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Ireland Is Fertile Ground For High-Growth Start-Ups

by Jason Gorringe,, London

13 March 2007

Ireland's Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Micheál Martin has announced that Enterprise Ireland, the Irish state development agency, supported the establishment of 76 new export-focused high potential companies in 2006.

The 76 export-focused start-ups, all in knowledge intensive sectors, are expected to grow rapidly and to create over 1,260 new high skilled jobs and generate exports worth EUR110m over the next two years. Enterprise Ireland invested EUR17.5m of the total EUR47.5m investment in the 76 new start-ups.

Making the announcement at Enterprise Ireland’s Annual Start-Up Showcase event, Minister Martin stated that:

“I am delighted to announce 76 new high growth potential firms in Ireland in 2006, the highest number supported by Enterprise Ireland in any year to date. I wish to congratulate the 170 entrepreneurs behind these firms."

“These high potential start-up companies are extremely significant to both the regional and national economy. They are expected to create 1,260 jobs and exports worth EUR110m over the next two years."

“The start-up companies come from a wide range of knowledge intensive sectors in which innovative Irish companies can develop a sustainable competitive advantage. Hence the 76 HPSU firms created in 2006 have the potential to grow very rapidly."

“I am very pleased to see a good regional spread among HPSU companies established in 2006. Of the 76 new companies, the majority at 41 are located in regions outside of Dublin, with 35 companies being located in Dublin. I would also like to acknowledge the considerable work undertaken by Enterprise Ireland in supporting these start-ups," the Minister concluded.

Commenting at the event Kevin Sherry, Manager of Enterprise Ireland's High Potential Start-Up Unit explained that:

"Increasing the number of new high-growth export focused businesses is a key objective for Enterprise Ireland and 2006 has been a record year with the establishment of 76 HPSUs. Enterprise Ireland is fully committed to working in partnership with these 76 early stage companies to help and support them build their capabilities and secure international market access for their products and services."

“Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up Showcase is a unique event that celebrates the achievements of the 170 entrepreneurs and management teams of the 76 companies, who, in 2006, realised their ambition of starting their own export focused company. It also provides an important networking opportunity by bringing together these entrepreneurs, the investment community, Irish business leaders and Enterprise Irelands business development executives. Furthermore it provides a platform for venture capital firms to identify investment opportunities."

“Enterprise Ireland is continuing its work to develop quality, sustainable and scalable start ups, promote industry led R&D and grow exports. I am pleased to report that the pipeline of HPSUs for 2007 is already strong.” he added.

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