€46m Hothouse venture seeks savvy start-up entrepreneurs

1 Jul 2009

Calling all entrepreneurs! Hothouse needs you. The Dublin Institute of Technology’s Hothouse Venture Programme is on the hunt for 16 graduate entrepreneurs with industry experience to take part in a year-long programme.

Since the Hothouse programme was established in 2001, participating companies have attracted more than €46m in external investment and funding.

The programme is designed to provide entrepreneurs that have knowledge-intensive business ideas with the expertise, networks and tools they need to develop highly successful global businesses.

It offers a number of supports to budding entrepreneurs to help them build and develop their high-end technology-based products or services, including management training and business counselling, access to funding, investment and networking opportunities, as well as a range of office facilities.

In 2008, a survey of previous participant companies indicated that 145 companies had created in excess of 950 high-value jobs since the programme began in 2001.

There are two programmes per year, one starting in March and one in September, with 16 places available on each. Participants must have left full-time employment and be working full-time on developing their new business.

Operating since 2001, the programme has supported over 200 entrepreneurs at the early stages of business development, including companies now successfully established such as TNS MediaMarket, IQ Content, Movidia, Cicero Networks, Allergy Standards, myaddress.ie, micksgarage.ie and lookandtaste.com (formerly ifoods.tv).

Hothouse innovation centre manager Bernadette O’Reilly said that while applications to the programme were often oversubscribed, the calibre of submissions is extremely high.

“In the current economic environment we have seen a surge in the number of entrepreneurs developing high-end technology-based services which have significant growth potential in a global context.

“The programme seeks to assist people who have got past the initial feasibility phase and are seeking to bring their businesses to the next level.”

The deadline for submission of applications is Friday, 31 July, with the programme commencing on Thursday, 24 September 2009. Successful applicants will be notified before the end of August.

By John Kennedy