€1m Competitive Start Fund 2022 open for applications

The 2022 Competitive Start Fund will award up to €50,000 in equity funding for up to 20 successful applicants.

Early-stage companies from all sectors with innovative products or services primed for global markets are being encouraged to take part in Enterprise Ireland’s latest €1m Competitive Start Fund (CSF).

The CSF is part of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy for increasing the number of diverse High Potential Start-Up companies (HPSUs) that have the potential and ambition to succeed internationally.

“We also look forward to welcoming applications from women entrepreneurs at the start of their journeys to help improve gender balance in the business community”

The fund is designed to help start-ups reach key commercial and technical milestones, including evaluating overseas market opportunities, building prototypes, developing market entry plans, and securing third party investment.

Closing date for applications is in three weeks’ time at 3pm on Tuesday, 8 March 2022.

A number of CSF application-support workshops will be held on

line by the national Business Innovation Centres (BICs) over the coming weeks. Details of these workshops as well as the Competitive Start Fund application forms and eligibility criteria can be accessed on the Enterprise Ireland website at www.enterprise-ireland.com/csf

Building more Irish enterprises at scale

“At Enterprise Ireland we are committed to increasing the levels of entrepreneurship and growing more Irish enterprises at scale,” said Jenny Melia, manager of Enterprise Ireland’s HPSU division.

“This €1m fund will assist the new generation of innovative Irish start-ups to grow further and realise their global ambition. Each successful applicant will receive up to €50,000 in funding as well as mentoring opportunities and advice from experts on Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up team.”

Melia said that the drive to transition to a low-carbon economy and tackling the impact of climate change presents market opportunities for Irish enterprise and we particularly welcome applications from start-ups with innovative solutions to address these challenges and opportunities.

“Furthermore, increasing the number of women starting high-growth enterprises is an important objective in Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Action Plan for Women in Business’ and we also look forward to welcoming applications from women entrepreneurs at the start of their journeys to help improve gender balance in the business community.”

Launching the new CSF, Minister for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English, TD, said: “As Ireland emerges from the pandemic, it’s important that we continue to encourage entrepreneurial spirit and help our ambitious home-grown start-ups to develop and thrive. This €1m CSF will provide a vital funding boost for innovative export-focused Irish businesses and bolster their ability to compete globally.

“The fund aims to attract new entrepreneurs and drive the creation of new businesses which will result in job creation and prosperity across Ireland. I would encourage eligible early-stage start-ups to apply and make the most of this opportunity to turn their ideas into an international commercial reality.”

Previous CSF winner, Raj Lyons Chohan, CEO and co-founder of automotive tech start-up EV Energy said that securing the funding through the CSF was an important milestone for the development of the business.

“It provided us with the resources we needed to build the software behind our next generation automotive SaaS platform which seamlessly connects all key stakeholders involved in the purchase of an Electric Vehicle. Since receiving this support, big brands such as Peugeot Ireland have come on board, installing the software across their entire Irish dealer network. We’re looking forward to focusing our efforts on the company’s international expansion this year.”

Raj Lyons Chohan, CEO and co-founder of automotive tech start-up EV Energy with Enterprise Ireland HPSU manager Jenny Melia and Minister Damien English, TD.

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.

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