I was prompted to create a post containing Irish business competitions to win investment after the success of my Irish Technology and Irish Business awards article. There can be a fine line between accelerator programmes and competitions, so I’m sticking purely with competitions and as usual it’s a B2B focus.
Of course the ultimate for those with nerves of steel is Dragon’s Den where you can win up to €250k worth of investment. But don’t mix up your numbers or they’re out! Hard to find anything online for the 2018 series and applications usually have to be in around now so I’m not sure if it’s happening this year. (Yes, those being aired now are all repeats.)
- InterTrade Ireland Seedcorn – November. Cash prize: €100,000
- Web Summit PITCH – November. Prize varies each year. Could be cash or VC funding
- Web Summit ESB Spark of Genius Award – November. Cash €25,000 + mentoring. 2018 details available around August.
- NDRC Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition for those under 35. Cash prizes total €16,000 with entries needing to be submitted by some time in June. The NDRC also has a “Lift-off” competition for companies that have graduated the recent NDRC accelerator programme where proposals are pitched to the investment community. As far as I can tell the first place value is €30,000. NDRC has a number of different programmes (more accelerator programmes than actual competitions) including Autumn Investor Day supported by Bank of Ireland so contact them directly via www.ndrc.ie.
- AIB Startup Academy – Prize package worth €200,000. Cash prize €20,000.
- Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur – This is organised by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEO). The county prize winner gets €15,000 with the regional prize being €20,000 and overall national winner another €20,000. This totals a fabulous €55,000 for the winner with runner up prizes also. (One of my mentees is through to this year’s final. Best of luck to Daniel from UrbanFox.)
- Virgin Media Voom Pitch – UK and Ireland. This gives start-ups the chance to pitch to Richard Branson and win a share of £1 million in prizes. Nothing announced for 2018 yet other than it is happening and you can sign up here. Last year the bus toured from May to November. There’s a nice infographic here.
I suspect there are more, so please do send me details of any Irish business competitions to win investment. You may sponsor one, have entered one or simply just know about one. If you’re further afield, here’s a 2015 Forbes article listing 7 competitions (all except no 5 are still valid but number 3 needs an “en” at the end of the URL). Most of those in that article are European by the way, so it’s worth a look.
Source: Business Achievers