Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar announced yesterday that Enterprise Ireland, the government agency responsible for the development and growth of Irish companies in global markets, invested more than €48 million in Irish start-ups in 2020 and supported a total of 125 new start-up companies. Investment was provided through Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) and Competitive Start Fund (CSF) programmes.
While the total number of start-ups supported last year almost matched 2019 figures (127 in 2019), the 2020 levels of investment in innovative High Potential Start-Ups was boosted by the Covid-19 Sustaining Enterprise Fund and an increase in follow-on investments to help HPSUs scale internationally. The investment of more than €48 million is the highest level of funding that Enterprise Ireland has awarded to early stage companies. Key sectors that Enterprise Ireland invested in in 2020 included fintech, cybersecurity, digital health and agri-tech, with half of the start-ups based outside Dublin.
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar said, "I have nothing but admiration for the many entrepreneurs across the country who have been brave enough to start up new businesses during the pandemic. It’s been an incredibly difficult year. I have seen countless examples all across the country of business owners overcoming adversity and demonstrating the kind of ingenuity, adaptability and resilience that entrepreneurs are known for."
Executive Director of Enterprise Ireland, Kevin Sherry added, "A strong start-up economy is absolutely vital to the future of Ireland and scaling and growing the export and start-up base is one of Enterprise Ireland’s strategic prioities. In what has been an incredibly challenging time for all businesses, it is really important to recognise 125 of Ireland’s most exciting new start-up companies with ambitious growth plans. Start-ups are a powerful driver of economic growth, new talent and innovation."