Dublin City University’s Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship is delighted to announce the establishment of a seed venture fund of €1 million for early stage technology start-up companies. The new venture fund is an accelerator fund, which will help fund new companies develop from concept to product. The aim of the venture fund is to jump-start a number of high technology start-ups in Ireland with an emphasis on software and biotechnology hardware ideas such as medical devices and diagnostics.
The successful companies will get approximately €50,000 in direct funding, as well as a three-month programme of support from the Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship, which will include office space, mentorship and specially-designed networking and educational programmes. The financial support for the venture fund is provided by the One Foundation. In addition any profits generated by the Accelerator Fund will be returned to the Fund for further investment.
“This is an important initiative for Ireland and I am delighted that the Ryan Academy is providing a catalyst for the next generation of Irish entrepreneurs. This initiative is not only another clear manifestation of DCU’s commitment to be the University of Enterprise but also addresses an obvious deficit in the pathway from concept to successful product”, said Professor Brian MacCraith, the new President of Dublin City University.
The first round of investment will open for applicants in October this year, with the first four successful entrepreneurs being announced before the end of the year. A further eight entrepreneurs will be funded in 2011 and again in 2012. Each of these entrepreneurial groups will then work with the Ryan Academy to develop their company, building key and lasting business relationships along the way to help them sustain a viable business. The Ryan Academy is aiming to work with other seed funds and individual investors, and will be seeking to increase the fund size over time.
“Raising the money to get through the first year is often difficult for entrepreneurs and our objective is to support twenty early-stage entrepreneurial teams over the next two and half years” said Gordon McConnell, Deputy-CEO of the Ryan Academy and venture manager for the new fund. “We will work with other later-stage angel investors, other funds and the venture capital community to help ensure further funding for these new companies. We want to help nurture innovative technology ideas and act as a launchpad for new entrepreneurs.”
The fund is unique as it is both a university-related venture fund for start-ups across Ireland, as well as offering a programme of support for these startups through the Ryan Academy and its network.
The new fund will be governed by a Technology Advisory Board, which will be announced later in the summer. Further and regular updates on the new fund will be posted on the Ryan Academy Tech Entrepreneurship Blog.
About the Ryan Academy
The DCU Ryan Academy is a partnership between Dublin City University and the family of the late Tony Ryan (Ryanair). The Academy exists to promote entrepreneurship and innovation and to use our iconic building in Citywest as a dynamic hub for entrepreneurs and researchers to develop ideas, learn new skills and network. The Ryan Academy is working with researchers and entrepreneurs to help them achieve their potential.