Competitive Start Fund 2018

New €750,000 Competitive Start Fund now open


Enterprise Ireland’s first Competitive Start Fund (CSF) of 2018 is now open and Local Enterprise Offices are encouraging local start-up companies to apply.


The €750,000 fund will provide up to €50,000 in equity funding for up to 15 successful applicants. The fund closes to applications at 3pm on Tuesday, 6th February 2018.

 Competitve start Fund Launch 2018 Min Humphries

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, including evaluating overseas market opportunities, building prototypes, developing market entry plans and securing third party investment.


Applications from individuals, early stage companies or prospective businesses active in the manufacturing & internationally traded services sectors, particularly within ICT, are invited. The following subsectors are included: Internet, Games, Apps, Mobile, SaaS, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Lifesciences, Cleantech and Industrial Products. 

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said: “I’m delighted to see that the rates of early stage entrepreneurship in Ireland have returned to pre-recession levels, but in order to grow our levels of start-up activity, supports like Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund are vital. 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, Tom Early, Department Manager, HPSU Start, Enterprise Ireland, said: “A key priority for Enterprise Ireland is to help Irish entrepreneurs and companies with global ambition to start and grow their businesses internationally. This All Sector CSF, with a particular focus on the ICT sector, is the first of eight start-up funds planned for 2018 and provides a kick-start for innovative early stage companies to get off the ground while receiving a critical funding boost of up to €50,000.”

Sheelagh Daly, Chair of Network of Local Enterprise Offices is encouraging eligible new start-ups from all over the country to apply before the fund closes at 3pm on Tuesday, 6th February 2018. She said: “Investments of up to €50,000 are available so if you’re an early stage company with potential to grow internationally, the Competitive Start Fund could unlock new markets for your business.”

Full details on the All Sectors Competitive Start Fund, including the application form and eligibility criteria, can be accessed through