20 May 2024

~3 minutes read


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Enterprise Ireland, the government agency responsible for the development and growth of Irish companies in global markets, invested €24 million in Irish start-ups and supported a total of 156 start-up companies in 2023. Investment was provided through Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) and Pre-Seed Start Fund (PSSF) programmes.

Start-ups supported by Enterprise Ireland in 2023 included;

● 85 High Potential Start-Up’s (HPSU) with high growth potential

● 71 Pre-Seed Start Fund (PSSF) investments which inject critical early-stage funding into new businesses

● 55% of the companies supported were outside Dublin

● 45 women-led start-up companies were approved investment

● 12 HPSUs emerged from academic research

● 26 companies were spun out of third level institutions, 16 of which were supported through the Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund Programme.


600 delegates attended the Enterprise Ireland Start-Up Day on May 14th in Dublin Castle which brought together the ‘Class of 2023’ Start-Up companies and the wider Start-Up ecosystem including investors, state agencies and start-up accelerators.

For the first time, Enterprise Ireland’s Start-Up Day included a ‘big ideas’ pitch element where the top 10 potential spin-outs borne out of Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation Funded Research in Irish third level institutions took to the stage to pitch their innovations. The winning pitch will go on to represent Ireland at the Pegasus Start-Up World Cup in San Francisco later in the year.

Opening Enterprise Ireland’s Start-Up Day in Dublin Castle, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Dara Calleary TD, said: “2023 was a strong year for Ireland’s start-up economy with extraordinary resilience and business ambition displayed from Irish-founded start-up teams. This is reflected in each and every one of the 156 start-ups represented today. I welcome in particular the very strong pipeline of 71 businesses coming through the recently established Pre-Seed Start Fund. This is one of a series of specific targeted initiatives which my Department through Enterprise Ireland is taking as part of its strategic ambition to encourage and support an increased number of new high growth start-up companies in Ireland.


(Pictured l-r) Leo Clancy, CEO, Enterprise Ireland, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Dara Calleary TD and Emma Meehan, Founder of High Potential Start-Up Precision Sports Technology.   

“Ireland’s open economy is built on resilient, internationally focused and productive Irish enterprises. This is vital to the future growth of the Irish economy, supporting livelihoods and contributing to prosperity throughout the country and I wish all the start-ups and entrepreneurs here today every success for the future.”

Closing the event later that afternoon, Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment Peter Burke TD presented the awards to the Big Idea’s pitch winners.

Leo Clancy, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said: “The ambition and capability of Ireland’s start-ups has never been higher than it is today. The evidence is clear in the calibre of talent and innovation demonstrated by the 85 high potential start-ups and 71 early-stage businesses from across the country, which we celebrate here at Start-Up Day 2024. Supported by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, we have three main pathways to assist start-ups: the High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) programme, Feasibility Grant support, and Pre-Seed Start Funding. We will continue to help drive the success of the most forward-thinking Irish companies, enabling start-ups to thrive and influence the future of global business – cementing Ireland’s reputation as a prime hub for international trade.”

Emma Meehan from Sport Precision Technology, Galway tells us what this funding means for her company.

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