600 delegates are attending the Enterprise Ireland Start-Up Showcase today in Croke Park.

Enterprise Ireland, the government agency responsible for the development and growth of Irish companies in global markets, invested a total of €24m in Irish start-ups in 2019 and supported a total of 127 start-up companies.

The investments were provided through Enterprise Ireland's High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) and Competitive Start Fund (CSF) programmes.

About 600 delegates attended the Enterprise Ireland Start-Up Showcase today in Croke Park.

Start-ups supported by the agency included 91 High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) investments - which have the potential to create 10 jobs and €1m in sales within three to four years of starting up.

It also supported 36 Competitive Start Fund (CSF) investments, which inject critical early-stage funding into new businesses.

Enterprise Ireland said that 42% of the companies it supported are located outside of Dublin, while 38 women-led start-up companies were approved investment.

Jennifer Melia, Manager of the HPSU Division at the Enterprise Ireland, said that a strong start-up economy is absolutely vital to the future of Ireland. 

Ms Melia said that start-ups are a powerful driver of economic growth, new talent and innovation. 

She noted that 2019 was another successful year for Irish start-ups across a range of sectors including ICT, medtech, fintech, food and manufacturing. 

There was also a strong performance by start-ups from outside of Dublin, she added. 

Manna Drone Delivery is one of the companies attending today's Croke Park Event. The company is a food delivery company with a difference - it will deliver food by drone.

Manna's Bobby Healy said the company is very busy testing its drones and next week plans to go live. He said the company has done tens of thousands of flights and is very happy with the performance of the aircraft. 

The drones can fly in heavy weather and is a "magnificent thing" to see in flight, he added. He said that while the recent bad weather and storms has affected the drones' testing - as they are not allowed to test in bad weather - the aircraft are perfectly capable to weather wind and rain. 

Mr Healy said there is nothing like running your own business.