Debt-ridden Ireland retains â?¬500k game fund

Debt-ridden Ireland retains â?¬500k game fund

By Rob Crossley

December 3rd 2010 at 10:30AM

Ten companies to be offered â?¬50,000 and mentoring for 10 per cent equity

The Irish Government will still invest €500,000 in tech start-ups despite emergency measures that will transform its economic landscape.

EU members will provide Ireland a €67 billion loan bailout to help weather a massive banking crisis. The Irish government will in turn initiate a extraordinary four-year plan of spending cuts and tax rises, intended to save the country €15 billion. Both initiatives have sparked debate, criticisms and protests.

Yet Ireland will still launch a €500,000 fund designed to assist technology-driven start up companies get off the ground.

Known as ‘The Internet and Games Competitive Start Fund’, the scheme is said will provide “critical early stage funding” to various game and tech firms, according to a Games Politics report.

Ten Irish companies in the internet and games business can apply for “an equity investment of €50,000 for a 10 per cent equity stake.”

Those that apply have to meet strict criteria, such as proving they are able to realise €1 million in exports and be younger than six years old.

Enterprise Ireland, which runs the fund, said each start-up will benefit from being assigned an “an experienced business mentor”.

Said Enterprise Ireland CEO Frank Ryan: “A key focus of our Software Strategy is to further stimulate the emergence of internet based companies in Ireland and to broaden their international base and scale.

“This new fund will help a new cohort of internet and games entrepreneurs to set up and grow successful international businesses.”

Applicants have until December 16 to apply, and have to prove they are:

* Introducing a new or innovative product or service to international markets.

* Involved in manufacturing or internationally traded services.

* Capable of creating 10 jobs in Ireland and realising exports of €1 million within three to four years of starting up.

* Led by an experienced management team.

* Headquartered and controlled in Ireland.

* Less than six years old.