James and Peter Nagle, co-founders, Bitcove
Ireland’s premier Bitcoin exchange, Bitcove, has received the accolade of Bank of Ireland/IGNITE Business of the Year Award 2015.
Bitcove, along with 10 other enterprising young businesses, was recognised at the IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme Awards and Showcase held at the Aula Maxima in UCC on Wednesday 24th June.
This year’s IGNITE Awards and Showcase celebrated the progress and achievements to date of the 16 recent graduates, working on 11 business start-ups, who participated in the 2014/15, nine-month business incubation programme, marking an important milestone with the completion of the fifth phase of the successful entrepreneurial programme.
The awards were made based on presentations participants gave to the judging panel of respected business people at Bank of Ireland’s regional headquarters on the South Mall.
The top award, the Bank of Ireland/ IGNITE Business of the Year Award 2015, was presented to Bitcove founders, UCC graduates and brothers James and Peter Nagle. Following deliberation, the judges agreed that James and Peter best demonstrated the potential to build a business that can achieve growth and create sustainable employment.
Bitcove is an online crypto currency broker that provides a simple avenue for customers to acquire, maintain and transact with their Bitcoins instantly. The business developed as James became interested in crypto currencies after briefly studying cryptography in a Network Security module in college.
Bitcove has become an ambassador for Bitcoin in Ireland and the team is available to promote and discuss Bitcoin at any Bitcoin related conferences or discussion groups. They are also supportive of the larger Bitcoin community and can provide guidance to merchants who are considering adopting Bitcoin as a method of payment.
Two further awards were made in recognition of business planning and innovation. The EY/IGNITE Business Plan Award was presented to Dr Eileen Weadick, founder of <eXtensicon>. Eileen, a UCD PhD graduate, is developing online Competency Based Education (CBE) programmes in technical communications.
The JW O’Donovan Solicitors/IGNITE Innovation Award went to UCC MBS (Business Information Systems) graduate, Peter Marcano, founder of Key, who demonstrated the most innovative use of technology to deliver his service. Key provides an effortless, yet secure way to log into password protected computers and websites, without ever needing to remember a password. Regardless of the password length or complexity, all you need to sign in is your mobile phone. Marcano was also winner of the IGNITE Peer Award, the only award voted on by the IGNITE 2015 participants, which recognises the spirit of cooperation, leadership and entrepreneurial ability demonstrated throughout the programme.
Rebecca Geaney, Muireann Lynch and Cait Lynch, co-founders of Rooties Snacks, received the IGNITE 2015 Showcase Award for presenting the most effective showcase display.
Eamon Curtin, IGNITE Programme Director said “I would like to wish each one of this year’s participants every success as they continue to move their businesses to the next level, and congratulate our award winners in particular. As we come to the end of the fifth phase of the IGNITE Programme, it’s clear that entrepreneurship is thriving amongst recent graduates, and the calibre out there is getting stronger as more supports become available to young entrepreneurs. The next intake of IGNITE participant will join the Programme this autumn, and will follow in the footsteps of some very successful young entrepreneurs who have paved the way for them to succeed on their entrepreneurial journey.”
The IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Programme is a business incubation programme, based at UCC, aimed at nurturing, developing and strengthening entrepreneurial potential. The Programme is funded by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, the Local Enterprise Offices of Cork City and County, and Bank of Ireland. More information is available at ignite.ucc.ie.