Competitive Start Fund (CSF)

The purpose of the Competitive Start Fund is to accelerate the growth of start-up companies that have the capacity and ambition to succeed in global markets. The fund is designed to enable those companies to reach key technical and commercial milestones. Applications are considered on a competitive basis. Funding is provided to companies who rank highest in a two-phase evaluation process. The maximum level of support per successful application is €50,000, for 10% in ordinary shares in the start-up company, to be released in 2 equal tranches of €25k (5% in ordinary shares for each tranche).

Applicants to the fund should ideally be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Be able to clearly demonstrate that product or service has reached Minimal Viable Product (MVP) stage, and that the product is, at a minimum, live in beta.
  • That the product or service has demonstrable customer validation ideally with (trial and/or paying) customers.
  • A fully articulated proposition addressing a clear gap in the market with market research conducted with customers/potential customers.
  • Evidence of innovation, export potential and employment capacity. Clear export market opportunity for the proposed product or service. Clear knowledge of the competitive landscape.
  • Clear execution plan outlined, identifying suitable channels to international markets.

Assessments are undertaken on the applications submitted, it is important to note that the greater the progress the applicant has undertaken towards generating sustainable revenues the stronger the application. Applicants proposal should be beyond an idea or concept stage at the time of application for the competitive start fund.

All applications to the Competitive Start Fund must be made via the Enterprise Ireland online application system during call open dates.

If you need any clarification on the eligibility requirements contact:


Upcoming Calls for Applications in 2022

Call No.DetailsCall OpenCall Close
CSF 70CSF All Sectors To be confirmedTo be confirmed


Application Support Workshops

Application Support Workshops will be held online by Business Innovation Centres (BIC) nationwide. Workshops are held via Zoom and are free to attend. Spaces are limited, workshops are interactive and participation is welcomed from entrepreneurs and early stage companies. Workshops are also open to internationally based entrepreneurs looking to start a business in Ireland.

Prior registration is required.  Workshops take place prior to the CSF call close date. Dates for workshops nationwide will be outlined below when the call open and call close dates are available.

South East BICTBC

Your Local Business Innovation Centre (BIC) in addition to application support workshops can offer assistance with preparing your CSF application.

Contact your Local BIC for more information:


Key contact/more information

For more information on the Competitive Start Fund, please contact:

+353 1 727 2202 (9am - 5pm)

We are operating remotely, ideally send an email to or alternatively leave a message and we will return your call.

If you are not a client of Enterprise Ireland and want to learn more about qualifying and applying for Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up supports, go to our Start a Business Section