Launch of €23m Expansion to AIB Seed Capital

16th December 2009

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment launches new €23 million expansion to the AIB Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund supported by Enterprise Ireland

The newly expanded  Fund (now €53 million) will increase the supply of Seed Capital for new Irish Businesses.

Today (Wednesday 16 December 2009), the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan T.D., launched a new €23 million expansion of the AIB Seed Capital Fund. The €23m expansion will bring the total fund size to €53 million and will target investments in start up and early stage businesses with a particular focus on technology, financial services, clean and green sectors, and also businesses in the medical devices sectors.  AIB and Enterprise Ireland are joint partners in the new €23m fund expansion, contributing €15m and €8m respectively.

The Fund is managed on behalf of AIB and Enterprise Ireland by Dublin Business Innovation Centre (DBIC) and Enterprise Equity which collectively have over 40 years experience in helping small businesses to develop and providing equity capital.  It is administered from NovaUCD located on campus within University College Dublin.

This new fund expansion marks a second collaboration between AIB and Enterprise Ireland under the Venture Capital Programme 2007-2012 in making seed capital funding available to Irish entrepreneurs and businesses. The original €30m AIB Seed Capital Fund was launched in mid 2007 and to date has made 24 investments of over €7m in 20 new early stage Irish companies.

Making the announcement the Tánaiste said:  “I am delighted to announce the launch of this new expansion of the AIB Seed Fund as part of the Government’s bank recapitalisation initiative.  It will build on the achievements already made under the original €30 million AIB Seed Fund, and represents a significant broadening of access to funding for start-up and early stage businesses.  This type of funding is absolutely critical to stimulating a steady stream of dynamic new high potential start up companies.  These businesses are vital to maintaining a strong, export focussed economy and to creating knowledge intensive jobs.  It is a key priority for Government and for Enterprise Ireland to support these companies, and making sure that the right funding environment is there for them is very much part of this.  I would like to congratulate all the parties involved on working in partnership to create this new fund and on their achievements to date with the existing fund.”

Welcoming the Tánaiste’s announcement, Robbie Henneberry, Managing Director, AIB Bank Republic of Ireland, said: “Ireland’s future economy will be dependent on high value activities and AIB is committed to supporting the national effort in fostering a Smart Economy.  AIB will lend its support wherever it can to help accelerate the emergence of a strong indigenous enterprise base specialising in knowledge intensive activities.”