Enterprise Ireland has announced a new Competitive Start Fund (CSF) totalling up to €500,000 to support start-ups in the marine technology and agritech sectors. The fund was launched by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, TD, at the recent Our Ocean Wealth Summit, at Seafest 2018 in Galway.

The Fund will provide up to €50,000 in equity funding for each successful applicant and will open for submissions on Tuesday, 10th July and will close on Tuesday, 24th July.

The Competitive Start Fund provides entrepreneurs and start-ups with the critical early-stage funding to test the market for their products and services and progress their business plans for the global marketplace. The fund is designed to enable those companies to progress key technical and commercial milestones.

Enterprise Ireland is looking to attract early-stage projects that ideally are able to demonstrate that:
• the product or service has reached minimum viable product stage, at a minimum, live in beta;
• the product or service has demonstratable customer validation with (trial and/or paying) customers;
• there is a fully articulated proposition addressing a clear gap in the market with market research conducted with customers / potential customers;
• suitable channels to international markets have been identified.

Minister Michael Creed (pictured right) commented: “I am delighted to launch the Competitive Start Fund for marine technologies and agritech. Ireland boasts a diverse and highly-skilled community of entrepreneurs and these sectors in particular are very progressive. Irelands’ marine and agriculture industries are at the core of the Irish economy. Start-ups in these sectors have the capacity and commitment to contribute to global developments and make positive impacts on a global scale.”

This CSF is part of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy for increasing the number and quality of High Potential Start-Up Companies (HPSUs) that have the potential to employ more than 10 persons and achieve €1 million in export sales within three years.

Commenting on the announcement, Joe Healy (pictured left), Divisional Manager, HPSU, Enterprise Ireland, said: “The Competitive Start Fund for marine technologies and agritech focusses on very specific and highly-skilled entrepreneurs who have immersed themselves in small, but fundamental industries to Ireland’s national and regional economies. While the fund provides a much wider business development support platform, it does also provide a vital injection of funding totaling up to €500,000 to help launch these young and innovative companies with global ambition and bring business ideas to an international market.”

Full details on the Competitive Start Fund, including the application form can be accessed on the Enterprise Ireland website at www.enterprise-ireland.com/CSFMarineAgritech