Two New Competitive Start Funds From EI

10 Sep 2021 | 11.57 am

Two New Competitive Start Funds From EI

Focus on women entrepreneurs and climate change

10 Sep 2021 | 11.57 am

Up to €50,000 in equity investment is available from Enterprise Ireland to successful applicants to its latest Competitive Start Funds, which close on Tuesday 28 September.

Early stage entrepreneurs can apply for either the ‘All Sectors’ fund or the ‘Women Entrepreneurs’ fund, which are offering combined total of €2m. The grants are aimed at helping startups to reach key commercial and technical milestones.

A number of CSF application support workshops will be held online by the national Business Innovation Centres over the coming weeks. Details of these, as well as Competitive Start Fund application forms and eligibility criteria for both competitions are available on the Enterprise Ireland website here.

HPSU manager Jenny Melia (pictured) said: “Enterprise Ireland is looking forward to working with a new generation of export-led startups that need a funding boost for innovative entrepreneurial endeavours in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors. With up to €50,000 in funding available, successful applicants can also benefit from mentoring opportunities and advice from experts on our High Potential StartUp team.

“We look forward to providing up to €1m in funding specifically to women entrepreneurs at the start of their journeys to help improve gender balance in the business community.

“In addition, the drive to transition to a low carbon economy and tackling the impact of climate change presents market opportunities for innovative solutions, and applications are also welcome from eligible enterprises within this category.”

Katie Farrell, co-founder of loyalty card app company Squid, commented: “It was brilliant to be backed by Enterprise Ireland at such an early stage of our startup journey, particularly as a first-time founder. With the CSF funding we were able to launch the Squid app with our first paying customers and hire our first two full-time employees. We got access to great mentors, supports and programmes.

“By working towards the milestones we defined at the start, we became a HPSU and the agency co-funded our seed round of €450,000 last year. We are now working with over 600 businesses and have 60,000 app users across Ireland and the UK, less than two years since launch.”

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