Wednesday 13 December 2017

Entrepreneur academy mothballed by 2005 'downturn' has reopened

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

In 2005, the Tony Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurship was launched to great fanfare by then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

The Dublin-based institution, attached to Dublin City University (DCU) and backed by a promised €10m seed capital fund from the late aviation mogul, would, Mr Ahern said, be a "world-class resource for developing both the quality and quantity of entrepreneurial capability in Ireland".

Less than three years later the academy was unceremoniously closed.

DCU said at the time the institute had been mothballed because there was "insufficient business due to the downturn in the economy".

But just as quietly as it closed, the academy has re-opened, this time with a more conservative outlook. It's believed the body had ploughed through a substantial amount of cash between 2005 and late last year, forcing it to reassess its future.

Just appointed to head up the institute is Ann Horan, the former managing director of Bank of Ireland Finance. A member of the DCU trust, she was previously the interim chief executive of the Ryan Academy when it was established, before the mantle was passed to Terri Scott.

Ms Horan says she expects to have a new business plan in place for the academy within the next couple of months. "It's likely to be a bit more modest," she says.

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