ITLG brings Kauffman entrepreneurship programme to LIT

5 Oct 2012

Pictured: ITLG Head of Operations, Cian Hughes, LIT President, Maria Hinfelaar & ITLG Kaufmann Programs Director, Brian Fitzgerald

The prestigious Kauffman Foundation, a world authority on entrepreneurship and innovation, is to deliver entrepreneurial programmes at Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) as part of a partnership between the college and the Irish Technology Leadership Group.

Based in Kansas City, the Kauffman Foundation is a world authority on entrepreneurial innovation.

Set up in the 1960s, it was the brainchild of Ewing Marion Kauffman, the late entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded the pharmaceutical company Marion Laboratories.

According to the Kauffman Foundation, 40pc of new job growth will come from start-ups.

The partnership between the ITLG and LIT will lead to the delivery of successful offerings such as the Kauffman FastTrac TechVenture and GrowthVenture programmes.

FastTrac TechVenture is designed to give technology- or science-based entrepreneurs a proven framework to develop a good idea into a great innovation.

FastTrac GrowthVenture, on the other hand, is designed for businesses that are already launched and is based on proven strategies to enable those companies to achieve sustainable growth.

Sustainable economic growth

“This programme will provide our Limerick the LIT-grown technology start-up companies and entrepreneurs that we support through our Hartnett Centre in Limerick and the Thurles Enterprise Centre in Tipperary with the tools and experience to compete in a competitive US market,” said Maria Hinfelaar, president, Limerick Institute of Technology.

With the establishment of new ITLG chapters last year in New York, Boston, Washington and Los Angeles, the ITLG now has a presence in the major technology markets across the US.

The organisation, founded several years ago by successful Irish and Irish-American executives in Silicon Valley to connect the Irish diaspora, routinely hosts innovation summits and trade missions aimed at connecting, discovering, funding and mentoring promising technology start-ups.

“In Silicon Valley, 95pc of job creation comes from locally based companies,” ITLG president and co-founder John Hartnett said.

“We are uniquely positioned to link Irish-based technology innovation sources to the well-established technology regions of the United States,” Hartnett added.

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