CSF Winner: Niall Mimnagh, Founder, Mimergy
Longford-based “Mimergy” are currently researching and developing a new, environmentally-friendly technology which converts waste rubber (waste tyres in particular) into high-value chemicals and fuels. A New Frontiers participant at Athlone Institute of Technology and previous Competitive Start Fund (CSF) winner, founder Niall Mimnagh recommends perseverance and listening to feedback to help make a strong CSF application.
We faced many challenges in our first year but the biggest challenge was the most obvious one - funding! We were very lucky to secure a place on New Frontiers - Enterprise Ireland’s Entrepreneur Development programme during that time. The programme not only helped us financially but also gave us the opportunity to meet with other early stage companies and develop a coherent business plan. The support of Longford LEO was also crucial at this early stage and I’d strongly advise anyone who is thinking about starting their own business to reach out to their local LEO.
Confidence and credibility
We applied for CSF as it seemed like a great opportunity to not only raise much needed funds to develop the business but also to gain access to a range of soft supports such as mentoring and coaching which would enable the business to scale and grow internationally. In addition, having Enterprise Ireland on board would give us confidence and credibility when going forward to approach other investors.
Boost to company profile
The CSF provided Mimergy with the capital required to complete our pilot machine. But perhaps more importantly, winning the CSF boosted our company profile and validated the business. Having Enterprise Ireland on board enabled us to approach major market players with confidence.
Top tips for your CSF application:
Perseverance is essential. It’s not unusual to apply numerous times before being successful. We won CSF funding on our third attempt!
Use the feedback sessions after each application as an opportunity to learn and improve. Don’t be afraid to ask questions at this point! Crucially, make sure to take any feedback received on board!
Also, I would recommend treating the video portion of the application as a completely separate process. What I mean by that is, when recording your video, assume that the viewer hasn’t seen your application form yet. The video should be a stand-alone piece that doesn’t rely on the text of the form to make sense.
Interested in applying for the Competitive Start Fund – Regional Entrepreneurship? Find out if you’re eligible and how to apply here