Mid-East Region

Meath Enterprise

"In Ireland's Mideast, a vibrant hub of innovation blooms, nurturing startups, SMEs, and multinationals to tackle global challenges and pioneer solutions in Agtech, Deep Tech, sustainability, and beyond, catalyzing global progress and boundless opportunities."

Gary O’Meara
CEO of Meath Enterprise and Chair of CEAI - Ireland’s Enterprise Hub Network


The Mid-East Region of Ireland with counties Meath, Kildare, and Wicklow, encircling Dublin, offer a thriving entrepreneurial scene, with incubators, industrial parks, and innovation hubs supporting a diverse group of startups.

In November 2023, Life Sciences company Bonafi opened a new platform in County Meath to transform the pharmaceutical supply chain. During Mid-Eastern Regional Innovation Think Space for Local Enterprise Week 2023, Local Enterprise Office Kildare launched an on-demand tech accelerator to serve growth-stage startups. In July 2023, the Mid-East Regional Innovation Thinkspace (MERITS) incubator launched, designed to support digital and technology innovation in the Mid-East Region. In December 2023, Meath Enterprise secured planning for a new $12 million Future of Food and Agriculture Innovation and Technology Hub in Meath. In May 2024, the Kildare Innovation Campus announced expansion plans with a planned investment of over $2.6 billion. In July 2024, the Boyne Valley Food Innovation District will launch a pilot project in Meath for a new fully automated, short cycles hydroponic vertical growing platform for livestock feeding in collaboration with Agrotopia Ireland.

The MEW Student Enterprise Challenge mentored over 1,000 second level students in 2023 and hosted its largest and most successful Grand Finals in Kells Tech Hub during Global Entrepreneurship Week in November 2023. County Wicklow hosted National Women’s Enterprise Day in October 2023, with over 100 female business owners gathered to empower the entrepreneurship journey.

Notable deals include Kells, Meath-based Agtech Hexafly’s $4 million raised over 11 rounds, including one in June 2023. Clane, Kildare-based EV charging startup EVHACS raised $1.09 million in a September 2023 Seed round.

Ecosystem by the Numbers

(H2 2021 - 2023)
$369 m
GLOBAL AVG. $29.4 bn
(H2 2021 - 2023)
$42 m
GLOBAL AVG. $655 m
(H2 2021 - H2 2023 VS H2 2019 - H2 2021)
-5.7% -5.7 -12 46% 46 100 0
(H2 2021 - 2023)
MEDIAN SEED ROUND (H2 2021 - 2023)
$428 k
GLOBAL AVG. $985 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND (H2 2021 – 2023)
$9.8 m
GLOBAL AVG. $7.5 m
$56 k
EARLY-STAGE FUNDING GROWTH (2020 - 21 VS. 2022 - 23)
Scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)
TOTAL VC FUNDING (2019 - 2023)
$86.4 m
GLOBAL AVG. $4.6 bn
TIME TO EXIT (2019 - 2023)
15.1 years
GLOBAL AVG. 10 years
EXIT AMOUNT (2019 - 2023)
$186 m
GLOBAL AVG. $8.9 bn
(2019 - 2023)

Sub-Sector Strengths

Agtech & New Food

The AgTechUCD Innovation Centre opened in October 2023, a $5.2 million Agtech facility at UCD Lyons Farm in Kildare giving students access to cutting edge technology and acting as a startup support hub. The new Boyne Valley Food Hub, which opened in February 2024, is a $2.7 million food innovation and incubation center in Meath that supports food startups, scaleups, and FDI in the region. Food Vision 2030 provides a roadmap to increase Agri-food exports from $15.2 million to $22.9 billion by 2030.


In 2023, Ireland rose to #12 in the EY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index due to renewable energy and infrastructure developments. In October 2023, Ireland launched a sustainable laboratory certification program, becoming the first country in which a national research funding agency has spearheaded a certification process in lab sustainability. The Bank of Ireland offers sustainability-linked loans to lead the green transition. In December 2023, Resolve Ventures launched the Climate Impact Fund to seed and advise early-stage startups in Cleantech.

Life Sciences

Meath Enterprise will double the number of student spaces available in its Sandbox Accelerator program, a collaboration with Maynooth University, to deliver more industry-relevant education in Life Sciences. Ireland is the world’s third-largest exporter of pharmaceutical goods. The value of M&As in the Life Sciences sector rose almost 600% in 2023 to $1.6 billion over seven deals. In January 2024, biotechs APC and VLE Therapeutics announced a $109 million expansion to add 300 R&D roles and open a new Medicine Accelerator Campus.

Reasons to Move Your Startup to Mid-East Region

Highly Educated Talent

Ireland has a highly educated population that supports employment in knowledge-intensive and high-technology sectors. It has the highest level of STEM graduates per capita in the European Union among 20-29 year olds. As part of its Global Citizens 2030 International Talent and Innovation Strategy, Ireland aims to grow the number of international students, researchers, and innovators in the country by 10% by 2030.

Research & Development

Ireland’s government spending in R&D surpassed $1.09 billion in 2023, the first time this milestone was achieved. The Irish 2024 budget increased the Research and Development Tax Credit from 25% to 30% and the first-year payment threshold from $27,320 to $54,640 for companies with smaller R&D projects. In February 2024, Ireland awarded 40 research projects with $21.8 million in government funding.

Government Support

Ireland supports startups with a wide range of funding, tax breaks, and incentives. Its 2024 budget includes a new capital gains tax relief scheme for angel investors. The Enterprise Ireland Pre-Seed Start Fund, supported by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, opened in September 2023 with up to $109,000 available to innovative startups. The Microfinance Fund offers startup loans up to $27,300.

Selected Startup Organizations

Startup Genome Members

Key Ecosystem Players

News from the Ecosystem

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