Irish firm puts ‘ideas economy’ into action with €10,000 prize


25 Mar 2009

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Have you got an idea that could be the next Google or Facebook? Budding entrepreneurs with a great idea for a technology start-up can bypass red-tape funding and go for gold with a no-strings €10,000 cash prize from Irish web-consultancy firm iQ Content.

The competition, iQ Prize, was officially opened at 2pm today and already has four entrants. With 48 days to go until the closing date, budding business owners are encouraged to submit a five-page business plan for their internet-based start-up, outlining what the business premise is, what problem it solves and what unique angle they have that the competition doesn’t.

As a company born in the year 2000, when the dotcom bubble burst, iQ Content knows what it’s like for a young start-up to struggle in a recession.

“We know how hard it is for start-ups. But we also think recessions are a great time for creativity, good ideas and starting sustainable businesses,” said Morgan McKeagney, managing director of iQ Content.

But why such a large cash prize with no strings? iQ Content does not want any equity stake in the winner’s business, nor a bid to invest.

“The iQ Prize is our contribution to creating a better Ireland: a catalyst to tap into Ireland’s talent, to spark innovation and to help create the great businesses of the future,” explained McKeagney.

“We’re doing this because we can, and because we think it’s timely and worthwhile.”

The competition was first announced at The Future of Web Apps event in Dublin on 6 March, of which iQ Content was a sponsor, and was an ideal platform with a large turnout of tech start-ups, experts and entrepreneurs coming from all around Ireland to hear speakers from successful tech firms including 37 Signals, Contrast and last.fm share their expertise.

Recession or no recession, McKeagney said the Irish are good at story-telling, creativity and technology, and that we can use this to our advantage to build successful web-based businesses.

The last date for entries is 12 May, after which a shortlist will be announced on 10 June, with the winner finally announced on 25 June.

By Marie Boran