Revealed: Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards 2017 - The Finalists
From over a hundred applications, through a rigorous Dragons' Den style bootcamp, the finalists for the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards 2017 can finally be revealed.
Some 16 of Ireland's entrepreneurs with an ambition for social change in Ireland will now go through to the final stages of the selection.
They will pitch their projects to panels of judges in the hope of winning a place on the highly competitive Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards programme.
Of the sixteen, eight will go on to receive an initial €300,000 in funding and support for their projects for social change with potential for further investment and development opportunities.
Critical funding and mentorship opportunities will be also made available to high-potential social entrepreneurs to enable them to scale the impact of their projects.
"We have been very impressed by the calibre of applications we have received this year and we would like to congratulate the finalists for reaching this point in the process," Social Entrepreneurs Ireland CEO Darren Ryan said.
"We look forward to working closely with the 2017 Awardees to scale the impact of their projects in Ireland."
One of the finalist groups spoke with independent.ie at the pitching event in the RDS last month.
Niall O'Brien co-founded 'The Grow Dome Project' with Ivan Rynn, growing produce hydroponically "which is far superior than soil grown methods and what they use in NASA when they're flying astronauts out to Mars".
The first dome site is based in Rialto and the team are busy working on their second site which will be based in DCU.
"We taking all the lessons we learned with the first prototypes and taking all the benefits and putting them into the next one," said Niall.
"We hope to see a network of domes all around the country eventually."
International sales, marketing and support services group, DCC, is the flagship supporter of the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards.
CEO Tommy Breen said: "We strongly believe in the work of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and are delighted to play a role in identifying and supporting Ireland’s brightest and most ambitious entrepreneurs who are dedicated to making a positive impact on our society."
The full list of finalists
•ACT for Meningitis - Siobhán Carroll and Dawn McGoldrick
•Breakthrough Programme (Beacon of Light Counselling Centre) - Geoffrey McCarthy & Karl Cannon
•Education Desty Ltd - Stephanie O’Malley
•Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance - Hugh Brennan
•OreillyMaths - Gareth O’Reilly
•Sailing into Wellness - Colin Healy & James Lyons
•Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) School Framework - Claire Mullally
•STEAM Education - Alice D’Arcy & Gráinne Bagnall
•Teen-Turn - Joanne Dolan
•The Blueprint for Safety National Demonstration Site - Madeline Mc Aleer
•The Green Kitchen Café & Garden Centre - Duncan Walker
•The Grow Dome Project - Niall O’Brien & Ivan Rynn
•The Holding Project - Sean Cullen
•The New Growth Project - Ciaran Burke
•The Shona Project - Tammy Darcy
•Zeminar - Damien Clarke & Ian Fitzpatrick
The Award winners will be announced at the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards Ceremony in the Mansion House on October 4, 2017.