Ways of Securing Funding for your company in Ireland

We know that your entrepreneurial journey is often difficult due to lack of funding. There are many ways to securing investment to bringing your idea to live no matter what stage you are in that journey.


In Ireland the most used path in securing funding is the Enterprise Ireland root, this is mainly due to the structure of this program.

A structure that looks to cover a startup company journey from ideation to concept all the way to business validation, getting the business investor ready and attaining sustainability in the form of growth and scale.



New Frontiers Phase 1


There is no funding available at this stage.

The New Frontiers Phase 1 is designed to help founders explore research and test the market potential of their business idea.

Most importantly founders should use this phase to learn if they have what to embark in the entrepreneurial journey.


New Frontiers Phase 2


This is a 6 months program valued at €30,000 however, funders will only be receiving €15,000 tax-free.

The other €15,000 covers the operational running of the program from mentors, access to interns and graduates, workshops, to access to free co-working space.

It is important to note that there is no equity is taken in your business at this stage.


New Frontiers Phase 3


This is an additional 3 months added to the new frontiers phase 2 and valued at €10,000+.

During this phase, founders will focus on implementing their business plan by bringing their product/service to market.

Use this phases to build your network, as you will be introduced to government and private investment support opportunities.


Competitive Start Fund (CSF)


The competitive Start Fund is a €50,000 funding for 10% share/equity of your company, to be released in 2 equal tranches of €25k (5% in ordinary shares for each tranche).

During this phase your company should be on a growth path and have the capacity to enter global markets.

It’s important to be able to clearly demonstrate that your company has reached Minimal Viable Product (MVP) stage and that the offering has demonstrable customer validation ideally with (trial and/or paying) customers.


High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) Funding


The High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) Fund is a €250,000 funding for 10% share/equity of your company.

Note enterprise Ireland can only hold a maximum 10% share/equity of your company, i.e. if you company has offered 10% in CSF stage no additional company shares is required to secure HPSU funding.

During this phase your company is perceived by Enterprise Ireland as being able to develop innovative technologies, products and services that will serve international markets in tune with their Global ambition vision.


Other Funding Avenues


Ignite NI is a Northern Ireland Accelerator that helps roughly 30 startups a year to bring their ideas to live.

Ignite NI runs 2 programs one for early stage Startups – Propel and another for seed stage startups – Accelerator.

Propel – is a £15,000 equity free program designed for early-stage technology companies that are developing, or have just launched.

Accelerator – is a £23,000 Convertible Loan Note designed for established technology companies which need help scaling and raising further investment. There is also a £5,000 available for overseas teams to relocate to NI.


Local Enterprise Office


Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) provide a range of financial supports designed to assist with the establishment and/or growth of enterprises (limited company, individuals/sole trader, cooperatives and partnerships) employing up to ten people.

Some of the support available are:

  • Feasibility Study Grants.
  • Priming Grants.
  • Discover-Business-Supports
  • Financial-Supports
  • 50% of expenditure on research and development through feasibility studies.


EIC Accelerator


The EIC Accelerator (previously known as SME Instrument) is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot that supports top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with funding opportunities and acceleration services.

Projects will receive between € 0.5 and € 2.5 million in the form of grants. They can request a higher or lower amount when applying but it needs to be duly justified.

Applicants will be asked to indicate if they want blended finance and the amount requested for equity. The maximum of investment in the form of equity is € 15 million.

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