Wednesday 13 December 2017

Entrepreneurs invited to showcase their success at Bank of Ireland Startup Awards 2017

Independent.ie Business Desk

Independent.ie Business Desk

Irish entrepreneurs are invited to showcase their business success at the sixth annual Bank of Ireland Startup Awards 2017.

The competition recognises and rewards companies and organisations across 13 categories including digital, food and drink, retail and fintech, health & healthcare and technology.

Companies that are in business for three years or less at the closing date, with up to 30 employees can enter the awards - free of charge - on their own behalf or can be nominated by a friend or colleague; almost 680 entries were received last year.

The category winners will go on to represent Ireland in the European Startup Awards later this year. Many of the participating firms in 2016 went on to further success following the event. 

Waterford-based manufacturer Pip & Pear Babyfood took home the accolade for the ‘Food & Drink Entrepreneurial Startup’ - and the product is now sold in multiples throughout the country. Meanwhile, Cyc-Lok who were the winner of the Sustainable Startup category, went on to secure a contract with Dublin City Council after their win.

Speaking at the awards launch in the Enterprise Ireland Headquarters in Dublin, Bank of Ireland’s Enterprise Development Programme Manager Michelle Goodwin said the bank offers "a range of supports and initiatives including our dedicated Business Start Up Package which offers start-ups a competitive suite of business supports including free professional services to help successfully start their business".

"Both financial and non-financial assistance is important when setting up a new business and at Bank of Ireland we offer a broad range of supports.

"Our Workbench facilities in Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Cork offers new and developing businesses co working and meeting space free of charge, and allow like-minded people to connect and create new opportunities. I look forward to reviewing the entries which will showcase the success, hard work and dedication of Ireland’s entrepreneurs,” she said.  

Entries are judged in their respective region, which includes Dublin, the rest of Leinster, Munster and Connacht/Ulster. Regional finalists are then shortlisted for the national final which takes place in Dublin in May. The competition is open to Bank of Ireland customers and non - Bank of Ireland customers.

Stephen Dillion, Founder of Startups.ie said that starting a new business takes a huge amount of courage and hard work.

"The first few years can be really challenging and the Startup Awards are here to support entrepreneurs who are investing so much of themselves to build businesses that will ultimately create employment and benefit the broader economy," he said.

“Each year we receive feedback from entrants that the awards were instrumental in supporting their business by providing additional credibility, boosting morale and by opening new doors with the exposure received. With the Startup Awards we are proud to play our part in supporting entrepreneurship in Ireland."

Tom Early, HPSU Start Manager, Enterprise Ireland said: “Last year, Enterprise Ireland invested €32m in Irish start-ups and we are delighted to be part of these awards which showcase up and coming early-stage companies. Supporting more start-ups and using innovation as a driver of competitive advantage to build scale and expand reach in overseas markets is a key part of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy for 2017-2020.”

To enter or nominate someone for a Startup Award visit: www.startupawards.ie.

The awards judging committee will comprise representatives from Bank of Ireland, Startups.ie and leading Irish entrepreneurs. 

The closing date for entries into the awards is Monday 27th March 2017, the regional finals will take place during April with the national gala final taking place in Dublin on Thursday, 18th May, 2017. 

Further information on the awards will also be available via the Bank of Ireland Twitter account @BOIbusiness and a dedicated hashtag has been created for the event #boistartupawards.

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