6 Irish business competitions to win investment

Updated 5 Jan 2022. Due to the situation across Europe, it looks like a few of these did not happen. Hopefully they will return in 2022.

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.)

  1. InterTrade Ireland Seedcorn  –  November.  Cash prize: €100,000
  2. Web Summit PITCH – Held normally in November. Prize varies each year. Could be cash or VC funding.
  3. Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition. The 2021 version was on 15 June. Keep an eye out to see if it will run again in 2022. Cash prizes total €27,000 with entries needing to be submitted by mid April.
  4. 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 was in the 2018 final.)
  5. upSTART  €5k cash prize + mentoring + 1 year co-working space + legal advice. Applications opened 10th April. It’s not entirely clear when they close, but pitch dates are 19-20 June 2018. No 2022 dates yet.
  6. UCD VentureLaunch accelerator programme showcase and awards. Winner will receive incubation space at NovaUCD, and competing start-ups are hoping to secure funding to take their companies to the next stage. Learn more.

Key an eye on DogPatch Labs as they might start something to replace the NDRC investment.

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.

First published 2 February 2018


One Response

  1. Ashling – super post. The LEO National Enterprise Awards is currently (Feb ’18) inviting entries from clients. Organised on a county basis, each county winner will go forward to the National Final in the Mansion House on the 24th May 2018. The Galway competition carries a prize fund of over €4,000 plus awards and cash prizes to be presented locally as follows:
    Overall Winner – Galway: €2,500
    Best New Business – Galway €1,500
    donncha (Business Advisor)

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