COMPETITIVE START FUND

The purpose of the Competitive Start Fund is to accelerate the growth of start-up companies that have the capability to succeed in global markets.  The fund is designed to enable those companies reach key commercial and technical milestones, for example:

  • Evaluate overseas market opportunities and reach firm conclusions regarding the viability of the proposed business.
  • Build a prototype.
  • Secure a reference site.
  • Develop a market entry plan for exploiting international opportunities.
  • Secure partnership deal or strategic alliance.
  • Identify suitable channels to international markets.
  • Secure third party investment e.g. business angel, Venture Capital.

ELIGIBILITY: You are eligible to apply if you are an existing or potential client of Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up Department. The Competitive Start Fund is open to:

  • Companies who are active in the ICT & Industrial sectors to include the following sub-sectors: Internet, Games, SaaS, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Telecoms, Lifesciences, Cleantech and Industrial Products.
  • Individuals who, prior to Enterprise Ireland’s investment, will register a company which will be active in these sectors.
  • In addition, applicants must fulfil all of the following criteria:
  • Must be a manufacturing or an internationally traded services business.
  • Must not have received equity funding of €100K or more prior to the competition closing date.
  • Must be pre-trading or recently commenced trading, i.e. has revenues less than €60k in the last full financial year.
  • Must be capable of creating 10 jobs in Ireland and realising sales of €1m within 3 to 4 years of starting up or, where a company is required to have FDA or CE approval, within three years of approval to sell.
  • Must not be involved in activities that fall within gambling or “gaming” as defined in the Gaming & Lotteries Act 1956.
  • Please note applicants must be eligible to live and work in Ireland.

FUNDING:

  • Applications are considered on a competitive basis.
  • The maximum support available is €50,000 for a 10% ordinary equity stake in the start-up company.
  • The investment shall be released in two equal tranches.
  • The first tranche will be released to successful applicants only when it provides confirmation of additional new cash investment for equity of €5,000.  This new investment in equity of €5,000 by the successful applicant is to occur post the relevant call close date. Capitalisation of existing director/related party loans will not qualify. The company must also meet the general terms and conditions of the scheme.
  • Successful applicants will additionally be appointed a mentor who will work with the company for up to 10 days.

The overall equity investment will be towards the costs associated with developing the business plan and making progress on key technical and commercial milestones. The following activities are expected to form the basis of expenditure;

  • Salaries
  • Travel
  • Consultancy Fees
  • Other Expenditure