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.
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, will register a company which will be active in these sectors.
- Individuals who, prior to Enterprise Ireland's investment, will have a headquarters registered and be based in Ireland. All intellectual property and assets must reside in the Irish entity.
In addition, applicants must fulfil all of the following criteria:
- The start-up must be based outside County Dublin;
Must be a manufacturing or an internationally traded services business;
- Must not have received equity funding of more than €100K prior to the competition closing date i.e, 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 annual revenues in excess of €60k in the current financial year to date or in any previous financial year;
- Must be less than five years old from date of registration;
- Must be capable of creating 10 jobs in Ireland and realising sales of €1m within 3 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 or be involved in "adult entertainment", tobacco or military sectors;
- Applicants must be eligible to live and work in Ireland or be legally working here or attending, or have recently attended, a start up accelerator programme in Ireland. If you are successful and your current visa status does not allow you to run a business in Ireland you must regularise your visa situation before receiving an investment.
What is the maximum funding available and what costs are eligible?
- 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 sessions.
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;
- Consultancy Fees
- Other Expenditure
For more info, please visit the Enterprise Ireland Website