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Minister Humphreys and Enterprise Ireland announce €750,000 Competitive Start Fund for start-ups in all sectors

Minister Humphreys and Enterprise Ireland today announced the 2019 Competitive Start Fund (CSF) which will open to all sectors for applications on Tuesday 29th January

The €750,000 fund will provide up to €50,000 in equity funding for up to 15 successful entrepreneurs and start-ups. The fund closes to applications at 3pm on Tuesday, 12th February 2019.

The Competitive Start Fund provides entrepreneurs and start-ups with the critical early-stage funding to test the market for their products and services and progress their business plans for the global marketplace. The fund is designed to enable those companies to progress key technical and commercial milestones.

Enterprise Ireland is looking to attract early-stage projects that can demonstrate that:

• the product or service has reached minimum viable product stage, at a minimum, live in beta;
• the product or service has demonstratable customer validation with (trial and/or paying) customers;
• there is a fully articulated proposition addressing a clear gap in the market with market research conducted with customers / potential customers;
• suitable channels to international markets have been identified.

The All Sector CSF is part of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy for increasing the number and quality of High Potential Start-Up (HPSUs) companies that have the potential to employ more than 10 people and achieve €1 million in export sales within three years.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said: “In Ireland, we have cultivated an environment for entrepreneurs where they can turn innovative ideas into a business reality. Targeted initiatives such as the Competitive Start Fund are vital supports for early-stage start-ups and the fund is an integral element of my department’s support for entrepreneurs through Enterprise Ireland. As well as crucial funding, the CSF provides valuable business support and networking opportunities to innovative entrepreneurs and companies at the start of their journey.”

Commenting on the announcement, Joe Healy, Divisional Manager, HPSU, Enterprise Ireland, said: “A fundamental aspect of Enterprise Ireland’s support for indigenous businesses is the support for our robust start-up ecosystem, both financially and in terms of mentoring. The CSF provides critical, initial funding for early-stage start-ups with the potential to take their product to international markets. This All Sector CSF will provide a kick-start for up to 15 companies who have an idea, have a plan, have a team, but don’t have the resources to go to market. A funding boost of up to €50,000 in addition to mentoring opportunities and access to networks will help these companies get off the ground.”

In addition to written online applications, companies will be asked to prepare an online video pitch. Full details on the All Sectors Competitive Start Fund, including the application form and eligibility criteria, can be accessed on the Enterprise Ireland website:


For further information please contact:

Aoife Kelly, Press & Media Relations, Enterprise Ireland. T: 01-727 2344 / 087 410 1818

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.