A new €90m fund for Irish start-ups was launched this week at Trinity College Dublin’s Tangent Ideas Workspace for student entrepreneurs. Investment will be targeted and prioritised in areas such as regional development, climate change and female entrepreneurship. It will focus on sectors that have experienced difficulty in attracting early stage investment including:
Healthcare & Pharma
Technology & Digitalisation
Food & Agri-Tech
Sustainability & Climate Change
By investing in several underlying venture funds, the Irish Innovation Seed Fund Programme aims to provide vital capital to innovative Irish companies at the crucial seed stage. The Irish Innovation Seed Fund Programme brings together three experienced partners in SME funding, each allocating up to €30 million - the European Investment Fund, Enterprise Ireland and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund participating as a co-investor.
The fund programme, totalling €90 million, will be made up of a €30 million contribution from the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment, whilst the European Investment Fund will match this investment by providing a further €30 million. The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund will seek to co-invest with a further €30 million on selected investments.
Launching the Programme on Wednesday, An Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar said, "This is about backing Irish entrepreneurs and their ideas at an early stage, giving them a much-needed boost from the beginning. We’re looking for companies working in a number of areas we’ve identified as strategic opportunities for Ireland but have traditionally struggled in attracting early-stage investment, including Lifesciences, Healthcare and Pharma and those working to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels."
Vice President at the European Investment Bank, Christian Kettel Thomsen added, "The new fund will allow entrepreneurial Irish companies in the life-science, digital technologies, fintech and environmental sectors to harness new opportunities and compete globally. This exciting new initiative brings together Irish and European equity and venture capital expertise and financial strengths that will accelerate innovation across Ireland."