A new $70m (€56m) fund aimed at helping early-stage Irish technology firms to expand into the US has been established.
The US and Irish-headquartered SmartInvest initiative — established and backed by a number of private donors — will initially focus on technology-led firms in the software, medical devices, networking and infrastructure and agri-business sectors.
The programme will also target US companies looking to expand into the Irish market. SmartInvest will invest in and grow 30 technology-led companies, leading to the creation of 450 jobs across Ireland over the lifetime of the fund.
The jobs will be spread across the island of Ireland, impacting at a regional and local level in counties such as Louth, Donegal, Meath, Roscommon and Antrim. The fund will provide early stage technology-led companies with continued access to capital to encourage further growth and development.
In addition, the rigorous selection process will include mentoring, advice and training for over 300 prospective companies nationally representing some 1,500 employees in the same period.
According to SmartInvest chief executive, Gerry Moan: “The SmartInvest fund recognises excellence in Ireland, both as a place to do business and its entrepreneurial spirit. We will work with evolving technology enterprises to address the early stage funding gap and further develop their overall businesses.
“There is an appetite among investors to capitalise on the opportunities that Ireland and the US offer as places to do business and gateways to large markets. The SmartInvest model of combining capital and expertise will look to develop this two-way transatlantic flow of entrepreneurial talent and investment,” he added.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has commented on the programme, saying that the Government is very supportive of such initiatives “which are intended to create jobs in Ireland and support Irish start-up and scaling companies, and encourage investment in Ireland.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved