Friday, 3 May 2013

Innovation Centre helps start-ups climb the commercial ladder

Applications open for 2013 Innovate Programme

Start-up companies in the region seeking incubation facilities and enterprise support to allow them to progress from business idea stage to commercialisation are being invited to apply to the 2013 Ennis Innovate Programme.

Facilitated by the Ennis Innovate Regional Innovation Centre, the Programme supports and guides companies through the start-up process and provides them with introductions and linkages to various support bodies in the West of Ireland.

Based in Shannon Development’s Information Age Park in Ennis, the Centre is funded by NUI Galway, UL, Shannon Development, Clare County Council and Ennis Town Council and supported by partners Enterprise Ireland, Clare Local Development Company, Clare County Enterprise Board.

Commenting on the Ennis Innovate programme, Gert O’Rourke, Director of Ennis Innovatesaid: “The aim of the Centre is to provide practical support to entrepreneurs as they navigate the start-up path and provide them with introductions and linkages to relevant support bodies and processes, ultimately improving their chances of success.”

“Applicants to our Programme should ideally have a number of years industry experience, and have the enthusiasm and drive necessary to develop and grow a successful business. If you’re looking for practical help and linkages to help your business grow then this programme is for you,” added Ms. O’Rourke who has over 20 years experience in the micro-enterprise and SME sector.”

The Ennis Innovate Regional Innovation Centre, which was officially opened in early 2012 by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD, has already supported a number of business in the Region through its Ennis Innovate Programme, including Empress Cosmetics, Fraysen Systems, Golf Voyager, Greenieland and Egan Concepts.

Trazoo, a website business that aims to take the effort out of planning and booking a group trip in Ireland, has also expanded rapidly as a result of its participation in the Ennis Innovate programme and recently won the Enterprise Ireland New Frontiers award in GMIT worth €10,000 sponsored by KPMG. Padraig Neylon, who co-runs the business with his Uncle Joe, said: “The Ennis Innovate Programme proved to be a real catalyst for Trazoo in terms of developing our product.”

He continued: “Participating on the programme gave us access to industry, marketing and sales professionals and other entrepreneurs, with whom we could discuss issues facing our business. Ennis Innovate also gave us a sound platform from which to engage with the likes of Enterprise Ireland programmes like New Frontiers, of which we have been a part of since last July. It’s a great facility to have in Clare and I would highly recommend anyone with a new business idea to apply to get on the programme.”

A number of applicants have already been accepted on to the 2013 Ennis Innovate Programme. There are a limited number of places remaining. Interested applicants should or email