Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Students and graduates invited to enter Business Plan Competition for chance to win up to €10,000

Applications officially opened for the Business Plan Competition 2015. Run by The Ireland Funds, the competition invites university/college students and recent graduates from across Ireland and Northern Ireland to submit their business ideas for a chance to win up to €10,000, as well as mentoring and other supports for their business ideas. Applicants have until May 1 2015 to apply online.

The 2015 Business Plan Competition is an exciting opportunity for Ireland’s young entrepreneurial minds and is open to students and graduates in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Applications are invited from under-graduates, post-graduates and recent graduates (within two years of graduation). Existing startups are eligible to enter, as long as the applicants themselves meet the above criteria.

Up to 10 individuals or teams will then be selected and given the chance to bring their business ideas from concept to pitch, receiving mentoring and detailed feedback on their business ideas throughout the training process. At the final on Wednesday, June 17 2015, a judging panel comprising leading entrepreneurs, executives and venture capitalists from Ireland and the United States will review the finalists’ business plans and select the winners, with the winner receiving €10,000 and two runners up receiving €5,000 and €1,000 respectively, along with other supports.

What type of applications is the judging panel looking for?

“We are looking for smart new business ideas amongst Ireland’s early stage entrepreneurs. Convince us that your business idea is the next big thing and you will receive training and support to help you develop your business idea from concept to pitch,” said Jordan Campbell, Programmes Manager at The Ireland Funds.

She went on to describe the reasons behind the initiative: “As part of our Promising Ireland Campaign, The Ireland Funds are committed to supporting Ireland’s economic recovery and The Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition, which is now in its third year, aims to nurture creativity and hone entrepreneurial skills amongst recent graduates and under- and post-graduate students, as these are the early-stage entrepreneurs who will play a crucial role in getting us back on our feet.”

Last year, The Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition has received over 100 applications and expects to receive an exciting variety of applications this year. Last year’s winner Alexandra Milne created Little Deli, an app that saves time and hassle for workday lunches in Belfast.

Applications can be submitted online at www.theirelandfunds.org/bpcby May 1 2015.