29 Sep 2010   |   News

Irish government calls for expressions of interest in €500M venture fund

Investment opportunity

The Irish government is looking for expressions of interest from venture capital firms that are interested in co-investing in high-tech start ups, as part of the €500 million Innovation Fund Ireland.

Innovation Fund Ireland aims to attract global venture capital firms and experienced investment managers to Ireland to invest in small and medium-sized firms and open doors to contacts.

The fund was created to increase the availability of risk capital for early-stage and high-growth companies, and the government says the fund provides an opportunity for international venture capital fund managers to establish European headquarters in Ireland.

Fund structure and eligibility criteria

The main objectives of Innovation Fund Ireland are to:

  • Increase the number and scale of innovation driven, and high-growth businesses in Ireland

  • Increase the availability of risk capital for early stage and high-growth companies

  • Attract top-tier venture capital fund managers to Ireland

  • Attract, leverage and develop entrepreneurial talent

Fund managers must meet, at a minimum, the following criteria to be considered for investment:

  • An established global profile and network with a reputation for market leadership in venture capital investment

  • A proven track record of raising funds and generating superior returns for investors

  • A capacity to access high potential international investment opportunities with an investment team capable of attracting world-class entrepreneurs

  • An intention to establish a new and substantial presence in the venture capital market in Ireland and a willingness to invest a meaningful proportion of their venture capital fund in Irish companies or companies with significant Irish operation.

Innovation Fund Ireland will have up to €250 million available to make commitments. This funding runs along two parallel tracks. The first, comprises a €125 million pool of funds provided by the government and managed by Enterprise Ireland.

Successful applicants who receive an investment from Enterprise Ireland will have to commit to investing an equivalent amount in Irish companies or companies with substantial Irish operations over the lifetime of their fund.

The second is for a similar amount and designed to allow Ireland’s National Pension Reserve Fund to make commercial investments.

Closing date for submission of Expressions of Interest is 4:00pm GMT on November 26, 2010. Expressions of interest should be submitted via email to innovationfundireland@enterprise-ireland.com

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