New startup fund embodies required spirit

Dublin, Ireland -- 5th February-- 2015: The new Dublin Startup Community Fund is an example of how established businesses can help new startups to reach their potential, according to new Dublin Chamber of Commerce President Greg Clarke.

The new €20,000 Dublin Startup Community Fund was launched today by Dublin’s Commissioner for Startups Niamh Bushnell. The Community Fund is being co-funded by a number of private organisations, including Dublin Chamber of Commerce and Bank of Ireland, and will provide small grants of up to €500 to organisations looking to promote startup events.

According to Mr Clarke: "Established companies and business people have a responsibility to help our burgeoning companies and entrepreneurs to establish themselves, grow and create jobs. It is encouraging to see such spirit being shown by private firms in their support of the new Startup Community Fund. The amounts available to community-focused entrepreneurial organisations under the Community Fund may seem small, but the funding will go a long way to amplifying the dialogue around entrepreneurship and innovation in the Dublin region."
Mr Clarke made the comments in his inaugural speech as President of Dublin Chamber at the organisation's AGM Dinner in the InterContinental Dublin.

The AGM Dinner featured a keynote address from Mark Roden, founder of ding.com and EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2014. The event also saw Derry Gray, Partner, BDO, confirmed as Vice-President of Dublin Chamber.
Mick Sweeney, Director of Customer, Insurance & Investment Businesses at Bank of Ireland, the sponsor for the Chamber AGM, commented: “Bank of Ireland, in partnership with Dublin Chamber of Commerce, is a proud and committed supporter of Ireland’s continued economic growth. The SME sector is, of course, a critical driver of that growth, and Bank of Ireland provides over 50% of new lending to SMEs. We have a range of products and services which we offer via our extensive network of 250 branches nationwide, and we strongly encourage SMEs to come and talk to us about their business plans. Bank of Ireland also offers a range of pro-enterprise supports – like the Enterprise Lounge on Grafton Street which can be used by all business people and entrepreneurs free of charge. Next Monday in Grand Canal Dock we are opening a fantastic new concept space for enterprise, for ideas, for meetings, workshops, events and banking. We encourage the business community to come and visit this exciting new development.

“In addition, we continuously look at new ways to support SMEs and startups, and are delighted to partner with the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and Niamh Bushnell, Dublin’s Commissioner for Startups, to launch a new Dublin Community Fund. The fund will provide small grants to organisations looking to promote startup events and help Dublin’s startup community work collaboratively to support growth and development. Of particular importance to the economy is Dublin’s location as a hub for multinationals and Bank of Ireland is the No 1 Corporate Bank in Ireland with over 70% of International companies setting up in Ireland choosing to bank with us. As the largest lender into the Irish market, Bank of Ireland's target is to deliver €33 billion in new lending into the economy between 2013 and 2017. And in conjunction with Dublin Chamber, we look forward to continuing to drive the development of Dublin's vibrant economy,” added Mr Sweeney.

Speaking on his experiences as an entrepreneur in Dublin, Mark Roden, founder of ding.com, said: “Dublin is a fantastic city to build a global business. It may not be perfect in all aspects but with the right ambition and determination, you can build a Dublin-headquartered team that will succeed in international markets.”