Competitive Start Fund For Graduates, Call Now Open


Open from 10th -24th July!

Marine & Agritech-

This call for applications focuses on the Marine & Agtech Sectors and is open to applications active in these sectors including the following sub sectors:

  • Marine Sector: boat and infrastructure building, marine renewable energy, bio-pharma opportunities, sensors and IOT applications, financial services associated with the sector, components, composite repair, parts manufacture, marine services, other engineering and technical activities.
  • Agtech Sector: Individual technologies or a combination of technologies related to farm equipment, weather, seed optimization, fertilizer and crop inputs, irrigation, remote sensing (including drones), farm management, and agricultural big data.


What is the maximum funding available?

The selected companies will receive a maximum investment of €50,000 for a 10% ordinary equity stake in the start-up company. The investment shall be released in two equal tranches. The Company will be required to secure additional equity investment of €5,000, from promoters or external investees, prior to the release of EI’s first tranche.


What is the call close date? This call for applications will close on Tuesday 24th July at 3pm.

How do companies apply? Applications must be made through the Enterprise Ireland online application system.

For more information:

Log on to: Ring the dedicated Help Line: 01 727 2202

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

Am I eligible?

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 required sector for the call they are applying for.
  • Individuals who, prior to Enterprise Ireland's investment completing, will register a company which will be active in these sectors.
  • Individuals who, prior to Enterprise Ireland's investment completing, will have a headquarters registered and be based in Ireland. All intellectual property and assets must reside in the Irish entity. The majority management must be based in Ireland for a minimum of one year.

In addition, applicants must fulfil all of the following criteria:

  • Must be an early stage company active in Marine or Agtech Sector;
  • Must be a manufacturing or an eligible traded services business (the eligible services as listed in the Service Industries Order 2010);
  • Must not have received equity funding of more than €100K prior to the competition closing date. Equity includes Ordinary shares, Convertible Preference Shares, Convertible Loan Notes and Directors Loans. Sweat equity does not apply;
  • Must be pre-trading or recently commenced trading, i.e. does not have revenues in excess of €60k in the current financial year to date or in any previous financial year;
  • If a company, it must be less than three years old (from date of registration);
  • Must be capable of creating 10 jobs in Ireland and realising sales of €1m within 3 years. [If a company is required to have FDA or CE approval, these targets must be achievable within three years of approval to sell];
  • Must not be engaged in gambling, "adult entertainment", tobacco or military sectors;
  • Applicants must be eligible to live and work in Ireland. If their current visa status does not allow them to run a business in Ireland they must regularise their visa situation before receiving an investment. (Enterprise Ireland has a help-desk to advise non EU applicants on the relevant rules);
  • Must meet SME definition as defined by EU legislation.

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