The Business Plan Competition 2018 has €16,000 in prizes for start-ups

6 Mar 2018

NDRC in Dublin. Image: Connor McKenna

The Ireland Funds launches its annual Business Plan Competition in partnership with NDRC.

Early-stage start-ups have been invited to take part in the Business Plan Competition 2018, jointly held by The Ireland Funds and the NDRC, with up to €16,000 in funding and mentoring.

The winner will have the opportunity to pitch for a place on one of NDRC’s investment programmes as well as securing a €10,000 cash prize. Second place will receive a €5,000 cash prize and third place will receive €1,000.

Now in its seventh year, the competition seeks to nurture creativity and hone entrepreneurial skills amongst early-stage technology entrepreneurs. It is open for entries until noon on 25 April 2018.

Students and recent graduates from the island of Ireland are invited to submit technology proposals that are at pre-investment stage.

Ireland’s thriving start-up scene

“Ireland boasts a thriving start-up scene, with initiatives popping up across the country,” said Bill McKiernan, founder of CyberSource, president at WSM Capital and board director of The Ireland Funds.

“The Business Plan Competition aims to hone entrepreneurial skills amongst budding young entrepreneurs, who play a crucial role in developing local industries, attracting investors and creating jobs in Ireland.”

Last year’s winner was early-stage start-up Aurius, a company that offers affordable, high-quality hearing aids that are paired with a phone or tablet app, allowing users to tune the device at home.

Since taking the crown, Aurius is now ready to go to market.

“NDRC is always looking for ways to enhance the level of digital entrepreneurship in Ireland, with The Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition offering a perfect opportunity to do just that,” explained Gary Leyden, commercial director at NDRC.

“A competition like this is a great way to start stimulating those individuals and teams who may have a good idea but are not sure how to proceed.”

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