Over 1,800 new jobs have been promised over the next three years by more than 120 young - mostly technology based - companies.

The businesses are all part of Enterprise Ireland's High Potential Start-Up programme, which published its results for 2013 today.

Each year the Department of Jobs, through Enterprise Ireland, invests funding in start-up businesses considered to have high potential.

These so called HPSUs are defined as being export oriented, focused on technological innovation, likely to achieve significant growth in three years and led by an experienced team.

Last year, a record 103 new HPSUs received investment from Enterprise Ireland. 80% were in software, clean tech, engineering, medical devices or pharmaceuticals. 

41 of the businesses were led by women, while ten were spun out of third-level institutions.

Living up to their high potential tag, those 100 businesses and 20 other HPSU's supported by Enterprise Ireland in previous years, claim that over the next three years they will create a total of 1,850 jobs.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said the jobs growth showed the Government's plan to build a powerful engine of Irish enterprise alongside the multinational sector was working.

"The results published today show that the HPSU programme goes from strength to strength, with more companies, more overseas companies, more female-led companies, and more jobs than previous years," the Minister said.

Enterprise Ireland's Head of High Potential Start Ups and Scaling Lisa Vaughan said that the Government's jobs plan gives a clear mandate to Enterprise Ireland to drive entrepreneurship and new business start-ups.

"2013 was a very strong year with many highlights, including the big increase in female led start ups and the strong showing of new start ups from overseas and spin-outs from Irish Universities and Institutes of Technology," she added.