisit at a later stage.
Feedback from previous applicants suggests that we should include an opportunity to pitch directly to the evaluators via video interview. Therefore for this call, we are partnering with sonru.com to offer all applicants the opportunity to pitch to the evaluation team using video technology. Each applicant will be asked to complete a 6 minute online video interview/pitch which will be viewed by the evaluation team as part of the evaluation process. We would strongly encourage all applicants to complete this to assist us in contextualizing your application.
You will be asked to address the following 2 questions followed by opportunity to add further comments.
- Tell us about you and your team
- Tell us about your product or service and why it is innovative
You will receive an email inviting you to complete your online video interview/pitch within 24 hours of commencing your Competitive Start Fund for Female Entrepreneurs online application.
Any expenditure incurred prior to the competition’s call close date will not be eligible for support.
Please note that an application for approval of an equity investment for companies selected under this scheme shall be subject to:
(a) Approval from Enterprise Ireland’s Investment Committee
(b) The company agreeing to the Terms and Conditions set out in the Enterprise Ireland Term Sheet
(c) The company agreeing to enter into a Share Subscription and Shareholders Agreement with Enterprise Ireland.
For more information on this Equity Process read our CSF Equity FAQs.
How is my application evaluated?
Assessment Part 1:
An evaluation panel comprising external consultants in conjunction with representatives from Enterprise Ireland will evaluate each application and will score them under the following criteria:
|Company and Promoter Profile||25%|
|Product/Service & Market Opportunity||25%|
|Execution of the Business Plan||25%|
|Ability to deliver key Commercial and Technical Milestones over the coming 12 months||10%|
All applicants will be notified by email on Tuesday 18th December, 2012 if they were unsuccessful in this call or will be invited to present a short investment pitch to the panel (Assessment Part 2).
Assessment Part 2:
Up to 20 highest ranking applications will be sent to an Evaluation Panel comprising external industry experts and representatives of Enterprise Ireland for review. These short-listed applicants will be invited to present a short investment pitch to this evaluation panel at the offices of Enterprise Ireland in East Point Business Park, Dublin 3. The date of this pitch is Thursday 17th January , 2012.
The evaluation panel will be asked to score the applicant’s performance based on the following equally weighted criteria:
- What specific need does your product / service address? Why would someone be "compelled" to purchase your offering?
- What is it about you and / or your management team that makes you capable of executing on this business plan?
- What would be the impact of €50K on the execution of this business plan?
Please Note: Enterprise Ireland reserves the right to seek additional clarification from the applicant in regard to your application.
Closing Date for Applications
The call for applications opened on Monday 22nd October 2012, and closed on Monday 3rd December 2012 at 3pm.
For more information on the Competitive Start fund for Female Entrepreneurs, read the CSF for Female Entrepreneurs Reference Document.
- Main Enquiry Line Tel: + 353 1 727 2130 (9am - 5pm)
- Jean O Sullivan Tel: + 353 1 727 2192 (9am - 5pm)
- Kate Lynam Jones Tel: + 353 1 727 2499 (9am - 5pm)
- Gillian Slattery Tel: +353 061 777027 (9am - 5pm)
If you are not a client of Enterprise Ireland and want to learn more about qualifying and applying for Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up supports, go to our Start a Business Section.
Click here if you are looking for information on the Competitive Start Fund (CSF) - please note that this call is now closed.