The Mideast startup and scaleup ecosystem is poised for significant growth as we emerge from the Covid crisis. We have seen significant experimentation in flexible business models and work patterns which we expect will accelerate development and improve sustainability in the years ahead.
Traditionally a region of green fields and farms, the counties encircling Dublin have been growing steadily for decades. With easy access to the capital, government support for growing companies, and its historical strength in agriculture, the Mid-East Region has a growing reputation as a startup ecosystem, particularly for AgTech and food-related companies. The Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), launched in 2017, supports new collaborative and innovative initiatives in the region. REDF has poured $9.48 million into the Mid-East for projects including the County Kildare Community Network co-working space, the Boyne Valley Food Innovation District, Clermont Enterprise Hub, and UCD Nova DAC AgTech innovation hub. Through the Agile Innovation Fund companies can access grants to cover up to 50% of eligible R&D costs through an online fast-track approval process. The Competitive Start Fund offers up to €50,000 for 10% in ordinary shares to accelerate the growth of startups in all sectors that are targeting global markets. Startups with the potential to create 10 jobs and €1 million in export sales within their first 3 years may be eligible for support from Enterprise Ireland as a High Potential Start-up (HPSU). Notable companies and events within the Mid-East Region ecosystem include EasyGo, a developer of EV charging units, which raised $12.16 million of venture funding in January 2021. Ireland’s Tech Week is a nationwide festival of events showcasing tech innovation in the country.
Ecosystem by the numbers
Agtech & New Food
Reasons to move your startup to Mid-East Region
The workforce is also dynamic and diverse — proportionally Ireland has the 4th highest international workforce in the EU. Ireland ranks 1st globally for attracting and retaining international talent. IDA Ireland works with the relevant Irish authorities to streamline employment permit applications and other visa matters for companies recruiting from outside the EU.
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