The search for Cork’s best and brightest young business minds begins, with a prize of €150,000 on offer through three Local Enterprise offices (LEO) within Cork. This search for bright young minds is part of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) Competition.
The campaign has just been launched in Cork, and is available to those aged between 18-35, with the prize going to a truly innovative and original idea/concept for a product or service that is either at the start-up or early development stage.
Cork’s three LEOs, Cork City, South Cork and Cork North & West, are each running the competition. These LEOs are seeking local entrepreneurs who stand out from the crowd, with entries being accepted up until the 14th of October. The competition is broken down into three different categories, with the first category being for the ‘Best New Idea’ with a top prize of €7,000 & a runner up prize of €3000; the second category is for the ‘Best Start Up Business’ (up to 36 months) and the third is for ‘Best Established Business’, both of which have a top prize of €15,000 for the winners, and €5,000 for the runners up in each of Cork’s three LEOs.
The IBYE competition, which is now in its third year in Cork, has shown-off a wealth of young entrepreneurs who continue to work with, and be nurtured and supported by, their respective LEOs. The investment fund of €50,000 from each of the LEOs is an example of one of the ways in which they work to encourage and help young people in realising their dreams of starting & developing their own businesses.
The first phase of the competition will see 15 finalists selected from each LEO in Cork, with the final 45 participating in an intensive ‘business boot camp’ which will be held from 4-6th of November. This boot camp could prove to be an invaluable experience for participants, as they will receive mentoring & support from business experts, which will help them to fine tune their business strategies and entrepreneurial skills.
The second phase of the competition is the County final in December, where three winners per LEO will go forward to represent their respective LEO at the regional finals and, should they be successful at that stage, they will go forward to the national finals representing Cork. At the final stage ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ will be revealed in early 2017. The title alone isn’t the prize, with a win in the national finals netting the winner €2m investment in their business.
Adrienne Rodgers, the Head of Enterprise for the Cork City LEO said: “We are looking for young and aspiring entrepreneurs and business ideas that really stand out. The IBYE competition gives budding business people a real opportunity to launch and grow their business with the investment fund that’s available to winners, not to mention the expert advice and business support that is offered. Last year’s competition was a huge success, with hundreds of brilliant entries, so we anticipate that the interest & entries will be even greater this year. Cork produced the overall winner of IBYE last year in James Foody, founder of Ayda, who won a further €50,000 investment at the national final; and we’re hoping we can make it two in a row this year!”
Adrienne further explained that “encouraging entrepreneurship among young people is hugely important for job-creation, as two thirds of all new jobs are generated by businesses in the first five years of existence – more start-ups and a thriving entrepreneurial culture will lead to more jobs being created. We would encourage all those aged between 18 and 35, who have an idea or a business to enter this year’s competition so that we can help them with the fundings and supports to bring their business to the next level.”
Last year’s winners were Breffney O’Dowling Keane of FruitCubed, Gail Condon of Writing for Tiny, and Jack Crotty of The Rocket Man from LEO Cork City; Patrick Corrigan of Musica, James Foody of Ayda, and Stephanie Lynch of On the QT from LEO South Cork; and Maeve O’Keeffe of Inspect 4, Stephen Murphy of Ride-On, and Aimie Musgrave of Crunch from LEO Cork North & West.
The closing date for applications is Friday, October 14th. For more information, or to apply, call (021) 496 1828 or visit www.ibye.ie, and follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter using #StandOut.