The Enterprise Ireland Seed and Venture Capital Programme 2011 Report showed that the €60 million was invested in 93 separate companies and brought the total amount invested to date under EI’s seed and VC programmes to €614 million.
Jobs, enterprise and innovation Minister Richard Bruton welcomed the news saying that the government aimed to improve even further on the investment figure in the coming years. “They [Venture capital funds] are an essential element of the innovation system and mean that more high growth companies can receive the funding and backing they require to go out and achieve strong exporting results, creating jobs in Ireland”, he said.
“Access to capital from all sources played an important part in the strong performance by Irish exporting companies in 2011,” added Niall O’Donovan, head of Investment Services at EI.
Start-up companies are eligible for €50,000 funding from EI under its competitive start program and there are now a plethora of start-up incubators available to Irish entrepreneurs from which further investment can be acquired.
Most Irish VCs invest in these companies during seed funding rounds when they graduate from the various incubator programmes. The next stage of funding, typically involving large investments (> €1 million) that is more difficult to source in Ireland and larger investment firms need to be sought out in theUK and US.
The funds that invested the €60 million were:
- AIB Seed Capital Fund
- AIB Start–Up Accelerator Fund
- Kernel Capital
- Bank ofIrelandSeed and Early Stage Equity Fund
- Bank ofIrelandStart-Up and Emerging Sectors Equity Fund
- ABVEN Atlantic Bridge II Limited Partnership
- Bank ofIrelandKernel Capital Partners Private Equity Fund
- Delta Equity Fund
- Fountain Healthcare Partners Fund
- The Seroba Kernel Life Sciences Fund
- The Ulster Bank Diageo Venture Fund