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January 12 2018 2:30 AM
Small businesses are being urged to pitch for up to €50,000 in grant aid from Enterprise Ireland in a new funding round.
The state agency's first Competitive Start Fund (CSF) of the year will allocate up to €50,000 to 15 successful applicants in exchange for a 10pc equity share in the firm getting the taxpayer cash.
The grant is aimed at startups that are deemed to have the potential of employing more than 10 people and seeing €1m in export sales within three years.
Those firms that succeed in getting the €50,000 investment will also get access to state-sponsored development programmes.
Costs such as salaries, travel and consultancy fees are deemed to acceptable criteria for the grant application.
"The fund is designed to enable those companies reach key commercial and technical milestones, including evaluating overseas market opportunities, building prototypes, developing market entry plans and securing third party investment," said an Enterprise Ireland spokesman.
The fund opens for applications on Tuesday, January 23, and closes at 3pm on Tuesday, February 6th.
Enterprise Ireland says it's particularly interested in getting applications from individuals, early stage companies or prospective businesses in manufacturing internationally traded services, "particularly within ICT".
It says it is expecting hopeful entries in the areas of internet, games, apps, mobile, cloud computing, life sciences, cleantech, enterprise softwre and software-as-a-service (Saas).
"This all-sector Competitive Start Fund, with a particular focus on the ICT sector, is the first of eight startup funds planned for 2018 and provides a kick-start for innovative early stage companies to get off the ground while receiving a critical funding boost of up to €50,000," said Tom Early, department manager for HPSU Start in Enterprise Ireland.