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

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


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: 


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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



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:




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



Enterprise Ireland Enterprise Start Workshops, Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal

Have you thought about Starting a Business with the potential for International success?

(Engineering, ICT, Life Sciences or Food)

If yes, Enterprise Ireland is holding an Enterprise Start Workshop

At a location near you:

  •  Enterprise Ireland Office, Finisklin Business Park Sligo, Wednesday 15th February
  •  The Hive, Carrick on Shannon Leitrim, Thursday, 16th February
  •  CoLab Letterkenny IT Donegal, Tuesday 21st February

4pm – 8pm (Registration 3:30pm)

For further details and to register:

e-mail:  mary.boyle@enterprise-ireland.com

Tel: + 353 (0) 71 9159724


Please Note:  It is only necessary to attend one of these workshops


Dublin Event TechWest To Highlight Job Opportunities in the West of Ireland on October 26th


TechWest 2016, which was launched in the PorterShed in Galway City’s Innovation District today (Monday), is an event to be held in Dublin on October 26,  showcasing jobs on offer in the West and Mid-West regions,’ outlining the benefits to those thinking of making the move from Dublin. Booking is now open at collinsmcnicholas.clearbookings.com.

Organised by Collins McNicholas — the only national recruitment company headquartered outside Dublin — this free event will be held at the Gibson Hotel in Dublin on Wednesday, October 26, starting at 5pm.  The event is being run in conjunction with the Western Development Commission.

The aim of TechWest 2016 is to target people who are open to moving to work in the West and Mid-West and outline the opportunities available to them.

The event will feature a range of speakers including owners of companies looking to hire, people who have set up successful businesses in the regions as well as individuals who have made the move already. They include John Gleeson of General Motors and Martina Power, Vice President at ACI Worldwide, both based in Limerick.

MC for the night is Samantha McCaughren, Business Editor of the Sunday Independent. Other speakers include representatives from support organisations such as the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, the WDC and Galway’s Portershed & Innovation District.

Gillian Buckley, Investment Manager of the WDC, said: “The West of Ireland is an ideal environment for young technology companies with strong growth potential and job opportunities. It offers strong networks, connectivity and a dynamic start-up environment where you can have a quality of life second to none. “The opportunities in terms of work space, funding sources, shared learning and collaboration coupled with the wonderful lifestyle, accessibility and living costs makes the West the perfect place to achieve your work/life balance.”

Collins McNicholas experts will also run a CV Clinic where attendees can get their CV assessed and be matched with potential job opportunities. TechWest 2016 will close with networking opportunities as well as beer and whiskey tasting and artisan food sampling.

An Taoiseach Launches SFA National Small Business Awards 2017

The SFA National Small Business Awards 2017 competition is open to all companies in Ireland with up to 50 employees and there is a wide range of categories to suit all sectors – including a category for companies with under five employees and newly formed businesses.

There are no entry fees to enter any categories in these awards and all shortlisted companies receive five invited places to attend the Gala Awards Ceremony which is held in the RDS, Concert Hall on 1 March 2017. A generous prize package of €50,000 is awarded to all shortlisted finalists throughout the programme with additional prizes for the overall winner.

Why enter?

As these awards celebrate excellence, achievement and innovation in small business this is your opportunity to promote and showcase your business and enhance your credibility both internationally and nationally through the extensive PR and media profile these awards attract. Companies are regularly featured in national and local press and radio. Previous SFA award winners have also featured in European SME week publications. These awards also provide companies with a vehicle to recognise the valuable commitment that employees make to the organisation by highlighting their contribution and achievement.

Applications will open on 7 September 2016. The closing date for entries to be accepted is close of business on Friday, 21 October 2016. An Taoiseach Launches SFA National Small Business Awards 2017