Entrepreneurship drive continues apace in Shannon region

10 Aug 2011

Shannon Development Knowledge Network business parks took in 30 new start-ups in 2010 and a new initiative for entrepreneurs in the region is soon to be launched, according to Dr Vincent Cunnane, chief executive of Shannon Development.

“Working with Clare local authorities and two universities on the west coast of Ireland, we will shortly launch a new Regional Innovation Centre at our Information Age Park in Ennis. The aim of this initiative is to create unique links between businesses and top research facilities at NUI Galway and the University of Limerick,” he said, launching Shannon Development’s annual report for 2010.

In its role of providing property solutions to attract entrepreneurs, Shannon Development completed investments of more than €7.5m in a range of property solutions for foreign and indigenous companies in 2010.

Among these was a major €3.6m expansion at Tipperary Technology Park which was opened in June 2010. The new building, Innovation Works 3, brings total investment by Shannon Development at the Park to €7.4m, Cunnane noted.

European Entrepreneurial Region of the Year

He also pointed out that Kerry was named European Entrepreneurial Region of the Year 2011, and Limerick won the title of European City of Sport for 2011.

“Our work in securing the prestigious 2011 European Entrepreneurial Region Award for Kerry is yielding dividends. Since it was granted, the pace of development of Kerry’s entrepreneurship initiatives – all of which are founded and operated by Shannon Development, IT Tralee and entrepreneur Jerry Kennelly – have accelerated considerably.

“For example, the new re-modelled Endeavour Programme launched last January is now recognised as one of the most sought-after national accelerator programmes for entrepreneurs in the country. Over 120 budding entrepreneurs completed the introductory phase of the programme and 14 start-up companies have just been selected to complete the 2011 programme.”

The programme will offer mentoring from some of Ireland’s top professionals in the fields of finance, legal and communications, as well as incubation space at Shannon Development’s Kerry Technology Park. Mentors from New York, Silicon Valley and Asia have also been encapsulated into the programme.

Photo: Dr Vincent Cunnane, chief executive, Shannon Development, and John Brassil, chairman, Shannon Development