With €500,000 ready to invest, time is running out for entrepreneurs to access Ludgate Hub’s latest funding call.
At 3pm IST this Saturday (15 July), Skibbereen’s Ludgate Hub will close its current seed funding call. After that, those still seeking a slice of the €500,000 pie will be out of time to apply.
That’s what Ludgate is saying, this week sending out a final reminder for entrepreneurs and early-stage start-ups to get in touch.
Start-ups are encouraged to apply for the seed fund to develop and scale their business, attract new talent, or develop their product or service.
Claiming interest from both Ireland and abroad already, the organisers at the facility – which was established last summer – are confident that a burgeoning start-up ecosystem has emerged in Cork in the last few months. With West Cork as the setting for Ludgate, they hope that the natural perks available in the area are enough to draw in the crowds.
Scale and succeed
“The Ludgate Hub is an excellent place to start, scale and succeed,” said Gráinne Dwyer, CEO of Ludgate.
“Our start-ups get world-class mentoring support from our expert board and Ludgate network, day-to-day practical supports, and the opportunity to live and work in one of the most spectacular places in Ireland.
“Demand from start-ups to join the Ludgate Hub has jumped over 450pc since last year, proving our state-of-the-art 1GB hub as a place to succeed.”
The fund is designed to enable participating start-ups to reach key commercial and technical milestones, such as employing new staff, securing third-party investment and evaluating overseas opportunities.
Some of the mentoring noted by Dwyer includes that of board members Sean O’Driscoll, president of GlenDimplex Group; Oliver Farrell, chairman of Vilicom; and Ronan Harris, MD of Google UK and Ireland.
In its first year in existence, Ludgate saw the likes of tourism company Staypal, media production company Stori Creative, and digital education company Digedu.
Antidote to hectic start-up culture
Oliver Smith, co-founder of Digedu, thinks the Ludgate Seed Fund was a natural move for his company.
“We didn’t require the infrastructure that somewhere like Dublin provides and then the overheads of running a business out of Skibbereen are a competitive advantage in themselves,” he said.
“We’d also be lying if we didn’t say that popping down to Baltimore on a sunny afternoon for a casual sail didn’t play its part.
“Ludgate as a building helps provide structure to an already hectic start-up culture. Reliable internet, a clean space and the focused atmosphere help fuel us and keep us motivated.”
Smith added that Ludgate, as a community, was something of a special case.
“Being surrounded by like-minded people who are willing to share ideas, experiences, their network – it’s amazing.
“It becomes increasingly clear to the green entrepreneur that no matter what the model, all businesses face the same difficulties at some stage or another. The hub facilitates us to collaborate and support one another.”