Funding for early stage startups in Ireland

Ireland is one of the top 10 countries in Europe to start a company. One of the contributing factors are the financial supports available for startups in Ireland. The below focuses just on early stage startups but there are many more available 1.  The source of funding you should use will depend on a number of factors. These include:

  • How much you want to borrow
  • What stage your company is at
  • Preference for debt or equity
  • Preference for public or private funding

Should you need advice feel free to talk to your local accountants.


Innovation vouchers (€5,000)

Run by Enterprise Ireland, the aim is to provide stronger links with universities and small businesses. They provide a voucher for €5,000 to assist companies explore potential business opportunities with a registered education institution.

The voucher is open to all small & medium limited companies registered in Ireland. This is defined as having less than 250 employees and a turnover less than €50m and or a balance sheet of less than €43m.

Feasibility study (€15,000)

The feasibility study grants are designed to assist businesses with research the level of demand for the product or service and examining it’s long term potential.  It is funded under the European development fund. You receive the lesser of 50% of you expenditure or €15,000. If you live in the BMW region of Ireland this is increased to 60%

Expenditure may be considered under the following headings:

  • Market Research
  • Consultancy Costs
  • Technical Development/Prototype/Innovation
  • Salary/Own Labour Research
  • Miscellaneous Costs

New Frontiers (Up to €30,000)

The programme’s primary purpose is to accelerate the development of sustainable new businesses that have strong employment and growth potential and contribute to job creation and economic activity in regional locations.

Support available worth up to €30,000 including €15,000 tax free with no equity taken. It is a three phased programme: Test the idea (part time evenings & weekends, Develop the business (Full-time 6 months) and Implement the business plan (full-time 3 months).

1For a more complete list of all funding is available in Ireland see here:

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