Ireland’s first rural digital hub in Skibbereen, Co Cork, is looking for innovative startups to express an interest in a €300,000 seed capital fund.
The Ludgate Seed Capital Fund has been launched to support startups locating at the Ludgate Hub which will be able to accommodate 80 people when it’s completed in the coming weeks. The Hub will boast internet speeds of 1,000MB courtesy of SIRO — the ESB and Vodafone joint venture.
“For decades rural Ireland has been neglected,” said Glen Dimplex CEO and fund investor Sean O’Driscoll.
“Over the last decade many towns and villages in West Cork have been devastated. The Ludgate Digital Hub combined with the arrival of 1,000MBps of broadband to Skibbereen opens up enormous new opportunities for West Cork.
“This new digital age will make the impossible possible and consign geographic disadvantages to history and reinvigorate West Cork,”
The 930 sq m co-working space, the first of its kind in rural Ireland, has attracted 15 or so startups to date with a total of 30 people.
In addition to local companies, the hub will play host to startups from Limerick and Dublin as well as international businesses from as far afield as the London, the US, and South Africa.
The accompanying seed capital fund has been launched as figures from the Irish Venture Capital Association show a decline in the availability of seed capital with €43.8m raised last year compared to €66.8m in 2014.
There is no limit on the level of funding companies can apply for from the fund with startups permitted to apply for the entire €300,000 should they wish to.
Companies are encouraged to register their interest in the fund by May 20.
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