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Minister Damien English announces opening of €1m Enterprise Ireland Competitive Start Fund for applications

Today, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English, invited early-stage entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial teams to apply for Enterprise Ireland’s €1m Competitive Start Fund (CSF) which is now open for applications.

The competition is open to early-stage companies from all sectors with an eligible innovative product or service set for global markets. The fund will award up to €50,000 in equity funding for up to 20 successful applicants.

The CSF is part of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy for increasing the number of diverse High Potential Start-Up companies (HPSUs) that have the potential and ambition to succeed internationally. The fund is designed to help start-ups reach key commercial and technical milestones, including evaluating overseas market opportunities, building prototypes, developing market entry plans, and securing third party investment.

Closing date for applications is in three weeks’ time at 3pm on Tuesday, 8 March 2022.

Launching the CSF today, Damien English TD, Minister for Business, Employment and Retail said:“As Ireland emerges from the pandemic, it’s important that we continue to encourage entrepreneurial spirit and help our ambitious home-grown start-ups to develop and thrive. This €1m CSF will provide a vital funding boost for innovative export-focused Irish businesses and bolster their ability to compete globally. The fund aims to attract new entrepreneurs and drive the creation of new businesses which will result in job creation and prosperity across Ireland. I would encourage eligible early-stage start-ups to apply and make the most of this opportunity to turn their ideas into an international commercial reality.”

Manager of Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) Division, Jenny Melia added: “At Enterprise Ireland we are committed to increasing the levels of entrepreneurship and growing more Irish enterprises at scale. This €1m fund will assist the new generation of innovative Irish start-ups to grow further and realise their global ambition. Each successful applicant will receive up to €50,000 in funding as well as mentoring opportunities and advice from experts on Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up team.

“The drive to transition to a low-carbon economy and tackling the impact of climate change presents market opportunities for Irish enterprise and we particularly welcome applications from start-ups with innovative solutions to address these challenges and opportunities. Furthermore, increasing the number of women starting high-growth enterprises is an important objective in Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Action Plan for Women in Business’ and we also look forward to welcoming applications from women entrepreneurs at the start of their journeys to help improve gender balance in the business community".

Previous CSF winner, Raj Lyons Chohan, CEO and Co-founder of automotive tech start-up EV Energy said:“Securing the funding through the CSF was an important milestone for the development of our business. It provided us with the resources we needed to build the software behind our next generation automotive SaaS platform which seamlessly connects all key stakeholders involved in the purchase of an Electric Vehicle. Since receiving this support, big brands such as Peugeot Ireland have come on board, installing the software across their entire Irish dealer network. We’re looking forward to focusing our efforts on the company’s international expansion this year.”


Photography issued by Maxwell Photography


Notes to the editor:

A number of CSF application-support workshops will be held online by the national Business Innovation Centres (BICs) over the coming weeks.

The proposed application must be active in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors, including the following subsectors:

AgriTech, AR/VR, Cleantech, Compliance Tech, Construction Tech, Consumer Products, Cyber Security, EdTech, Fintech, Food & Drink, Gaming and Digital Entertainment, HR Talent Tech, Industrial Products, IOT / Smart Cities, Life Sciences, Manufacturing Tech, MarineTech, MedTech, PropTech, Retail Tech, Enterprise Technology, TravelTech, Green Technologies / Climate Change Solutions, Other.

This fund is particularly interested in receiving applications from start-ups with solutions to address challenges and opportunities regarding Climate Action with an emphasis on decarbonisation (i.e. supporting transition to low carbon) including but not exclusive to Renewables, Carbon capture technology, Innovations in buildings and transport applications and Sustainable materials.


About Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish State agency that works with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. Enterprise Ireland partners with entrepreneurs, Irish businesses, and the research and investment communities to develop Ireland’s international trade, innovation, leadership and competitiveness. In this way, we support sustainable economic growth and regional development, and help create and sustain employment in Ireland.

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