Countrywide Start-up Nights seek early stage hopefuls for AIB Start-up Academy

7 Apr 2014

Bobby Kerr, chair, Insomnia; Sinead Cummins, head of B2B marketing, AIB; John Irwin, head of strategy, business banking, AIB; and Sonya Lennon, founder, FrockAdvisor

The Irish Times has teamed up with AIB for its new Start-up Academy, which will kick off in early 2015 with a selection of start-ups chosen from Start-up Nights to be held across Ireland over the coming months.

Start-up Nights will run from April to October, bringing together a mix of entrepreneurs, mentors and investors at meet-ups in cities and towns around the country.

This series of networking events welcomes start-ups of all stages and from all backgrounds, as well as fledgling entrepreneurs looking to start their first business. Seasoned entrepreneurs will be on hand to share stories and network, and pitching start-ups will have the opportunity to win a place in the AIB Start-up Academy.

At the launch event in Dublin’s 4 Dame Lane on 3 April, start-ups CoolBeans, FoodCloud and Loylap pitched to a crowd of entrepreneurs that included Bobby Kerr, chair of Insomnia, and Sonya Lennon, founder of FrockAdvisor.

Speakers scheduled to make an appearance at future events include SOSventures’ Sean O’Sullivan, John Teeling of the Teeling Whiskey Company, and Elaine O’Hora, founder of Munchies.

Selection for the academy will come later in the year and these finalists will benefit from mentoring, coaching and business support from Irish Times Training and AIB.

“Over the years, The Irish Times has sought to develop meaningful ways to encourage and assist individuals who are seeking to set up their own business,” said Liam Kavanagh, chief executive of The Irish Times. “By collaborating with AIB, start-ups will benefit from our combined expertise and experience to help them along their journey.”

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.