EI – €24M invested in Start-ups Last Year – 45 women-led start-up companies were approved investment

15th May 2024

Posted In: FYI

Enterprise Ireland, the government agency responsible for the development and growth of Irish companies in global markets, invested €24 million in Irish start-ups and supported a total of 156 start-up companies in 2023. Investment was provided through Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) and Pre-Seed Start Fund (PSSF) programmes.

Start-ups supported by Enterprise Ireland in 2023 include:

• 85 High Potential Start-Up’s (HPSU) with high growth potential

• 71 Pre-Seed Start Fund (PSSF) investments which inject critical early-stage funding into new businesses

• 55% of the companies supported were outside Dublin

  • 45 women-led start-up companies were approved investment

• 12 HPSUs emerged from academic research

• 26 companies were spun out of third level institutions, 16 of which were supported through the Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund Programme.

Around 600 delegates attended the Enterprise Ireland Start-Up Day in Dublin Castle yesterday, which brought together the ‘Class of 2023’ Start-Up companies and the wider Start-Up ecosystem including investors, state agencies and start-up accelerators.

Opening Enterprise Ireland’s Start-Up Day in Dublin Castle, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Dara Calleary TD, said: “2023 was a strong year for Ireland’s start-up economy with extraordinary resilience and business ambition displayed from Irish-founded start-up teams. This is reflected in each and every one of the 156 start-ups represented today.

I welcome in particular the very strong pipeline of 71 businesses coming through the recently established Pre-Seed Start Fund.

This is one of a series of specific targeted initiatives which my Department through Enterprise Ireland is taking as part of its strategic ambition to encourage and support an increased number of new high growth start-up companies in Ireland.

“Ireland’s open economy is built on resilient, internationally focused and productive Irish enterprises.  This is vital to the future growth of the Irish economy, supporting livelihoods and contributing to prosperity throughout the country and I wish all the start-ups and entrepreneurs here today every success for the future.”

For the first time, Enterprise Ireland’s Start-Up Day included a ‘big ideas’ pitch element where the top 10 potential spin-outs borne out of Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation Funded Research in Irish third level institutions took to the stage to pitch their innovations.

Dr. Cormac Farrelly of UCD spin-out LaNua Medical secured the Big Ideas award and will now go on represent Ireland at the Pegasus Start-Up World Cup in San Francisco later in the year.

Cristina Purtill of Plio Surgical received the Big Ideas runner-up award on the day and will also travel to San Francisco to attend the Start-Up World Cup.

Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment Peter Burke TD presented the awards to the Big Idea’s pitch winners. He said, “I would like to congratulate LaNua Medical, a worthy winner of today’s Big ideas award and I have no doubt will go on to make Ireland proud at the International Start-Up World Cup in the US.

Enterprise Ireland’s Start-Up Day offers an exciting snapshot of the future, showcasing investor-ready start-ups with disruptive technologies that will change our world for the better, as well as providing opportunities for keen investors.”

Minister Burke continued, “Supporting the commercialisation of research allows us to develop the next generation of innovative High Potential Start-Ups (HPSUs) and last year, 12 HPSUs were successfully generated in partnership with our third level institutions. The government through Enterprise Ireland is committed to supporting the innovative work that is being done in our academic institutions and we look forward to working with these spin-out companies to help them grow and scale.”

Leo Clancy, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said, “The Big Ideas pitching element and awards at Start-Up Day provides a platform to showcase Enterprise Ireland’s commercialisation funded research approaching start-up status, with significant potential for success. The event also highlights the accomplishments of our national technology transfer system, the high calibre of research commercialisation activity within Ireland, and the significant impact these companies will have to help solve huge global challenges. I wish to congratulate LaNua Medical on their achievements to date and wish them every success at the Start-Up World Cup and beyond.”