1,600 New Jobs to be created in High Potential Start-ups backed by Enterprise Ireland in 2012 – Minister Perry

6th March 2013

97 High Potential Start-Ups supported by Enterprise Ireland in 2012 to generate €300m of sales within 3 years

The Minister for Small Business John Perry T.D., today [Wednesday 6 March 2013] opened the Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start Ups Showcase, featuring the 97 new start-up companies supported by Government through Enterprise Ireland in 2012.  Together these companies aim to employ over 1,600 new staff and to generate over €300m in annual sales. 

These companies come from a wide range of sectors including key areas that the Government has targeted for growth, including financial services, ICT, games, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

The Showcase also features the 60 early stage entrepreneurs who have been supported by the Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund and representatives from the 2012 New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme.   

Today’s end of year figures come following the mid-year announcement  made by Minister Bruton last year outlining the performance of the High Potential Start-Up Programme during the first half of 2012. 

Speaking at the event, Minister Perry said:  ‘The Government’s Action Plan for Jobs places innovative entrepreneurs and businesses right at the heart of the drive to accelerate jobs growth and economic prosperity.  Ambitious, export-focussed projects like those featured today and supported by Enterprise Ireland, are central to this, and will play a critical part in achieving the levels of growth and employment that we need.

‘During the last two years, this Government has delivered a series of measures aimed at putting the best supports in place and creating the right business environment so that indigenous companies can grow their businesses and succeed in export markets.  Our priority is to ensure that more high-growth businesses can set up, expand and turn into large employers.  The establishment of close to 100 new high potential start-up companies in 2012 with support from Enterprise Ireland represents a very significant achievement.  These companies make a very considerable contribution to the economy and under the Action Plan for Jobs we are determined that young innovative companies like these are supported to increase their impact on export growth and job creation’.  

Greg Treston, Enterprise Ireland Head of High Potential Start-ups and Scaling added: ‘The Action Plan for Jobs gives a clear mandate to Enterprise Ireland to drive entrepreneurship and new business start-ups.  In direct response to the demands of entrepreneurs and client companies, Enterprise Ireland has continued to introduce new initiatives to provide the right support at the right time, at all stages along the start-up journey.   From initial steps, developing the idea, testing the market, and on to raising HPSU funding, our focus is on helping young start ups to scale and grow the business, increase exports and create jobs.  A key priority for us is to see more young and innovative people starting businesses and the New Frontiers Programme and Competitive Start Funds are there particularly to help these young first-time entrepreneurs’.   


For further information, please contact:

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Press Office,
Kildare Street,
Dublin 2

01 6312200



Eileen Banks

Enterprise Ireland,
Press Officer

01 7272805

087 2445814

Eileen Banks

Background Information


A 'high potential start up' is defined as a company that 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.

Highlights from the 2012 results include the consumer web and games sector which has seen a dramatic jump in the number of new projects being funded including some international teams relocating to Dublin.  There has also been a tremendous response from female entrepreneurs to the Enterprise Ireland female specific initiatives introduced in 2012. 

There was also an excellent result from Enterprise Ireland-supported third-level research commercialisation with a big increase in the number of High Potential Start-ups emerging as spin-outs from Irish Universities and Institutes of Technology – 14 this year, up 50% on last year. 

Sectoral breakdown of 2012 HPSUs:

Software and Services 6466%
Engineering, Industrial, Life Sciences & Cleantech21%
Construction, Print and Packaging, Food and Retail Consumer Products13%

Regional Distribution of HPSU Companies:

RegionNumber of Companies
Mid East7