Funding sometimes feels like the land of misplaced glory, more respected than real achievements for a company, like product/market fit, or dare I say it, customers and revenue.
Ive also always been wary of too much government involvement in startup funding, and continue to actively campaign for more tax relief to increase private industry participation in picking and backing our best companies.
That said, it is super valuable to know about the grants, vouchers, matching funds etc that exist in Ireland for ambitious young companies and to be sure, theyve been helpful to many. So, thanks Peter and colleagues for the opportunity. Heres the guide and my short, slightly cautionary foreword:
When it comes to government funding for startups, there are generally two world views. The first says steer clear forever; seek smart, market-driven money only, from angels first and then VCs. The second says, be open-minded; dont let the bureaucracy get you down, take cheap or free money wherever you can find it. After all, the Internet was originally a government-funded project.
Whatever your world view, its always a good idea to weigh up the value of any money youre raising before you dive too deeply into the process.
A great team, a passion for your customers, an appetite for speed, and a comfort with risk and failure. These are the characteristics of great startup businesses. Check these boxes first and youre off to a good start.
Funding is starting and scaling fuel. Its not an end game in itself. VCs invest in companies who have something big to prove through their vision and execution. Governments invest for the same reason. They want to support companies who are developing innovative new solutions, who have the tenacity to go out and compete in global markets, and yes, who can create jobs back home.
If you think government funding can fuel your great startup ambitions, youve come to the right place. Pick up this indispensable guide, put your head down and get started. We all look forward to supporting you!