Bank of Ireland’s start-up accelerator becomes a global affair

3 Jul 2014

Bank of Ireland’s new accelerator in Cork has become something of a ‘World Cup for Accelerators’, with applications coming in from Italy, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Portugal, Germany, India, the US and Russia.

The Bank of Ireland Accelerator Programme will offer up to 10 start-ups an opportunity to take part in the three-month programme that begins in September.

Participants will receive the input and guidance of some of Ireland and Europe’s leading mentors and coaches, from a network including Bill Liao and Sean O’Sullivan of SOSventures, as well as Gavin Duffy of Dragons’ Den.

The Bank of Ireland Accelerator Programme will be based at Penrose Wharf in the heart of Cork City.

“As one of the mentors on the Bank of Ireland Accelerator Programme, I am really excited about working with some of the brightest entrepreneurs from across the world,” Bill Liao commented.

“Ireland has a reputation for being the preferred location for countless large tech companies but we can see from the global response to the Accelerator Programme that Ireland is also a hotbed for start-ups.”

Ireland emerges as a preferred location for tech start-ups

Liao continued: “For instance, the ‘The Founders Co-Op’ model adopted by the Accelerator Programme offers the chosen companies a unique opportunity, as well as fostering a start-up eco system.

“This involves each founder investing 3pc of their equity in return for shares in a fund set up for the benefit and to be shared by the start-ups themselves. If any of the start-ups successfully exit in the future, all the company founders will share in that success.”

Each company selected for the Programme will receive €10,000 in seed funding as well as the use of the Bank of Ireland Accelerator Programme office and all its resources.

“Since the Bank of Ireland Accelerator Programme was launched at the end of May, we have been absolutely thrilled with the amount of interest in our Programme,” added Wayne Murphy, programme manager at the accelerator programme.

“The quality of the applicants is very impressive so we are really excited about the type of dynamic and disruptive companies that will emerge from all the hard work ahead.

“The Accelerator Programme caters for talented entrepreneurs across all business sectors and is one of the initiatives through which Bank of Ireland, as Ireland’s ‘Enterprise Bank’ is supportinging SME’s and start-up companies,” Murphy said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years