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Irish government launches EUR500m fund of funds

The Irish government has launched a EUR500m fund of funds to support enterprise development and job creation.

The vehicle will commit to international venture capital firms that agree to launch new European operations in Ireland.

Speaking at the New York Stock Exchange, the Taoiseach said: “The Ireland of the future will be a smart, high-value, export-led economy. It will have some of the world’s leading research-intensive multinationals, a number of which will be Irish-owned. It will be a centre for advanced manufacturing. It will have thousands of innovative small and medium enterprises. These companies will be creating the products and services of tomorrow for a world market.”

The Innovation Taskforce has estimated that in the order of 120,000 new jobs could be created by 2020 by following this strategy.

The Taoiseach said: “Venture capital is an essential ingredient for supporting entrepreneurs and ensuring that businesses can scale and create jobs. Lack of finance consistently emerges as a key impediment for innovative firms. Many successful companies that are now household names, like Google, Facebook and Staples, relied on venture financing to achieve the scale necessary to become multinational companies and provide large numbers of jobs. We must provide the right environment for such companies to develop in Ireland.”

Innovation Fund – Ireland will result in the establishment of the European operations of a number of leading international venture capital fund managers in Ireland.

The Taoiseach is appointing an advisory board to advise government on the strategic direction, progress and performance of the fund and to assist in bringing global attention to it.

Damien Callaghan of Intel Capital has agreed to chair the advisory board.

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