Innovative start-ups in Mayo encouraged to apply for vital funding for growth

Enterprise Ireland has launched its final Competitive Start Fund (CSF ) of 2018. The competition is worth up to €750,000 in funding for start-ups and will open for applications on Tuesday September 18 and close on Tuesday October 2.

The fund will provide up to €50,000 in equity funding for up to 15 successful applicants and is open to innovative start-ups in all sectors, with a focus on manufacturing, life-sciences and renewables sectors.

The competitive start fund provides entrepreneurs and start-ups with 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.

At the launch of the CSF, Barry Egan, Regional Director – West, Enterprise Ireland stated: "This is the eighth and final CSF funding round of this year, and the final opportunity for Mayo-based start-ups to apply.

"Enterprise Ireland supports innovation in Irish companies, from start-ups to established businesses, to scale in international markets and achieve their global ambition. The CSF provides an initial critical fuel injection to help launch early-stage start-ups and bring innovative business ideas to an international market."

Enterprise Ireland is looking to attract early-stage projects that ideally can demonstrate that: (1 ) The product or service has reached minimum viable product stage, at a minimum, live in beta; (2 ) The product or service has demonstratable customer validation with (trial and/or paying ) customers; (3 ) There is a fully articulated proposition addressing a clear gap in the market with market research conducted with customers/potential customers and (4 ) Suitable channels to international markets have been identified.

Previous winner of the Competitive Start Fund, Brendan Sheppard, CEO, SmartFactory stated: "While working in engineering, I noticed the need for digitalisation on the factory floor, but I struggled to find a solution that fully met the needs of my clients.

"This inspired me to set up SmartFactory and to develop our own solution. Receiving CSF funding allowed us to invest in talent, and the endorsement of Enterprise Ireland in selecting our application also raised our profile and enhanced our credibility with potential customers and investors."

Full details of the Competitive Start Fund for All Sectors can be found at www.enterprise-ireland.com/csfallsectors

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