Competitive Feasibility Fund - Midlands and Mid-East Region

Please note: This call closed at 3pm on Monday 25th January 2016.

Overview

The objective of the Competitive Feasibility Fund for the Midlands and Mid-East Region is to assist new start-up entrepreneurs or early stage companies to investigate the viability of new growth orientated business propositions which have the potential to become a high potential start-up company in counties Laois, Longford, Offaly, Westmeath, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow.  These are companies that can develop scalable innovative technologies, products or services for sale on world markets.  We are seeking, through a Feasibility Grant, to support projects that are likely to achieve significant growth within three to four years (sales of €1m+ per annum and employment of 10 or more) or, where a company is required to have FDA or CE approval, to have €1m+ in sales within three years of approval to sell.

The purpose of the Feasibility Grant is to enable the Applicant, and Enterprise Ireland, to reach firm conclusions regarding the project's viability and set out an investor ready business plan and financials associated with developing and commercialising the product or service on international markets.

The Fund is open to individuals, early-stage companies or prospective businesses involved in manufacturing and internationally traded services, including sectors such as Internet, Games, Apps, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Lifesciences, Food, Beverages, Consumer Products, Industrial Products, Engineering, Medical Devices and e-Health.

 

Maximum Funding

The total fund size is up to €200,000.

The maximum grant available is €25,000.  The grant is calculated at a maximum of 50% of eligible expenditure of up to €50,000 incurred by the successful Applicant. 

Eligible applications for funding will be considered on a competitive basis.  Enterprise Ireland will assess eligibility of the activities proposed in the study and associated costs. The amount of support will be recommended by the Evaluation Panel following the Final Assessment.

 

Eligibility

The Applicant must have a business start-up that has the potential to create jobs and generate export growth.  The new business must:                     

  • submit their application no later than 3pm on Monday 25th January 2016;
  • be located in the Midlands and Mid-East Region comprising counties Laois, Longford, Offaly, Westmeath, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow;
  • if  a company, be incorporated for less than 3 years on Monday 25th January 2016;
  • be a manufacturing or an internationally traded services business start-up;*
  • not be involved in activities that fall within gambling or "gaming" as defined in the Gaming & Lotteries Act 1956;
  • if a company, not directly or indirectly, by way of funding or shareholding, be covered by Articles 1 and 2 of the European Council decision, (2014/145/CFSP) of 17 March 2014, and subsequent Regulations (960/2014, 1290/2014 and 833/2014) concerning restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. 

*Projects focused solely on the domestic market may not be considered to have significant growth potential. 

 

Ineligible Applicants

The fund is not open to the following:

  • projects focused solely on the domestic market;
  • individuals or start-up companies that have previously been approved financial support from Enterprise Ireland (including Feasibility Grants, New Frontiers stipend, CORD Grant, Competitive Start Fund or Equity Investment) in the past 2 years;
  • Applicants who were approved any other State or EU funding for the project for which they are seeking feasibility funding;
  • Applicants who have already reached their de minimis aid limit. 

 

Eligible Activities

Successful applicants will be awarded Feasibility funding to support a maximum of 50% of the study costs. Typical elements involved in carrying out a Feasibility Study include:

  • Market research;
  • Customer research;
  • Cost analysis;
  • Financial projections;
  • Manufacturing process assessment;
  • Plant evaluation and selection;
  • Raw material sourcing;
  • Prototyping;
  • Negotiating with potential joint venture partners or obtaining a manufacturing licence may also be included.

 

Eligible Costs

Eligible costs include:

  • Salary costs of the applicant/employees of the applicant;
  • Foreign travel and subsistence costs related to the project;
  • Fees of external consultants;
  • Costs of building and/or testing a prototype;
  • Costs of exhibiting at or visiting one overseas trade fair.

Full details on eligible expenditures and limits are outlined in the Reference Document .

Any Expenditure incurred prior to 3pm on Monday 25th January 2016 is not eligible for support.

 

Assessment Criteria and Evaluation Process

The process for selection of successful Applicants will involve two stages:

Stage 1: Shortlisting of Applications

An Evaluation Panel will carry out a paper-based evaluation of all eligible applications using the following criteria:

EVALUATION CRITERIAWEIGHTING
Applicant(s)/Team Profile: Track record and sector, market knowledge40%
Business Proposition: Customer demand and the long-term potential of the business to achieve sustainable growth (i.e. achieving sales of €1m+ per annum with strong early export potential and employment of 10 or more within three years)30%
Innovation level of proposed product/service30%
Total100%

 

Stage 2: Presentations

The highest ranking applications, up to a maximum of 20, will be invited to make a 4 minute presentation to an Evaluation Panel comprising industry experts and representatives of Enterprise Ireland. 

The presentation will take place at the offices of Enterprise Ireland, Auburn Drive, Athlone on Tuesday 23rd February 2016.

Applicants must be available to attend on this day. Invitations will be issued to the relevant applicants at least one week before the presentation.

The Evaluation Panel will score each Applicant based on the following equally weighted criteria:

  • What is it about the Applicant / management team that makes you capable of executing on this Feasibility Study?
  • What specific need does the product / service address?
  • Why would someone be "compelled" to purchase the product/service? 
  • How innovative is the product/service?

A recommendation is then made to Enterprise Ireland’s approving committee based on the results of the Evaluation Process and allocation of funding.

 

How Do I Apply?

Please note: This call closed at 3pm on Monday 25th January 2016.

 

Call Close Date

The closing date/time for this Fund is 3pm on Monday 25th January 2016. Completed application forms must be submitted on or before this date/time.

Late applications will not be considered.

 

Contact Details/More Information

Full details about the Competitive Feasibility Fund for the Midlands and Mid-East Region are available in the Reference Document .

For details about the fund, please contact:  

Mark Atterbury
Enterprise Ireland Eastern and Midlands Regional Office
Auburn Drive
Athlone
Co. Westmeath

+353 90 6487100

Mark Atterbury