Enterprise Ireland invested €24m in start-ups in 2023

In all some 156 start-ups were supported by Enterprise Ireland in 2023.

Irish State agency Enterprise Ireland invested €24m in Irish start-ups during 2023.

The figures were issued ahead of the Enterprise Ireland Start-Up Day today (14 May) in Dublin Castle which brings together the ‘Class of 2023’ Start-Up companies and the wider Start-Up ecosystem including investors, state agencies and start-up accelerators.

“The ambition and capability of Ireland’s start-ups has never been higher than it is today”

The event will be attended by 600 delegates.

For the first time, Enterprise Ireland’s Start-Up Day includes a ‘big ideas’ pitch element where the top 10 potential spin-outs borne out of Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation Funded Research in Irish third level institutions will take to the stage to pitch their innovations.

The winning pitch will go on to represent Ireland at the Pegasus Start-Up World Cup in San Francisco later in the year.

Calibre of Irish start-up talent

“The ambition and capability of Ireland’s start-ups has never been higher than it is today,” said Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland. The evidence is clear in the calibre of talent and innovation demonstrated by the 85 high potential start-ups and 71 early-stage businesses from across the country, which we celebrate here at Start-Up Day 2024.

“Supported by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, we have three main pathways to assist start-ups: the High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) programme, Feasibility Grant support, and Pre-Seed Start Funding. We will continue to help drive the success of the most forward-thinking Irish companies, enabling start-ups to thrive and influence the future of global business – cementing Ireland’s reputation as a prime hub for international trade.”

Start-ups supported by Enterprise Ireland in 2023 include:

  • 85 High Potential Start-Up’s (HPSU) with high growth potential 
  • 71 Pre-Seed Start Fund (PSSF) investments which inject critical early-stage funding into new businesses
  • 55% of the companies supported were outside Dublin
  • 45 women-led start-up companies were approved investment
  • 12 HPSUs emerged from academic research
  • 26 companies were spun out of third level institutions, 16 of which were supported through the Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund Programme

“2023 was a strong year for Ireland’s start-up economy with extraordinary resilience and business ambition displayed from Irish-founded start-up teams,” said Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Dara Calleary,TD, who opened the event.

“This is reflected in each and every one of the 156 start-ups represented today. I welcome in particular the very strong pipeline of 71 businesses coming through the recently established Pre-Seed Start Fund. This is one of a series of specific targeted initiatives which my Department through Enterprise Ireland is taking as part of its strategic ambition to encourage and support an increased number of new high growth start-up companies in Ireland. 

“Ireland’s open economy is built on resilient, internationally focused and productive Irish enterprises.  This is vital to the future growth of the Irish economy, supporting livelihoods and contributing to prosperity throughout the country and I wish all the start-ups and entrepreneurs here today every success for the future.”

To access a copy of the Irish Start-up Day Directory 2023:

Irish Start-up Day Directory 2024
  • Bank of Ireland is welcoming new customers every day – funding investments, working capital and expansions across multiple sectors. To learn more, click here

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