Have you got a new agri-business start-up you want to get off the ground, or an innovative agri-tech idea that you think could thrive in international markets?

Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Feasibililty Fund for Agri-Business has a total fund of €250,000 available for new start-ups focused on the agri-business/technology sector.

Denis Duggan, Senior Regional Development Executive with Enterprise Ireland, said that the Agri-Business Fund is targeting people with a new business idea, or those who have already set up a business in the last three years and who are looking for support and assistance.

“This is a great opportunity for people trying to get their agri-business off the ground. Enterprise Ireland will invest a maximum of €25,000 on the basis of the company having expenditure of €50,000.

“We’re looking for companies with innovative technologies or new products or services which can be sold in world markets,” he said.

Enterprise Ireland is looking for projects that are likely to achieve significant growth within three years (sales of €1m per annum and employment of 10 or more).

A new company can apply but it must be registered less than three years at the deadline, so under three years old on September 8, 2015, Duggan said.

“We encourage everyone to apply, you fill out an online application form, all entries are scored and shortlisted. Then we will invite up to 20 companies to come and pitch their ideas to us.

“The ideal scenario is to fund at least 10 companies, possibly more,” he said.

Duggan concluded: “The Irish agri-business sector has an unrivalled reputation across the world. Agricultural machinery exports reach over €100m per annum, primarily to the UK and Europe, with several Irish machinery companies exporting on a global scale. Enterprise Ireland recognises the need to encourage, grow and develop the next generation of Irish agri-business companies capable of competing on a global scale. The Competitive Feasibililty Fund for Agri-Business aims to support agri-business entrepreneurs to grow scalable businesses”.