The Business of Literature – €1.9 million Fund Set to Unlock the Potential of Literary Tourism sector

  • Three-year literary tourism pilot programme launches across four Northern European countries this Autumn
  • €80K Fund Available to Support Literary Tourism Enterprises in Ireland
  • Organisations and businesses encouraged to sign up to November workshops.

The untapped potential of literary tourism is the focus of Spot-lit, a new three-year project spearheaded by the Western Development Commission in Ireland, that aims to grow the literary tourism sector in the Northern Periphery and Arctic region. The new programme will support organisations and businesses in this culturally-rich region to grow, collaborate and better engage audiences together.
Literary Tourism is an emerging niche sector within the wider cultural tourism sector, where places with literary heritage offer author and fiction-related literary tourism opportunities along with opportunities arising from literary festivals, trails and book shops. In Ireland, this would include literary rich locations such as Sligo, synonymous with the poet WB Yeats, Seamus Heaney and Bellaghy in Derry, Cuirt International Festival of Literature in Galway, Doolin Writers’ Weekend in Clare.
Funded by Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme 2014-2020, the regions participating in the Spot-lit programme area are the West of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Eastern Finland and South-West Scotland. Collectively, the region is home to world-class literary icons and landscapes, however, research suggests there is potential for this sector to work together and grow significantly. Current low levels of joined-up literary tourism activity in the Northern Periphery and Arctic Region make it a sector that is ripe for development.
Spot-lit addresses the need for shared development and marketing of existing assets and the development of new ones, which respond to emerging literary and cultural consumer needs. This will result in a better cultural tourism offering and deliver greater economic impact than projects developed in national isolation.
The programme will include the development of a cluster network across the regions, a series of support workshops, the development of 20 new literary products or services and shared learning and transnational marketing.

In November, Spot-lit Partner, the Western Development Commission will deliver a series of workshops for businesses interested in Literary Tourism product development:

  • Building successful Literary Tourism experiences for visitors
  • Designing and developing your Literary Tourism product or service
  • Knowing and growing your market

Visit Spot-lit.eu to find out more.

Following on from the workshops, businesses will be invited to participate in a Literary Business Support Programme. The programme will be open to SMEs, social enterprises, community groups and literary associations with a unique idea for the development of Literary Tourism in their area. This bespoke programme will involve a series of monthly engagement workshops, learning journeys, business advice clinics and individual mentoring supports. The programme will engage with and support 5 businesses and will include €10,000 business development support. The focus of the business idea/product will be for the development of Literary Tourism through literature, place and performance.

In tandem with the Literary Business Support Programme, a new Literary Tourism Model will be developed and will include a €25,000 business support – the model will be developed by identifying a programme of potential performances linked to the Wild Atlantic
Way and its literary assets.

Speaking on the launch of the SME Businesses Support Programme, CEO Tomás Ó Síocháin of the Western Development Commission said:
‘The west has a fantastic story to tell; an area of arresting physical beauty, centres of innovation and economic growth, however Spot-Lit is an opportunity to focus on some of the stories as yet untold. I would urge communities, groups and SMEs to engage with the Literary Business Support Programme, one aspect of the work of the WDC in supporting the Creative Economy.’

The project launched on September 25th with a new website at www.spot-lit.eu, dedicated social media channels @spot_lit_eu. The NPAP region in Ireland includes all coastal counties from Donegal to Cork. Literary businesses and organisations in these counties are encouraged to register their interest for upcoming events and workshops.
The project will run until September 2021.

The Business of Literature – Major Literary Tourism Initiative Set to Enhance Commercial Capacity in Northern European Region

Major new three-year literary tourism pilot programme set to launch across four Northern European countries this Autumn.

Spot-lit is a new three-year project that aims to grow the literary tourism sector in the Northern Periphery and Arctic region by supporting the organisations and businesses in this culturally-rich region to grow collaborate and better engage audiences together. Literary Tourism is an emerging niche sector within the wider cultural tourism sector, where places with literary heritage offer author and fiction-related literary tourism opportunities along with opportunities arising from literary festivals, trails and book shops.Funded by Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme, the regions participating in the Spot-lit programme area are Western Ireland, Northern Ireland, Eastern Finland and South-West Scotland.

All share a number of common features such as low population density, low accessibility, low economic diversity, abundant natural resources, and high impact of climate change.
Collectively, the region is home to world-class literary icons and landscapes, however, research suggests there is potential for this sector to work together and grow significantly. Current low levels of joined-up literary tourism activity in the Northern Periphery and Arctic Region make it a sector that is ripe for development.

Spot-lit addresses the need for shared development and marketing of existing assets and the development of new ones, which respond to emerging literary and cultural consumer needs. This will result in a better cultural tourism offering and deliver greater economic impact than projects developed in national isolation.

The programme will include the development of a cluster network across the regions, a series of support workshops, the development of 20 new literary products or services and shared learning and transnational marketing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the Spot-lit partners at a recent partner meeting in Scoltland (left to right) Filip Sever, Mary Keaveney, Minna Mustonen, Helena Aaltonen  Marlene Kohllechner-Autto, Shane Campbell.

Speaking on the occasion of the launch of the project, CEO Tomás Ó Síocháin of the Western Development Commission said: “We are delighted to launch this programme today following an extensive period of research and development. Spot-Lit has the capacity to deliver tangible benefits to under-tapped regions across Europe through the literary tourism sector which we know has the potential to be a major economic driver. We encourage any organisation or business in the literary tourism sector to visit our website and sign-up for our information roadshows in early October.”

This Autumn, the Spot-lit partners in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Finland will deliver a series of workshops for businesses interested in Literary Tourism development.

Workshop 1: Building Successful Literary Tourism Experiences for Visitors
Workshop 2: Designing and developing your Literary Tourism product or service
Workshop 3: Knowing and growing your market

Following on from the workshops, businesses will be invited to participate in a Literary Business Support Programme. The programme will be open to SMEs, social enterprises, community groups and literary associations with a unique idea for the development of Literary Tourism in their area. This bespoke programme will involve a series of monthly engagement workshops, learning journeys, business advice clinics and individual mentoring supports. The programme will engage with 5 businesses in each country and will include a €10,000 innovation voucher. The focus of the business idea/product will be for the development of Literary Tourism.

The project will officially launch on September 25th with a new website at http://www.spot-lit.eu, dedicated social media channels @spot_lit_eu, followed by a call out for literary businesses and organisations to register their interest for upcoming events and workshops.

 ‘Angel Investing in High Potential Enterprises, is it for you?’

‘Angel Investing in High Potential Enterprises, is it for you??. Event takes place in the McWilliam Park Hotel, Claremorris, Co. Mayo on 6th March, 2019 at 5.30pm. This training seminar and networking event is aimed at increasing the number of private / angel investors regionally, particularly female investors, and provides an introduction to angel / private investing and crowdfunding.  At the event, speakers and experts will talk about their experiences of angel investing, both as investors and investees, leveraging their networks and the experience of private investment and syndicate investment groups.

This is an ESIL (Empowering Early Stage Investors Launchpad) event run in conjunction with the Local Enterprise Offices in Mayo, Galway and Roscommon and supported by WestBIC, HBAN, WDC and the Empower Programme.

 

https://www.europeanesil.eu/

https://www.localenterprise.ie/

 

Agenda:

  • Networking and Refreshments
  • Introductions – John Magee, Mayo LEO / Ultan Faherty, ESIL/HBAN
  • Keynote speaker – Victoria Hernandez of the Early Stage Investing Launchpad (ESIL) on ‘Angel Investing in High Potential Enterprises, is it for you?’
  • Fidelma McGuirk of Payslip – Investee’s perspective on the investment process
  • Company Pitches
  • Conclusion
  • Close and Networking

Victoria Hernandez Profile

If you wish to attend then please register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/angel-investing-in-high-potential-enterprises-is-it-for-you-tickets-55572690413

 

 

 

Energise Your Business – how to take your innovation to the next level

You are cordially invited to
FREED Project Event
Tuesday 16th October 2018

9:30am – 2pm
Registration & Refreshments from 9:30am | Event Start 10:00am | Lunch & Networking 12:45pm

DETAILS
Is your start-up business or SME struggling to get an energy innovation to the next level? Then join us to hear from companies that have succeeded in this with the help of the  FREED Project.
Getting your ideas from the blueprints into the markets can be a long, difficult journey, which all innovations and companies are not be able to complete. Various business support organisations and enterprise agencies offer support for starting entrepreneurs and companies, but they do not target energy innovations in particular. However, these are the ones that are sorely needed, as energy is a key driver of climate change.
Funding Resources for Innovation in Energy Enterprise Development (FREED) is a three year project funded under Interreg’s Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme. FREED has been supporting SMEs and start-ups working on energy innovations with the aim of getting the innovations faster into the real world, where they can make a difference. The experiences of these SMEs and the support mechanisms developed in the project can help other innovations make it too.

During this event you will hear from:

  • SMEs who have been receiving support from the FREED Project and how it has helped them progress
  • Public Funding Specialist Ian Brannigan (Western Development Commission)
  • Business Angel Investor Nick Lyth (Green Angel Syndicate
  • You will also learn about the FREED Service platform – a funding match-making platform for SMEs, Investors and Enterprise Agencies.

To attend this event please Register HERE

Digital Transformations Funds 10k Digital Society Bursary

Details of a major award for writers and artists, creative professionals, developers and designers to be launched in Ballina on 19 May 2018.

This year-long bursary provides a significant opportunity for practitioners of any discipline (visual, performing, musical, literature, media, technology) to deliver a project responding to the emerging digital society. The bursary will be open to individuals and groups in Ireland and abroad and the recipient will be launched at the Digital Transformations conference in Ballina on the 19th of May.

An information session for potential applicants will form part of the conference programme.

The purpose of the bursary is to increase awareness of the digital society and to make artistic responses to it a more central part of the debate.

The winner of the bursary will be required to consider the themes of the digital transformations conference in developing their work: Digital Human, Networked Personality, Art for What’s Sake, and Manifesto. Studio, rehearsal and accommodation space at the Ballina Arts Centre in Mayo will be made available and the recipient will be required to provide some educational outreach and workshops at the centre.

“I’m thrilled to be offering this bursary as a way of supporting people who want to explore the digital society in their work, and to put that response centre stage in the debates happening today about what kind of society is emerging via digital technologies,” said conference director Scott Coombs. “Enriching human contact and the human voice is essential for this transformation to be beneficial,” he said “and this artistic response needs to be heard not just on the street, but in classrooms and boardrooms as well. The digital society is throwing arts, policy, education, culture, media, technology and business together in ways that only the arts can really fathom.”

See digitaltransformations.org/busary for full details.

 

Two New Bursary Programmes for Flmmakers based in Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon.

As part of a new partnership Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon County Councils have come together with filmmakers from the three counties with a view to enabling the film sector here to grow and develop.​

Each of the three local authorities involved in this project recognise the value of film as an artform and the contribution that film can make to the region – socially, culturally and economically. In adopting a regional approach, we recognise that we can achieve a lot more by harnessing the capacity, resources and energy of agencies and practitioners of all three counties.

Find out more about the SLR Film Development Project at Leitrim County Council Website HERE

The closing date for both opportunities is 30th June 2018.

Courtesy Leitrim County Council

Empower Programme

New Entrepreneurship Programme For Females In The West of Ireland

www.empowerher.ie

EMPOWER Programme 2017

The Empower Programme is a new Female Entrepreneur Programme targeted at female entrepreneurs from Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.
This programme plans to address specific challenges that hinder females and will help to fast track female-led businesses.

It will be delivered by the GMIT Innovation Hubs who have a successful track record in delivering entrepreneurship programmes across the region.

There are two parts to this Programme – EMPOWER Start and EMPOWER Growth

  1. Empower Start: is one half day a week over 12 weeks (20 females from the region) Criteria – early stage or in business less than 1 year. Lots of Soft Skills Development along with the business modules and skills.
  2. Empower Growth: is one half Sat a month over 11 months (12 females from the region) Criteria – in business more than 2 years of fully understands value proposition and customer segmentation and looking to scale and grow.

How To Apply

The EMPOWER Programme is designed for female entrepreneurs living in Mayo, Roscommon or Galway. To be considered for the EMPOWER Start Programme you must be actively planning a new business or in business less than 1 year and for the EMPOWER Growth Programme you must be in business more than two years, can clearly understand your value proposition  and customer segmentation and are looking to scale.

This is a competitive process and consideration will be given to those looking to scale their business and employ more people.

Full details on how to apply are at www.empowerher.ie

Empower Programme Launch Event

To mark the start of the Programme, come along to a Launch Event on Weds 13th Sept in the Connacht Hotel in Galway. Speakers on the night include Chanelle McCoy (Chanelle Pharmaceuticals), Breege O Donaghue (ex CEO of Primark and Chair of the Design Council of Ireland) and Evelyn O Toole (CLS and E&Y Ent of Year Finalist in 2017) along with a panel of female entrepreneurs at an earlier stage of development. Tracy Piggott will MC the event.

 

Register for the event at: 

https://gmit.clr.events/event/126219:empower-programme-2017

Follow us on Facebook;

www.fb.me/EmpowerHer.ie

intertrade ireland seedcorn

Intertrade Ireland Seedcorn 2017 Competition Now Open

Are you a new start or early stage company looking for funding? Our Seedcorn competition is now open for registration.

With a total cash prize fund of €280k, the 2017 All-Island Seedcorn Investor Readiness Competition, the largest business competition for new start and early stage companies on the island of Ireland, helps companies get investor ready and introduces them to valuable networks.

The competition seeks to transform equity seeking businesses into first-class investor ready companies. In addition to the total cash prize fund of €280,000, companies will have access to the Seedcorn Network – an extensive business community which will help boost the company’s profile.

Closing date for initial applications is 26th May 2017.

More at intertradeireland.com/seedcorn

New Frontiers

GMIT New Frontiers Business Start-Up Programme Now Open

THINKING OF STARTING A NEW BUSINESS?

DEVELOP  YOUR IDEA WITH NEW FRONTIERS!

New Frontiers is Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme, delivered locally by Galway Mayo Institute of Technology and funded by Enterprise Ireland.

The New Frontiers Entrepreneurship Programme will commence on April 1st 2017 in the GMIT Innovation Hubs in Galway & Mayo. This programme offers a combination of extensive mentoring, expert modules and access to iHUB facilities. Qualifying entrepreneurs will receive €15,000 in funding from Enterprise Ireland (subject to satisfactory development reviews). The Best Emerging Companies will benefit from award fund valued at €14,000 sponsored by KPMG (€10,000) & AIB (€4,000)

If you have an innovative business idea with a plan to establish your own company, or you are already at an early stage of development, the New Frontiers Programme can provide you with funding, help and support to develop your new business. Participants can remain in their own office, enterprise centre, start-up hub, work from home and/or avail of the GMIT Innovation Hubs.

Apply early as places are limited. First preference places will be offered to those who return their applications by Thursday, 16th  March Planned start date for Phase 1 is 1st April.

Public Information sessions will take place in:

  • iHub Galway – Tuesday, February 28th  at 6:15 pm
  • iHub Castlebar – Thursday, March 2nd at 6:15 pm
  • Moyvalley Resources, Bunree, Ballina – Thursday, March 9th at 6:15 pm

More Info:

gmit.ie/new-frontiers

newfrontiers.ie

 

The Yield Lab Ireland Is Accepting Applications

The Yield Lab, the United States’ first food and agriculture technology (AgTech) business accelerator, is pleased to announce that Yield Lab Ireland is now accepting applications for 2017.

Announced in Summer 2016, Yield Lab Ireland will invest €100,000 in 4-6 AgTech companies each year from all over the world. Accepted companies will meet in Galway, Ireland two days each month to take part in the six-month accelerator program and to receive individual mentorship from agriculture industry experts. Companies will also travel to St. Louis, MO for one month of programming to network with the Yield Lab St. Louis 2017 cohort and to take advantage of the global connections that the Yield Lab provides.

“I’m excited to move ahead with the program in Galway,” said Brian Clevinger, Yield Lab Ireland Managing Director. “The global network that the Yield Lab is developing is unparalleled in AgTech, and the Yield Lab Ireland is a huge step in solidifying our international relations. I cannot wait to see the positive impact that we will be able to have on European AgTech companies in Ireland, as well as the impact that we’ll be able to have on our current portfolio companies from the Americas.”

The Yield Lab announced the addition of Paul Finnerty to the team of the newly established Yield Lab Ireland as Chairman in Fall 2016. “Upon my retirement as CEO of ABP Food Group, I wanted to continue work to improve production agriculture, especially around improving its impact on climate and how innovation will be a key industry driver to creating more efficient and nutritious food value chains,” said Finnerty.

The Yield Lab Ireland is based off of The Yield Lab St. Louis investment model. The Yield Lab St. Louis is an early-stage venture fund and business accelerator that invests $100,000 in early stage food and (AgTech) startups. Selected companies receive one-on-one mentorship, free workspace, and networking opportunities supported by agriculture focused organizations and businesses based in the St. Louis metro area. Agriculture is a leading industry in the U.S. Midwest, with extensive business connections to the St. Louis region and beyond. The diversity, central location, and solid business community support makes the St. Louis region a leading market for AgTech expansion.

Apply for The Yield Lab Ireland here . Applications close mid-February.

About The Yield Lab

The Yield Lab brings together new innovative technologies focused on improving productivity, enhancing knowledge, eroding boundaries, and merging historically independent ecosystems into a more cohesive agricultural system. For more information, please visit www.theyieldlab.com