At DigitalTimies.ie we regularly report on start-ups that have grown from various incubator programmes around the country. Such is the popularity of these programmes that it has become hard to keep track of who’s offering what and where. We’ve decided (thanks to a tweet from a reader) to put a list together of the various start-up and business development programmes available in Ireland. There are more than you’d think.
You can download this chart which gives an overview of the details of each program – Incubator programs
If you feel any details require updating, or we’re missing a programme, please contact us at email@example.com or comment below.
Competive Start is not an incubator program as such but provides funding for start-ups. Many of the companies involved in the accelerator programs below will avail of this EI funding in addition to the programme funds. Competitive Start offers €50,000 for 10% equity in the start-up. To be eligible firms must be less than six years old, not have received funding of €100k or more, and be capable of employing at least 10 people and realising revenues of €1 million euro in three to four years.
Run by the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC), Launchpad is primarily funded by the Government and has worked with more than 80 digital ventures to date. July 6th is the application deadline for the next 12 week programme starting in September. All successful applicants will be offered a place on NDRC LaunchPad with an accompanying micro-seed investment of up to €20,000. Investment is provided as €5k per start up founder (minimum two founders; maximum three founders), plus €5k project costs. Competition for places is fierce, last February 70 applicants vied for just 15 places.
Based in Ireland’s largest University, NovaUCD currently has around 40 registered participants. Start-ups looking to enter the programme must be; less than three years old, in a knowledge intensive business and have a desire to collaborate with UCD. The state of the art complex on the Belfield campus provides office space and specialised bio incubation units. The programme provides mentoring, free legal, tax and marketing advice and helps start-ups securing funding from angels and venture capitalists.
Dogpatch Labs is located in the midst of Dublin’s ‘IT Mecca’ on Barrow St. The programme has three international sister offices in New York, Palo Alto California and Cambridge, Massachusetts. On top of offering desk space, bandwidth and coffee to new start-ups, the project aims to create “open source entrepreneurship”, where entrants share space, ideas, referrals, and networking contacts. There are currently more than 100 businesses based in the four locations and Dogpatch boasts more than 300 graduates.
Startupbootcamp recently announced the opening of a Dublin based accelerator to add to add to existing programmes in Copenhagen, London, Madrid and Berlin. Startupbootcamp is the international affiliate of the American start-up incubator Techstars. IBM and Citi have partnered with Enterprise Ireland and Dublin City Council to create the program which is oriented towards the application and commercialisation of specific technologies developed by the entrants. The first 10 teams just completed the inaugural program on May 16th. Each team received mentoring, €15,000 funding, six month’s office space on Barrow Street and a chance to pitch to investors.
In 2012 the Dublin docklands became the 10th location for international incubator Wayra, which is backed my telecoms giant Telefonica. Closing date for application to the first program closed on June 24th and 335 submissions are currently being assessed. 30 will be selected to go forward for “Wayra week”, culminating in a 10-minute elevator pitch to an independent jury. From that 10 successful projects will be given six months in a co-working space, access to financing, support and expertise to get their projects off the ground. Up to €50,000 funding is provided in exchange for a 10% stake and the right of first refusal on the products and services that come out of the projects. Wayra first started in South America and now is located in Irleand, the UK, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Barcelona and Madrid.
DCU Ryan Academy is a non-profit, joint venture between Dublin City University and the family of the late Tony Ryan (Ryanair). The Propeller Venture Accelerator was established in 2010 with funding of €1 million from Irelandia Investments. In return for a 6.5% equity stake, participants receive mentoring, three months incubation with free space and services and a €30,000 cash investment for their business.
Ignite is the incubator programme at University College Cork (UCC). The college does not take an equity stake in the start-ups. On completion of the program businesses get a further six months office space free-of-charge at the National Software Centre in Mahon in Cork. Entries are welcomed from graduates of any third level institution and each year ten teams are chosen for the programme. Closing date for the 2012 programme starting in October was June 1st.
Smart Start whittles a group of 250 applicants down to two businesses which attract VC investment. The 250 attend a three hour bootcamp from which 50 are invited to pitch their business ideas. 10 of these are chosen to start the program, five get investment and then the two best projects go on to attract VC investment. The program is based at Dundalk Institute of Technology and participants must give up 6% equity.
Greenhouse is a virtual incubator in that it does not provide office space. The incubator helps start-ups develop a business plan and provides training in online marketing and social media.
Now in its 14th year, Genesis has launched more than 180 businesses that currently employ at least 1,200 people in the South East. During the 12 month programme consisting of seminars, workshops, clinics, and mentoring entrants can choose work from their own facilities or in the Rubicon centre on the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) campus. The 2012 programme started in May.
The six-month-long Internet Growth Acceleration Programme (iGAP) provides training for start-ups in the internet/games industry. Enterprise Ireland covers 70% of the €10,000 programme fee, but businesses need to fork out the extra three grand. The training provides start-ups with the practical tools needed to formulate aggressive international growth plans and scale their businesses. Enterprise Ireland is planning to run a further Internet Growth Acceleration Programme in Quarter 4 of 2012.
This is a programme for food entrepreneurs run by Bord Bia, Teagsc and Enterprise Ireland. They are currently taking registrations for Open Plan events in Dublin, Athlone and Cork will explain the programme and commitment requirements in detail. The training course is specifically about consumer validating your idea and testing its commercial viability before investing in production. A nominal €25 fee is required for each evening of the Immerse Yourself period. Training stages four and five (‘Take Your First Steps and Begin Your Venture) will cost participants €500 each. EI funding will be availble for those businesses that make it to stage 4 of the project.
DIT’s Hothouse is perhaps the best known programme running EI’s ‘New Frontiers’ scheme. It is a new national entrepreneur development programme launched in February 2012 that is delivered at a local level by the Institutes of Technology around the country. Start-ups in the programme get a €15,000 grant as well as facilities and the usual mentoring and training. The Hothouse programme begins in late July and the application deadline just passed on June 22nd.
The Guinness Enterprise Centre is a a hub of entrepreneurial enterprises and business and investment support services, located close to the Guinness Storehouse off Thomas Street in Dublin. 265 businesses have graduated through the centre since it opened its doors in 2000. The hub offers flexible leases to start-ups, business advice from consultants as well as access to AIB Seed Capital Fund and www.businessangels.ie which are both based at the GEC.
Further business development programs are available and the Universities and Institutes of Technology below:
- National College of Ireland (NCI)
- Invent Centre DCU, Dublin City University
- M50 Enterprise – Tallaght IT and Blanchardstown IT
- South East Enterprise Platform Program – Waterford IT
- NUIG Business Innovation Centre, NUI Galway
- Innovation Centre, NUI Maynooth (Centre is under construction)
- gatewayUCC, University College Cork
- Tyndall Incubation Centre, Tyndall National Institute Cork (Centre under construction)
- Trinity Technology and Enterprise Campus, Trinity College Dublin
- Nexus Innovation Centre, University of Limerick
- Midlands Innovation & Research Centre (MIRC), Athlone Institute of Technology
- Learning & Innovation Centre (LINC) Blanchardstown Institute of Technology
- Enterprise & Research Incubation Campus, Carlow Institute of Technology
- Rubicon Centre, Cork Institute of Technology
- DIT Incubation Centre
- Regional Development Centre (RDC), Dundalk Institute of Technology
- Innovation in Business Centre (IIBC), Galway, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
- Innovation in Business Centre (IIBC), Castlebar, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
- The Media Cube, Institute of Art, Design and Technology Dun Laoghaire
- CoLab, Letterkenny Institute of Technology (Under Construction)
- Enterprise Acceleration Centre, Limerick Institute of Technology
- NCI Business Incubation Centre, National College of Ireland
- ITSBIC, Institute of Technology Sligo
- Synergy Centre, Institute of Technology Tallaght
- Tom Creen Business Centre, Institute of Technology Tralee
- Arclabs Research and Innovation Centre, Waterford Institute of Technology