Ireland Launches International Start-Up Fund

By ExpatBriefing.com Editorial 02 November, 2011

The Irish government has launched a EUR10m (USD13.69m) International Start-Up Fund, aimed at encouraging overseas entrepreneurs to locate start-up businesses in Ireland.

Unveiled by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, the fund will be open to company promoters anywhere in the world, but will be targeted particularly at the Irish diaspora, international expatriates, the “New Diaspora” (people from overseas who have previously worked or studied in Ireland), as well as serial and mobile entrepreneurs. It is to be administered by Enterprise Ireland, and, to support its overseas marketing, a number of high profile successful Irish entrepreneurs will be appointed to act as International Start Up Ambassadors.

Key geographical targets will include North America, the UK, Europe and Australia. Target sectors include Internet, Games, Cloud Computing, Medtech and Financial Services. It will focus on investor-ready projects seeking between EUR200,000 (USD273,000) and EUR500,000 and offer funding in the form of an equity stake taken by the State in the company.

In promoting the Fund, Bruton's department said that Ireland offers a start-up friendly, low bureaucracy, and low tax environment that is supportive of entrepreneurs. Its membership of the European Union also means that Ireland is used as a base for access to the European market, and the country is already home to world class companies and research centres in sectors such as ICT, life-sciences and financial services.

Announcing the fund, Bruton said: “This government’s ambition is not only to turn the country around and get employment growing again, but to once again create a dynamic economy that is the envy of the world and has over two million people at work. This will not be easy, but one key strand of our new industrial strategy will be to create a genuine indigenous engine of growth. As I have said before, our ambition must not only be to attract the next Google or Microsoft to Ireland, but we must also seek to grow the next Google or Microsoft in Ireland. Indigenous companies provide proportionally more than three times more benefit to the Irish economy than multinational companies."

“Today’s announcement is a direct intervention by government to create more start-up companies here. Across the world, many of the start-up companies which go on to succeed and create jobs are driven by people within a small class of mobile, innovative, serial entrepreneurs. What the Irish government is saying very clearly today to the international technology community gathered in Dublin is – come and start your company in Ireland, we are open for business, and we will support you. There is no reason why Ireland should not be a global centre for international start-ups. We already have a growing number of mobile start-ups locating here, and with strong government supports, a business-friendly environment, a deep pool of skills as well as all the benefits that come with a base of multinational companies that is the envy of the world”, Bruton concluded.

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