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2011 Press Releases

Bruton launches new €10million International Start-Up Fund to draw overseas entrepreneurs to Ireland


The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, today [Thursday 27th October, 2011] launched a €10 million International Start-Up Fund, aimed at encouraging overseas entrepreneurs to locate start-up businesses in Ireland.

Pictured are Louis Ravenet, Chief Executive, 2PaperDolls, Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Dylan Collins, Executive Director, Fight MyMonster.
Pictured are Louis Ravenet, Chief Executive, 2PaperDolls, Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Dylan Collins, Executive Director, Fight MyMonster.

  • The fund will be administered by Enterprise Ireland and will be open to company promoters anywhere in the world, but will be targeted particularly at the Irish diaspora, international expatriates, the “New Diaspora” (people from overseas who have previously worked or studied in Ireland), as well as serial and mobile entrepreneurs.
  • Key geographical targets will include North America, UK, Europe and Australia.
  • Key target sectors include Internet, Games, Cloud Computing, Medtech and Financial Services sectors.
  • The fund will target investor-ready projects seeking between €200,000 and €500,000.
  • Funding will be in the form of an equity stake taken by the State in the company.

To support the marketing of the fund overseas Enterprise Ireland will be appointing a number of high profile successful Irish entrepreneurs to act as International Start Up Ambassadors.  Dylan Collins, one of the most experienced Internet entrepreneurs in Europe, is one of the first to accept the role of fund Ambassador.

Announcing the fund, Minister Bruton said:

“This Government’s ambition is not only to turn the country around and get employment growing again, but to once again create a dynamic economy that is the envy of the world and has over two million people at work.

“This will not be easy, but one key strand of our new industrial strategy will be to create a genuine indigenous engine of growth. As I have said before, our ambition must not only be to attract the next Google or Microsoft to Ireland, but we must also seek to grow the next Google or Microsoft in Ireland. Indigenous companies provide proportionally more than three times more benefit to the Irish economy than multinational companies.

“Today’s announcement is a direct intervention by government to create more start-up companies here. Across the world, many of the start-up companies which go on to succeed and create jobs are driven by people within a small class of mobile, innovative, serial entrepreneurs. What the Irish Government is saying very clearly today to the international technology community gathered in Dublin is – come and start your company in Ireland, we are open for business, and we will support you”.

“There is no reason why Ireland should not be a global centre for international start-ups. We already have a growing number of mobile start-ups locating here, and with strong Government supports, a business-friendly environment, a deep pool of skills as well as all the benefits that come with a base of multinational companies that is the envy of the world”.  

Commenting on the new initiative Frank Ryan, Enterprise Ireland Chief Executive said:  

‘Stimulating the flow of new High Potential Start-Ups and supporting their growth are fundamental building blocks in Enterprise Ireland’s strategy for economic growth and job creation.  We want mobile entrepreneurs to locate their businesses in Ireland and to see Enterprise Ireland as their dedicated partner.

‘The addition of the €10m fund provides a core offering around which the rest of our overseas entrepreneurship marketing and promotion efforts will be centred.  The attraction of overseas entrepreneurs to Ireland is an important opportunity to expand our start up activity and they will significantly add to the diversity and skill-base of the Irish start up community’.

Dylan Collins, Irish serial entrepreneur who has established highly successful companies in various countries, said:

“I am delighted to be the first international ambassador for this start up fund. It’s an excellent way to build on Ireland’s position as one of the leading startup hubs in Europe. If you’re in a startup anywhere in the world which has international ambition, you need to come and talk to us right now”.

Louis Ravenet, a serial US entrepreneur who earlier this year set up his company 2PaperDolls in Ireland, commented on what motivated him to move his business to Ireland:  

“Ireland has a number of advantages for an early-stage business - it’s efficient, highly networked, co-operative and it is extremely refreshing that there isn’t a ‘hold cards close to the chest’ attitude here.  2PaperDolls is growing and we have found skilled software developers in good supply in the Irish market.  And from a cost perspective, Ireland is a great place to do business - you have the low corporate tax rate and it’s inexpensive compared to other world-class capital cities for office space, housing, schools and getting around”.

To find out more about the International Start Up Fund and Ireland as a location for your business visit:

To apply for the fund contact:
Start in Ireland Enquiry Desk, Tel: +353 1 7272140,


For further information contact:

Enterprise Ireland:
Alan Hobbs,
Head of PR
Tel. +353 17272904 or +00 35386 8699703

Click here to email Alan Hobbs, Enterprise IrelandAlan Hobbs

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation:
Conor Quinn,
Special Advisor to Minister Bruton
Tel. +353 16312218 or +00 35387 3743783


Biographies of Dylan Collins and Louis Ravenet

Louis Ravenet:
Serial Entrepreneur. Founder and director of several technology, design/development and service companies. Sold to Microsoft as the foundation of Microsoft CRM. International technology venture capitalist.

Enterprises Created

2PaperDolls: Founder + CEO Social mobile game development studio. Vanitas Holding: Founder + owner A closed, privately held finance and equity investment company. Lorelei Films: Founder + owner Video production house focused on exploration of expression through original storylines, shorts and promotional presentations. Wild Radish, LLC: Founder + owner Innovative property developer of safe and healthful living and work environments.
.iCommunicate: Founder + CEO Creator of, an innovative web-based, online CRM/customer service application. Acquired by Microsoft in 2001. (URL purchased by Microsoft) Invoke Systems: Founder +CEO
Software development and integration business focused on large-scale data-driven
systems and web application development. Acquired by Ascentium in 2007. (URL
purchased by Ascentium) The Alpha Group, Inc.: CEO Systems integration, network design, voice/data specialists + internet security consultants to the US Department of Defense, the Executive Office of the President of the United States, the National Security Agency (NSA), The Archdioceses of Maryland, The Los Angeles Times and Newsweek.

The Sorbonne, Cours de Civilisation Française, Princeton University, Comparative Literature /Interdepartmental Honors, Johns Hopkins University, World Literature
University of Maryland, Honors Program, Selected Skills + Abilities, Fluent in English, Spanish; Proficient in French.

Dylan Collins
Dylan Collins is Executive Chairman of Fight My Monster (, the leading online game for boys in Europe. He is also an investor in Eventasaurus (, the online dashboard for event managers. Dylan is one of the most experienced online gaming entrepreneurs in Europe, building three companies with three successful exits over the last decade.

In 2007 Dylan founded Jolt Online Gaming, which became one of the pioneering social games publishers in Europe. Jolt successfully launched a range of free-to-play games on browser and Facebook including Championship Manager, Legends of Zork, Utopia Kingdoms and Playboy Party. The company was the first to attract major licenses into the social games space, signing deals with Eidos, Playboy and several others. Jolt was acquired by GameStop (NYSE: GME), the largest video games retailer in the world in 2009 to spearhead their digital media strategy.

As founder and CEO of DemonWare in 2003, he led the company to become the leading online games technology firm in the global console games market. DemonWare technology was used to connect millions of players on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 consoles in some of the biggest games in the world such as Call of Duty, Splinter Cell, Guitar Hero and many others. In 2007, DemonWare was acquired by Activision Blizzard (NYSE: ATVI), the world’s biggest video games publisher.

Dylan’s first company, Phorest (launched in 2000), was one of Ireland’s leading mobile messaging (SMS) companies. Providing a range of SMS products and services to the small business sector, the company enjoyed rapid growth. In 2002, Phorest was acquired by MBO and is still a major player in the sector. Dylan advises several startups and more mature companies in Europe and North America on strategy and M&A matters. He blogs at and can also be found on Twitter as @MrDylanCollins.

Six benefits of locating in Ireland:

  1. Start-Up friendly environment. Ireland is a low bureaucracy, low tax environment that is very supportive of entrepreneurs.
  2. Ireland is a world leader in key innovative sectors. Ireland is home to world class companies and research centres in sectors such as ICT, life-sciences and financial services. This gives start-ups locating in Ireland easy access to quality staff, experienced entrepreneurs, investors, suppliers, research institutes and other support services with deep expertise in these sectors.
  3. Ireland is a dynamic source of start-up funding. Irish based start-ups have access to an extensive range of different types of investors, who between them can satisfy the needs of companies across all stages of their growth. On a per capita basis, the level of money available is high by international standards.
  4. Ireland is a great place to live and work. Ireland is an ideal location for both businesses and families. It is a great place from which to recruit and retain local and international talent.
  5. Ireland is a gateway to world markets. Ireland is one of the most open and globally connected countries in the world. Its geographic position and membership of the EU and Euro provides easy access to some of the richest markets on earth.
  6. Ireland is a leader in start-up support programmes. Ireland not only has a favourable environment for start ups, it also has world leading start up support programmes.  This combination provides the ideal conditions for fostering innovation and allowing early-stage businesses to flourish.