Graduates with early-stage start-ups in Kildare are encouraged to apply for a new €500,000 start-up fund.

Fine Gael TD for Kildare, Martin Heydon, is calling on recent graduates to apply for the Government’s new Competitive Start Fund, which has been launched by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys.

“Final year students, and graduates with a third-level qualification within the last three years, who have a start-up company can now apply for the Government’s new start-up fund worth a total of €500,000. Up to 10 successful applicants will be awarded up to €50,000 each.

“The fund is aimed at those working across manufacturing and internationally traded services sectors including sub-sectors such as cloud computing, software-as-a-service, enterprise software, cleantech, gaming, mobile, apps and LifeSciences.

“The goal of this new fund is to support start-up companies that have the capacity to succeed in global markets as part of our strategy to increase the number and quality of High Potential Start-Up companies that have the potential to employ more than 10 people and achieve €1 million in export sales within three years.

“Fine Gael’s Action Plan for Jobs has overseen a steady reduction in unemployment from a peak of 16% in 2012 to 6% in March 2018 which is strengthening communities across the country.

“Recent CSO figures show that the number of people signing on the Live Register in Kildare has dropped by 11% in the last year.

“A big part of Action Plan for Jobs is encouraging entrepreneurs, and they have been a massive part of Ireland’s recent job creation success.

“Aside from monetary funding, this new Fund provides valuable business support and networking opportunities to innovative entrepreneurs and companies at the start of their journey. It also provides a platform for them to progress their businesses.

“The Fund is open for applications from Tuesday 10th April 2018 and the deadline is 3pm on Tuesday, 24th April 2018.

“Applicants must apply though Enterprise Ireland at graduatecsf where they will find full information on the fund as well as the eligibility criteria. In addition to written online applications, companies will be asked to prepare an online video pitch.

“If graduates have any questions on the fund they can also contact my office at or 045-487624.