770 jobs to be created as part of High Potential Start-Up Programme 2010

80 companies backed by Enterprise Ireland last year to generate €528 million in sales

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD announced today (Wednesday, 8th June) that the Government, through Enterprise Ireland, supported the establishment of 80 new high potential start up companies (HPSUs) in 2010, involving over 150 entrepreneurs. 

(l-r): Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD, Joanna Murphy, Managing Director, Protherm Insulation, and Hugh Cooney, Chairman, Enterprise Ireland

Pictured at the Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start-Up Showcase in East Point are (l-r): Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD, Joanna Murphy, Managing Director, Protherm Insulation, and Hugh Cooney, Chairman, Enterprise Ireland.

These innovative young companies will create over 770 new jobs over the next three years, bringing their total employment to almost 1,300.  Total sales over the same three year period are expected to reach €528 million, with exports accounting for over 80% of this figure. 

The innovative, export-businesses supported through this scheme have played a substantial role in stimulating local economies and employment. Over the past decade, through the scheme, Enterprise Ireland has supported over 800 high potential start up companies which are responsible for employing over 25,000 people directly and indirectly in the wider economy, and have combined sales of over €1.5 billion, 75% of which is exported. 

Making the announcement at Enterprise Ireland’s annual High Potential Start Ups Showcase event, Minister Bruton said: 

'Government does not create jobs, businesses do; but government has a crucial role in the process through creating the environment and providing the supports which allow businesses to thrive.

'If we are to turn the corner and get employment growing again we must ensure that we do everything we can to address three key policy areas:

  • reducing business costs;

  • improving access to finance; and

  • encouraging R&D, innovation and commercialisation so as to ensure that good ideas can become good jobs.

'We must also ensure that the public sector, as a significant economic actor in its own right, takes the lead in each of these areas.

'Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up Programme, which supports the innovative, export-oriented businesses that will grow quickly and create the jobs of the future, is a key part of this job-creation strategy. Today’s event demonstrates what government and the private sector can do when they work together, and I am delighted to showcase the 80 projects supported in 2010 with the creation of 770 jobs and €528million in sales. It is particularly welcome to see that ten of the companies showcased today have developed from research in our third level institutions, which represents a substantial increase over previous years'.

Commenting on the outturn for 2010, Hugh Cooney, Chairman of Enterprise Ireland said: ‘The environment for business start ups is strong, but having the right supports in place is crucial.  Access to funding in particular is a critical ingredient for driving a flow of new start ups.  Very early stage companies can face difficulties in raising external finance'.

‘In direct response to our client needs, Enterprise Ireland has introduced a series of Competitive Start Funds, aimed at helping them bridge this gap and quickly validate their market.  Enterprise Ireland has also facilitated the development of four seed funds, in partnership with the main Irish banks.  These four funds are on target to invest in 40 new businesses in 2011.  Together, they represent a significant increase in the availability of seed funding for Irish companies, with €124m now available for investment as against €30m in one fund in 2009. Enterprise Ireland is committed to continuing this drive to support entrepreneurial growth’.


Note:  There will be a photo call on the day and Fennell Photography will syndicate photographs. 

For further information contact:

Eileen Banks
Enterprise Ireland,
Press Officer

Eileen Banks
 01 7272805
087 2445814

Editors' Note: Background Information - 80 HPSUs in 2010

A 'high potential start up' is defined as a company which is:

  • Based on technological innovation 

  • Likely to achieve significant growth in 3 years (Sales of €1m per annum and employment of 10) 

  • Export oriented

  • Led by an experienced team, with a mixture of technical and commercial competencies

Sectoral breakdown of 2010 HPSUs:



Software and Services


Industrial and Lifesciences


Food & Consumer




Background of the 2010 HPSU Company Promoters:

*This table examines the previous role or recent background of the main      entrepreneur responsible for the HPSU’s formation.



Indigenous Business


Commercialisation of Third Level Research


Outside of Ireland /Returning Entrepreneur




Regional Distribution of HPSU Companies:


Number of Companies



Mid East














For more information, go to Class of 2010 High Potential Start Ups.