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Enterprise Ireland launches a competitive investment fund for overseas entrepreneurs

Pictured (l-r) are: Kevin Sherry, Divisional Manager High Potential Start Ups, Enterprise Ireland Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash T.D., Bill Liao (Chair of Judging panel) SOS Ventures and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton T.D.

This week saw the announcement of a new €500,000 Competitive Start Fund aimed at encouraging entrepreneurs outside Ireland to locate their start-up businesses here. The Fund which provide up to €50,000 in equity support for 10 successful applicants to start their own businesses in internationally focused manufacturing or internationally traded services.

The new Fund is part of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy for increasing the number and quality of High Potential Start-Up Companies (HPSUs) that have the potential to employ more than 10 persons and achieve €1 million in export sales within 3 years. Targeting start-ups and early stage companies that have the capability to succeed in global markets, the objective is to attract international entrepreneurs and members of the Irish diaspora to start, scale and succeed from Ireland, ultimately creating jobs in Ireland.

Applications are welcome from individuals and early-stage companies of all nationalities. All applicants must undertake to register as an Irish company prior to Enterprise Ireland investment. The majority of the management team/promoters must also undertake to be based in Ireland for at least one year post investment. Full details on the eligibility criteria is available on the Enterprise Ireland website:

The new Competitive Start Fund will coincide with the Startup Gathering. A major initiative of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, Startup Gathering 2015 is a national week of events taking place across Ireland from the 5th to 10th October, which sets out to champion startups in Ireland and raise the profile of Ireland's startup sector to international entrepreneurs.

Making the announcement Minister Bruton said: “As I have repeatedly said, we have great entrepreneurs and start-up businesses in Ireland - we just don’t have enough of them. That is why we are specifically targeting international talent as part of our Action Plan for Jobs. As well as attracting international entrepreneurs to Ireland, this fund will also help attract back those talented Irish graduates who have gained international experience and who would now like to return to Ireland to start a business. This initiative will make a real contribution to creating more new businesses and jobs in Ireland”.

Applications for the Fund will be made online and the 20 best applicants will be invited to Ireland to pitch competitively for the 10 available investments. The evaluation of projects is timed to coincide with the Startup Gathering 2015 taking place from 5th-10th October planned to be one of the world’s biggest national start-up events. Funding up to a maximum of €1,000 will be paid to the 20 finalists to enable them travel to Ireland and experience the Startup Gathering which has events planned across 5 days, 5 cities and 5 industries, promoting entrepreneurship, innovation and Ireland’s start-up ecosystem.

The website for online applications will open on Wednesday 26th August and close on Wednesday 9th September 2015

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