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New €30m AIB Seed Capital Fund to invest in Irish start-ups

17 July, 2007

The €30 million fund is the first to be established under Enterprise Ireland's Seed and Venture Capital Scheme 2007-2012, launched by Minister Martin in May 2006. In 2006, AIB was selected by Enterprise Ireland to partner with them on an exclusive basis to create a €30 million Seed Capital Fund. The selection was made as a result of AIB's participation in a competitive tender process. AIB and Enterprise Ireland are equal partners in the fund, each investing €15 million.

The average initial investment made by the fund will be around €250,000 but smaller investments of c€100,000 will also be considered.  The Fund has an economic life of seven years and it is expected to make 50 to 60 investments. The investment strategy will be focused on high potential start ups in knowledge intensive sectors. The Minister said the new fund was specifically for Irish companies in the early stages of development. It will be managed by the Dublin Business Innovation Centre and Enterprise Equity. Frank Ryan, Enterprise Ireland Chief Executive Officer said the fund would be "a vital contributor to the development of a commercially viable and sustainable Seed and Venture Capital industry in Ireland." Donal Forde, AIB Bank managing director, said the initiative was aligned to AIB's SME development strategy. "Its overarching objective is to support entrepreneurship and provide risk capital to help develop competitive internationally oriented businesses in Ireland."

The average initial investment to be made by the fund will be in the order of €250,000 but smaller investments of c€100,000 will also be evaluated. The Fund has an economic life of seven years and it is expected that it will make in the region of 50 to 60 investments. The investment strategy of the fund will be focused on early-stage businesses, particularly high potential start ups in knowledge intensive sectors.

Enterprise Ireland is investing €175 million in a new round of Venture Capital funding, which will create an estimated overall investment of €1 billion in start-up, early stage and development stage businesses.

For further information: www.aibseedcapitalfund.ie

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