The Bank of Ireland Start-up Awards 2014 have been opened to start-up companies across Ireland. New to the awards this year are regional finals, which will take place across Dublin, the rest of Leinster, Munster and Connacht/Ulster.
Last year’s winner of the grand prix award was Allogen Biotech. Irish Handmade Soap Company won that award in 2012, showing the variety of companies taking part in the awards.
Regional winners will be shortlisted for the national final taking place in autumn 2014 in Dublin.
“At Bank of Ireland we want to be Ireland’s enterprise bank and by so doing we are here to support start-ups and SMEs with their business needs,” said Gerry Prizeman, head of Enterprise Development at Bank of Ireland.
“Last year alone, more than 16,000 start-ups opened accounts with us. We have a number of supports in place to help start-ups and SMEs, aside from financial advice. We also host social media clinics and sectoral seminars and programmes.”
Start-ups are vital to the Irish economy
This year, companies can enter on their own behalf or be nominated by a friend or colleague.
“Start-ups are vitally important for Ireland’s continued economic development. It is important that we support start-up companies for the contribution and employment they bring to the economy,” said Damien English, TD, and chairperson of the Oireachtas Joint Committee for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
English launched the awards at Bank of Ireland’s Enterprise Lounge on Grafton Street in Dublin this morning.
“It is also encouraging to see that there is such support in the business community for start-up companies and SMEs. I know that Bank of Ireland has a number of initiatives and programmes in place to support start-ups and SMEs. I encourage all start-ups to enter the awards and wish everyone taking part continued success for their businesses and in the awards,” English said.
To enter the Start-up Awards 2014
Entry into the awards is free and is open to sole traders, partnerships and Irish companies in business for three years or less with up to 30 employees.
The awards judging committee will be comprised of representatives from Bank of Ireland and local enterprise offices, and regional leading Irish entrepreneurs.
The closing date for entries into the awards is Friday, 15 August. Regional finals will take place in September and the national gala final will take place in Dublin in October.