The first product in development by Irish engineering company Dare Technology is a portable wind turbine for ships, providing renewable electricity for ships while stationary. Darren Hayes applied for the Graduate Entrepreneurship Competitive Start Fund (CSF) as a starting point and discovered that even the application process itself was beneficial.

1st March, 2017

Darren Hayes
Darren Hayes, Dare Technology

Dare Technology specialises in the development of renewable energy technology. We founded the business in Jan 2015, and our first year in business was full of new challenges – many difficult but all exciting!

The hardest to overcome was the initial lack of access to the funding we required to even get started. This has the effect of slowing us down but really made us think about everything we were doing, and focus on our priorities.


The application process

We applied for the CSF as it seemed like a perfect start point - first to get connected with Enterprise Ireland and secondly to get the funding. The application process was well structured, and was beneficial - even if we hadn’t been successful. It helped us to tighten up on our business plan, understand our weaknesses and areas of exposure, and forced us to address them head on.

Getting the CSF was the real launch of the business, it allowed me to leave my job and to work for DARE full time while designing and building the first prototype.


The right team

The advice I have for anyone applying for CSF is to make sure you have a realistic plan, and the right people around you to deliver it. Assembling the right team around you is one of the most important decisions you must make.

Running a business is challenging but it’s been an excellent opportunity to learn and develop. It also enables me to work in an area I am deeply passionate about and is incredibly rewarding to see our ideas come to life.