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The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, has launched a new €175m Seed and Venture Capital Scheme 2013-2018. The aim of the scheme is to provide additional funding for high-growth Irish companies with the potential to generate large amounts of additional export sales and grow jobs.

Under the Scheme, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, through Enterprise Ireland, will make funding available for investment in private seed and venture capital funds. These funds, in turn, will invest in high-growth innovative Irish companies in fast-growing sectors including ICT, life sciences, high-tech manufacturing and the green economy.

Minister Bruton followed the announcement by issuing a call for expression of interest from venture capital funds seeking investment. Enterprise Ireland will commit up to €100m to initial venture capital funds, with further expressions of interest to be issued over the next two years. Average initial venture investment in a company could be of the order of €2m.

Minister Bruton is also targeting an additional €525m in funding from the private sector, which will mean a total of €700m available for investment over the lifetime of the scheme.

The scheme is part of a series of new funding mechanisms put in place by this Government, which will make available a total of more than €2bn in additional non-bank lending for Irish businesses: €850m through three SME funds from the NPRF; €450m credit guarantee scheme; €90m micro-finance scheme; €225m development capital scheme; €10m international start-up fund; and €120m second call under Innovation Fund Ireland.

Making the announcement, Minister Bruton said:“I am very happy to launch the new Seed and Venture Capital Scheme which will run over the next six years and make investments in hundreds of high-growth, innovative Irish companies in sectors which we have targeted through the Action Plan for Jobs including high-tech manufacturing and ICT. These are the companies that could develop into the next major success story for the Irish economy.