Innovation centre for start-up companies is launched


22 Nov 2010

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A facility that offers local businesses access to skills and expertise has been launched today in the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB), that will benefit enterprise-focused, high-technology, knowledge-based companies.

The LINC, a learning and innovation centre at ITB, will offer “a supportive, safe and dynamic working environment” to emerging and start-up companies.

Built in 2001, the LINC was successfully awarded more than €1.1m from Enterprise Ireland as part of the Campus Incubation Programme funded through the National Development Plan in 2008 – allowing development and additional incubation space, to give the LINC the full building and services it has today.

Vision

“We are delighted to be here today launching the LINC Centre. The LINC has been part of the vision of ITB since the institute opened in 1999 so it is great to see this vision finally being realised,” said Assumpta Harvey, manager of the LINC, ITB.

Harvey believes that with the support of centres like the LINC, emerging companies have a better chance of survival in the business world as they attempt to stay afloat in the all-important first three years.

“The early stages of a company’s development can be very isolating. Research shows that businesses starting through an incubator have an 80pc chance of survival in comparison to those outside an incubator, who have a 50pc chance of survival. So we know that the LINC will be a great asset to the local and regional economy assisting technology start-ups through the first three years of their business which can be very isolating while continuing to support more established businesses to link in with the academic community of the institute.”

Companies can expect to benefit from LINC services, such as:

  • Facilities, training and support to start-up, high-growth and knowledge-based businesses, which may develop from research projects from within ITB’s graduate cohort or through other links to the institute.
  • Facilities and support for applied research and development activity within the institute in collaboration with industry partners.
  • Training, mentoring, consultancy and other supports to improve the competitiveness of SMEs in the region in identified strategic areas.

The LINC recently played host to the iFactor – a contest for budding companies to make a pitch to a panel of investors.