Google Adopt a Startup open for 2017 Irish applicants

21 Nov 2016

From left: Sorcha O’Grady, director of sales at TruckScience; Ian Harkin, MD of Arklu; and Richie Spence, founder of at the launch of Google’s 2017 Adopt a Startup programme. Image: Shane O’Neill Photography

Google is looking for entrepreneurs based in Ireland to apply for its Adopt a Startup programme, running in spring 2017.

The next Adopt a Startup programme begins soon, with Google open to applications from today (21 November) up to 1 December. You can submit your application here.

With 30 positions on the programme up for grabs, the full list of companies selected will be revealed in early January 2017. Successful applicants will receive 12 weeks of hands-on mentoring and access to exclusive lectures and workshops.

Adopt a Startup

“This is a hugely beneficial programme for Irish start-ups,” said Google Ireland’s Paddy Flynn.

“The types of start-ups we are looking for, and who will benefit the most from participation, are those in business for more than one year, with a strategy in place for acquiring new customers and already generating revenue.

“They will be thinking globally and rapidly scaling their business, or planning to enter into new markets over the first six months in 2017.”

In July, Donegal-based Arklu was named the winner of the programme, capping off a fine year for the dollmaker.

Arklu has had a literal cosmic rise in recent years, as a start-up that creates dolls based on characters who are nine-years-old. The dolls are created to be positive role models for children, to stimulate their imaginations, and inspire learning and fun through play.

No doubt the highlight of the company’s success to date has been the fact that one of its creations became the first doll to head into space, aboard the ISS with British astronaut Tim Peake.

Ian Harkin, MD of Arklu, said that since taking part, his business has already exceeded targets compared to previous years of business.

“We are well on track to double our turnover this year compared to last year and since winning the competition, our sales have tripled compared to the same period last year,” he said.

“In addition, we have signed a worldwide book deal with Penguin publishers, one of our Lottie dolls returned from space having spent 264 days on the international space station, and we are close to signing off on a major new investment.

“By this time next year, we also hope to have doubled our current workforce to employ 20 people in Donegal.”

For next year’s programme, Flynn is highlighting the need for applicants to be available for a three-month “hands-on” mentoring schedule, “and be willing to embrace change and take action on feedback given”.

“Since we launched our Adopt a Startup programme 2014, we have worked with almost 100 high potential Irish start-ups and many have gone on to raise significant capital funding and greatly increase their employee numbers,” said Flynn.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic