Enterprise Ireland is inviting aspiring startups to apply for a slice of a new Eur500,000 fintech fund, open to early-stage companies providing innovative technology to the financial services market.
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, says the FinTech Competitive Start Fund is open to companies with innovative blockchain, IoT, AI and Big Data applications across the full spectrum of financial services. Funds up the value of €50,000 will be released to firms that have the potential to employ more than 10 persons and achieve €1 million in export sales within three years.
The Irish Government's strategy for International Financial Services launched in March 2015 specifically calls out the need for a co-ordinated approach to growth of the fintech sector.
Says O'Connor: “Ireland is recognised as a key hub for fintech innovation and this new fund will make a real contribution to supporting more start-ups and ultimately more jobs in Ireland”.
A report from Deloitte, published early last year, suggested that employment in Ireland's fintech sector could double in the next five years and exceed 5000 employees.
However, the absence of of a well-established and diverse seed-funding market has been identified as a barrier for Irish startups, with taxpayer-funded Enterprise Ireland stepping in to fill the void.
Alongside the cash injection, successful applicants will also receive membership to Dogpatch Labs located in the heart of the IFSC (in partnership with Ulster Bank) and access to the Ulster Bank Innovation Solutions team.
In addition, there will be a number of Masterclasses provided by industry experts from the Fintech and Payments Association of Ireland, formed in September with the aim of establishing the Republic as a leading international financial services hub.
The Fund opens for applications on Wednesday 1 June and closes at 3.00pm Wednesday 15 June 2015.