Software start-up course goes for second term

23 Sep 2003

The 2004 Software Business Start-up Programme, a joint initiative by Enterprise Ireland and NUI Galway, has begun recruiting individuals with business ideas interested in becoming the Irish software entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

The programme, which takes only eight candidates a year, targets individuals with business plans and ideas for the software sector and gives them access to skills and training in the areas of business strategy and finance as well as giving them exclusive access to investor networks.

According to Enterprise Ireland spokesman Pascal Maguire, the organisers are currently inviting applications for the 2004 programme from people interested in starting their own software business.

One graduate of the programme, John Brosnan, has started his own software firm Netfort ISS, which has already raised its first round investment, which includes Enterprise Ireland as a key investor.

Maguire told “The programme gets a lot of input from Enterprise Ireland and NUI expertise and takes only eight people per term. These would be people with a business idea. They don’t necessarily have to be start-ups. They could already be in the workforce and interested in starting up themselves and getting out there and taking a risk.

“The course basically equips them with the knowledge necessary to be a start-up. Essentially they would have to leave their full-time jobs to do this 12-month course, but during the course they are supported financially by Enterprise Ireland.”

Looking at the Netfort investment, Maguire said: “The course itself doesn’t guarantee that Enterprise Ireland would take an investment in a start-up idea. It would, however, give the participants access to the investor networks and the skills and knowledge to pursue investment. Brosnan’s Netfort was a particularly good start-up idea and John was able to attract other investors as well as Enterprise Ireland.

“Out of the last class there would be at least three or four potential companies capable of raising similar investment rounds,” Maguire said.

By John Kennedy