Cork innovates, an initiative driving entrepreneurship in the region, has announced an increased bursary of €30,000 this year to give one lucky entrepreneur a major boost to their business.
The Cork innovates bursary will offer a wide range of services from advertising, financial advice and mentoring to legal services and membership supports. Everything a business and entrepreneur could need to get started and get ahead is included in this year’s bursary.
“Last year we received an overwhelming response from Cork startups and businesses to the bursary”, said Siobhan Finn, Cork innovates coordinator.
“In order to provide a greater window of opportunity, this year the bursary will be open for applications until October 18th 2013. The short listed applicants will then get a chance to pitch their idea to the judges and mentors at the InBusiness InCork event on November 14th 2013.”
Last year’s bursary winner, James Duggan of Funmanway Adventureland saw off intense competition to take the inaugural business award.
“Winning the bursary was the single biggest step my business made going forward since the launch,” said Duggan.
“It opened new doors and opportunities for me that previously I had thought would not happen for years. The training and support we received so far has been fantastic and now I have the propensity to dream a much bigger vision for my business. The Cork innovates bursary has given me the confidence to achieve success with my startup. I will always be truly grateful to Cork innovates and to all partners involved for the opportunity they have given my business to succeed.”
The Irish Examiner and Newstalk have come on board as media partners for the showcase once again. AIB Bank have also pledged their commitment and support for the InBusiness InCork showcase as well as contributing to the Cork innovates bursary. AIB regional director (Cork), John O’Doherty said: “We are delighted to support Cork innovates again this year. The start-up and SME sectors are critically important to the economy and AIB is fully committed to supporting those starting out in business through our business start-up package. AIB is open for business and urges anybody seeking financial assistance to come and talk to our dedicated lending staff who will guide them through the borrowing processes.”
Chairman of Cork innovates, Anthony O’Mara added that “the support from our sponsors, businesses and organisations in increasing the amount is a wonderful endorsement of the Region’s support for innovation and entrepreneurship and shows the committed to entrepreneurial growth that Cork innovates embodies”.
Bringing together all stakeholders in the region, Cork innovates was established to advance Cork’s position as a hub for entrepreneurship and to increase the rate of job creation in the Cork area and beyond. The steering group of Cork innovates comprises representatives from Cork City Council and Cork County Council, the four Enterprise Boards in the region, Enterprise Ireland, UCC, CIT, Cork Chamber, Cork BIC and the South West Regional Authority (SWRA) as well as a number of entrepreneurs in the region.