LEAP graduate Footbridge Learning scoops €80k prize

21 Jun 2011

Foodbridge Learning, a child learning software company, has scooped the biggest prize offered for start-ups by any institute of technology – €80k in seed funding and consultancy supports.

Sponsored by the AIB Seed Capital Fund, Limerick Institute of Technology granted the award at the graduation event for its Enterprise Acceleration Platform (LEAP) 2010/2011 programme.  

Co Clare woman Linda O’Sullivan set up Footbridge Learning in Galway to devise fun, story-driven learning software for eight to 18-year-olds in specialist learning markets.

Footbridge Learning now receives an offer of equity investment to the value of €50,000 from the AIB Seed Capital Fund, which is co-managed by Enterprise Equity Venture Capital, plus €5,000 cash sponsored by LIT and Enterprise Ireland.

On top of this, Footbridge Learning gets supports, to the value of €25,000, by way of mentoring from The Discovery Partnership, legal consultancy from Holmes O’Malley Sexton, financial consultancy from Horwath Bastow Charleton and one year’s membership of Limerick Chamber of Commerce.

Combining business with a vital service

“Linda O’Sullivan is an inspiring woman who used her personal experience to motivate her to think outside the box and recognise a business opportunity, as well as providing a vital service in the area of learning support for literacy,” said Frank Walsh, a partner in Enterprise Equity, speaking on behalf of the AIB Seed Capital Fund.

“Footbridge Learning has shown the capability and acumen required to make a business work in challenging times.”

Second prize in the awards went to Limerick company Shadowman and its founder JP Hartigan. Shadowman devises a transportable rugby training tool to enable safe tackling practice. Co Clare company Killaloe Food Products came third.

Fourteen companies graduated from the 2010/2011 LEAP programme. It is now recruiting for 2011/2012.

Photo: Linda O’Sullivan accepts her award at the LEAP graduation event