We continue to seek
experienced multinational managers and entrepreneurs
with proven track records to drive these companies to
success. Finally we have and will continue to build a
network of domestic and international companies as customers,
validators and co-investors to our investments.
The path to funding for start-up companies is a difficult
one. The implementation of Basle II for banks will make
banks less likely to fund venture capital in any form.
This combined with the recent referral of the Business
Expansion Scheme to the European Commission poses additional
problems to the provision of venture capital. We acknowledge
the staunch efforts being undertaken by Enterprise Ireland
and the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment
to secure the continued operation of the BES and Seed
Capital Schemes. The availability of these funds is essential
to grow new businesses. Many of these start - ups essentially
depend on the promoters own equity, Enterprise Ireland
funding and the Business Expansion/Seed Capital Schemes
and now 4th Level Ventures to complete the proof of concept
stage and get the business started.
We would also like to see extension of the proposed
tax credits whereby the individual can gain an allowance
for financing and encouraging research and development
in addition to the ability of the company to offset qualifying
R&D expenditure against all tax liabilities. Our
neighbours in the UK have adopted this approach which
has proved to be very successful and will be able to
ensure a source of funding for research beyond 2006.
The role of Enterprise Ireland in the fostering of start
up companies deserves considerable credit and is often
overlooked Over the years we have provided advice to
many Irish and international start up companies and the
singular role played by Enterprise Ireland in the backing
of start ups is the envy of many UK based companies with
whom we have worked. Congratulations to Pat Maher, Fergal
O Morain, Kevin Sherry, Julie Sinnamon, Dennis Marnane
and all those with whom we have and will continue to
worked with in Enterprise Ireland. Keep up the good work.
Finally we would like announce and welcome Ruairi Quinn
as Chariman of 4th Level Ventures and on both on behalf
of 4th Level Ventures and myself I would like to thank
Dennis Marnane of Enterprise Ireland for his huge support
and encouragement in the formation of 4th Level Ventures.
Many thanks Dennis